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Posts Tagged ‘miss her’

On this date back in 1946, in a small town in Oklahoma…Prague..to be specific, a baby girl was born. She had black hair and dark eyes. She was the first girl to this family. They already had 3 boys….all older, one already grown. She was quite a surprise to her family…but a blessing.

Growing up she was rambunctious. A tomboy, of course! With older brothers she had to be. But her beauty was there also. She learned much from her family. She learned how to cook and nurture from her mom. But being a daddy’s girl, like so many girls are……she spent most of her time with her dad. She loved fishing and camping and animals and dirt! She became very resilient from these days…..and though I don’t know all of the details from that time….I know it was during her growing up years, she was gaining in the strength she needed later in her life.

Her family moved to another town, Shawnee, where she graduated in 1964. She also attended Business College there. I wish I knew more of the stories from that time in her life. I know she was well liked and learned a lot…..and had a lot of fun!

After school she was working at Tinker and met a young man, transplanted from another state. That was in October. By February they had wed and she was off to the east coast to meet his family. My grandmother tells me as she looked out the window waiting to catch a glimpse of her son’s bride, she was taken back as mom got out of the car….by her beauty. Mom was tall, slender and very stylish!

I was born in Indiana a few years later. My parents had moved up there to be close to my mother’s youngest brother. Shortly after I was born, they moved back to Oklahoma to take care of her mother though. So, I grew up with my parents and my grandparents being the only family close by. Until my second grade year when my baby sister came along. Our family was complete.

It was less than three years later, mom had cancer. I’ll never forget. But there are some cloudy memories during that time. I know that is because she tried to shield me and my sister from most of it.

What I do remember is helping as much as I could. I would take care of her and my sister! I also remember my birthday party. It was at the skating rink. I remember she had a beautiful curly, short black wig she wore. It was the only time she had ever had curly hair. She smiled a lot. At least with me she did. She was strong. She kept going.

Then, I remember growing up, going out on my own and becoming a mother. She was there the night before I delivered my first child. She would hold her hand on my swollen belly and tell me when I was having contractions. She was always the one I would call. Every day….for no reason…or for any reason…she was there.

I remember when she was diagnosed with cancer again. She didn’t want the treatment. She got so sick the first time….and she couldn’t do it again. I, selfishly, didn’t “get it”. I didn’t agree. I didn’t understand why she wouldn’t fight. She had kids, grandkids to fight for. I didn’t agree with her at all……but it wasn’t my choice. She was only a little over a year older than I am right now. And I can honestly say….as I sit here typing….I finally understand. I’m not saying I could agree….but I finally understand. The fear of the past…sometimes overtakes the reasoning of the now. We let it grip us and hold us in a way that makes us feel utterly terrified. I get that now.

After this diagnosis and surgery, they told her it will come back. They told her when it came back, it would be fatal. They couldn’t tell us when…but they did tell us where. And sure enough, two years later…..it was back.

This time, something in her had changed. Because she fought it! She fought hard. During this time I was going through a hard time. I had moved in with mom and dad….the boys and I…..when she was first diagnosed. I watched her fight. I watched her resolve to win. I watched her strength.

I saw her in a new light. I saw her as a fighter. She never stopped working….even when she was so sick. She never gave up.

Then, when the boys died, she checked herself out of the hospital so she could be at home when I got there. I remember laying with my head on her lap and her just rubbing my hair while I cried. I remember laying in her bed with her and just being with her. She was there for me. She was fighting for me.

Over that summer mom and I talked so much more than we ever had. Yes, we talked before….but this was about so much more. We talked about us. Our family. God. Heaven. We mended every fence we had broken. We spoke words that needed to be spoken. We also just spent some time in silence just being with each other.

I remember the day she called to tell me the cancer had moved to her brain. She knew this was truly the beginning of the end for her. She wanted to keep fighting but she also wanted to be realistic. She asked me to bring a pen and paper to the hospital. When I arrived we hugged and cried for a bit. But then she asked me to get the pad of paper and pen out. She apologized first, but then asked me to help her plan her funeral. She wanted to take that burden off my father…but she also wanted what she wanted! 😉 As I sat and did that with her, for her, we bonded even more. I was overwhelmed at how strong she was….at how strong she had always been.

She worked from then, the first part of July, up to her birthday. She finally received her medical retirement. She knew my dad would be taken care of. I don’t remember the day exactly….but it was the week after her birthday…..I saw it in her eyes. She was tired. She was tired of fighting. She was worn out. She had accomplished all God put her here to accomplish. She had fought and survived well past what the doctors had expected. She stayed with us….until each of us…in our own ways knew it was better for her to experience the joys of heaven instead of the pain of this life.

The night she left us…..she looked at me….and I remember saying I love you that one last time. I remember telling her it was okay …… she could go. We didn’t want her to hurt any more. She did just that…but waited until we were all there in the room…..loving her…before she did.

So, Happy Birthday Momma! Here is to all the memories I have tucked in my heart of you!
I thank God for giving me the wisdom to know…..if it weren’t for some of the things in my life I used to see as hard times and difficulties, I wouldn’t have been able to be as strong as I am today.

A huge part of who I am is because of you. I am strong and keep forging ahead…because I saw you do the same. I am strong and won’t give up….because I watched you do the same. I am motherly and protective…..because I watched you be the same way. I “kill them with kindness” because I will never forget your teachings! 😉

I am so glad, on this date, back in 1946…in Prague, Oklahoma……you were born to be my mom!
Until we meet again! ~rrb

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