Saturday, September 13, 2008

Remembering Someone Special...

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! 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 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 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


  1. Oh Michelle, that was such a lovely tribute to your Mom. She sounds like such a special lady, no wonder you miss her so much. I have to say, though, after reading everything it became very obvious to me that she is still here in a way, because SHE LIVES IN YOU!! She has passed down so many of her wonderful qualities to you and you will do the same with your children. She has created an amazing legacy ~ wish I could have known her.

  2. What an amazing tribute to your mom, Michelle. She would be tickled pink to read it herself! Even though she's gone...she's NOT forgotten...she'is in your heart and mind.

    ~Blessings sweet friend,

  3. Oh Michelle...what a wonderful post. It truly brought tears to my eye. My mom sounds like she was such a loving and caring person...just like you. I miss my mom too..and I think a lot of whether I'll get alzheimer's too. They are watching over us and telling us to be strong.

    Have a great weekend..and don't work too hard packing!


  4. Hi Michelle,
    I see where you get your Loving heart ,from your mom . She was a special lady!
    Hope you have agreat day!

  5. Michelle,
    That was a tender & lovely tribute
    for a mother who was very loved. It sounds like she lived her life in service of others and loved and trusted the Lord. She sounded like a angel in caring for her cancer patients. Her love and legacy of goodness does live on in her precious posterity.
    In the beautiful poem your daughter wrote to you, in the service of her daughter Lisa, and in the goodness you share with others and on and on.
    Good Luck packing and hope you enjoy some fun moments and Laugh with your sweet sister, like your mom would as you pack and prepare for your move.
    Blessings for a good weekend,

  6. Wow was that beautiful. She would be very proud. I read that with eyes filled with tears. You must get your loving & compassionate heart from her.

    As you described her laugh, I could not help but start smiling. Aren't those the best laughs?

    She has left a legacy for sure.

    Love to you-

  7. Michelle, What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman. She was so talented. It is really special that the two of you made your own wedding dress. It is very elegant. You look so gorgeous in it. I'm so sorry you do not have your mother with you right now.

    Growing older, I've noticed has many sorrows along with the joys. I guess that's just life, the way God set up earth. I believe each new problem is another opportunity for our faith to be exercised. I just watched a Joni Erickson dvd, in which she stated that our earth is wired for things to go wrong. We either choose to turn to God or plow through on our own. When we choose God, He is right there with us helping us through and building our faith. When we ignore Him and try on our own power, satan makes us feel defeated. God is right there to love and encourage us when we finally turn back to Him.

    I was thinking that I do have my mother here on earth, but not really. She is able to speak with me, and occasionally get together, but on a regular basis we cannot do things anymore. She is very frail and weak. She is nearly an invalid. I'm sad for her and sad that I don't have a mom to go shopping and lunch with. I am very thankful I can still speak and ask questions. I'm sorry, Michelle, I'm writing a book here.

    Mainly, I just want to say, your mother was so special and I am sorry you don't have her with you right now. Hugs and prayers, Kathi ps also, prayers for you son.

  8. Oh Michelle, this is so sad. Your mother was beautiful and she sounds like she was a wonderful mom and you had a great relationship. I am sorry for your loss.

    Love, Sharon


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