My mom was about 15 months old at the time this picture was taken. She is being held by one of her older sisters.
My mother's name was Alice Doreen. Her family called her 'Addie' when she was a little girl.
My family at our wedding...August 1990. My mom was such a talented seamstress! She sewed her own dress she is wearing, my sister's matron of honor dress, my niece's sweet little pink dress - and together my mom & I made my wedding dress.
I've been thinking a lot about my mom today. If she were alive, we would be celebrating her 66th birthday on this day...wow! My mom died of breast cancer about 3 months shy of her 50th birthday. Some days it seems like yesterday that she died; other days it seems like a lifetime ago. But the memories of Mom live on so strongly in my heart. I miss her so much.
Especially as I am now at the beginning of my own cancer journey. There are so many things I wish I could ask her. You know, all of these years, this question was at the back of my mind...'Will I have cancer someday?' It wasn't like I lived in fear of it. That thought didn't consume my everyday life. No, it was just something that I sometimes wondered. My mom was such a great example of someone facing a difficult situation and trying to make the best of it. She didn't complain, even when she was in the greatest pain. I just remember her crying out to the Lord at those times, asking Him to help her. She didn't blame anyone because she had cancer; in my opinion, she just handled it with as much grace, class and style as she possibly could. I only hope I can do the same.
My mom had quite a bit of knowledge about cancer and I sometimes think that made it worse for her...to know every step of the journey she would be facing. You see, she was a nurse on the cancer floor for almost 24 years and was forced to medically retire after her diagnosis at age 45. The nurturing way she took care of patients was very evident at her funeral - many family members of patients who had passed away came to pay their respects and mentioned how my mom had eased some of their stress with her gentle, caring nature and sincere concern for their loved one.
The one thing my mom always did was make one feel SO special! She loved to give cards of encouragement and hand-make gifts for others. She was a talented cross-stitcher (in addition to being a gifted seamstress) and so many people had the pleasure of receiving framed cross-stitch pictures from her that she had put much time & love into. (Bobby & I received the 'Precious Moments' bride & groom as a wedding gift...my mom even changed the groom's eyes to the light blue color of Bobby's!) On birthdays - no matter how old you were - there was always a simple meal with cake, ice cream and a nice gift. I will always remember that; always. I do try to follow that same tradition. The example of my mom doing that just goes to show that you don't need a lot of money to make someone feel like they're extraordinarily special!
As I've shared in previous posts about my mom, I miss her laugh most of all. Do you know someone who has a hearty contagious laugh that beckons you to join in the fun? That's how my mom's laugh was. She would throw her head back and just laugh! It wasn't a giggle. No, it was like a silly, can't-help-but-laugh, gotta-laugh-with-her kinda laugh! It was very infectious and a precious gift to all who knew her. We were so very blessed and I look forward to reuniting with my mom someday again in heaven!
I thank my God upon every remembrance of you! Philippians 1:3