Tuesday, February 24, 2009


It is hard to believe that my Mother has been gone for a year today. I will never forget the day she passed away. It was a very hard thing for her family to endure but knowing she is in Heaven with Jesus makes it easier. She is happy in the glory of our Lord. It's her family left here on earth that suffers the void left now that she is gone.

I want to share some memories of her with you.

She married my Father when she was 21 years old. She met him at a Marine Base in Jersey City, New Jersey as he was working at the gate there and she was going to a dance at the Armory one evening with a girlfriend and was to meet her date there. She and a friend had taken jobs there in Jersey City on the Marine base picking up parts of wrecked planes to be repaired.

She told me as she passed through the gate my Father gave out a wolf call that everyone could hear. When his shift was over he found her at the dance and even though she had another date he convinced her that she needed to be with him. So to make a long story short she left with him and they dated for several months and she had to come back to Idaho where she was from and he followed her. They married and actually moved back to New Jersey after I was born and lived there for 2 years. We moved back to Nampa Idaho when I was 2 1/2 years old.

Mom and Daddy raised chickens on a rented farm while my Father drove a logging truck and was a paint and body man for Chrysler for years. She used to catch the chickens and wring their necks to kill them and then chop their heads off and it scared me because sometimes the chicken would take off running without a head! She would dunk them in a bucket of boiling water to prepare the feathers to be removed and then she would clean them at the kitchen sink. It was always a treat for me to watch her clean the gizzard. It was fascinating.

She would make cookies and use a special cookie cutter. The kind that you squeeze the dough through. That was special for me. When she could afford it she would make homemade doughnuts and doughnut holes were my favorite. I ate them all once and made myself sick. I don't like them much now.

She would bake a pie and always make me a cinnamon crisp with the left over dough. Golly, I miss those days.

My Father as you may remember was in five major battles during WWII and he suffered from "shell shock" and had a weakened heart caused by malaria that he contacted while fighting in the jungles of Guam. He was actually missing in action and was hospitalized in New Zealand for 9 months

At the age of 34 years old his weakened heart caused him to have congestive heart failure and he had a heart attack and passed away . My Mother was only 32 years old and left to raise me age 7 and my younger brother age 3 with no Father.

We moved to our Auntie Maxine's farm where she had an apartment upstairs for us to live in for awhile.
Mom had a friend that offered to sell her a house at a reasonable price of...$1500.00!

She saved for the down payment and soon we were living in our own place. My brother and I shared a bedroom having bunk beds. I took the bottom bunk and my brother took the top. I remember he fell out of it one night while fooling around instead of sleeping and cut his lip really bad on a toy tin telephone that was on the night stand next to the bed.

She worked hard all of her life. She worked her way through high school cooking and taking care of a family in town who became life long friends and the children of that family attended her funeral. She cleaned floors at the local hospital and then became a nurses aide there working at night so she could be home with us during the days. She slept while we were at school and always had a warm meal ready for us when we came home. We didn't want for anything. We may have had handmade or hand-me-down clothes or second hand items but we were fine.

I remember Christmas when I was 10 years old, I wanted a bike so bad so my dear Mother got together enough money to buy a second hand bike and she spent all night painting it for me so I would have a shinny blue bike under the tree when I woke up.

One winter it was very cold and we had oil heating and run out of oil in the middle of the night and she hung up blankets in the kitchen door and turned on the electric oven so we would be warm until morning so she could get more oil.

She did what she had to do to make sure her children were cared for and loved.

She met a nice man 5 years after my Father passed away and talked to my brother and I about how we liked this man. It was important because he had asked her to marry him. They married and had a baby boy so now I had two brothers.

In later years my step Father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and she was there right by his side all the way. She cared for him as he deteriorated more each year. He had a gambling problem and over the years with his Alzheimer's he lost all of their money. They had moved from a 3 acre place in the country to a small mobile home in town just before he was diagnosed. After a few years they sold that place and moved to an assisted living facility due to her diabetes and his Alzheimer's. He passed away the very evening they moved in there. He was sitting by her bed in his chair and she found him the next morning.

She didn't like it there and thought she wanted to be in a different place. A place more private and more like an apartment. So at my step Father's funeral my brothers and I got her on a waiting list at a retirement home. She moved in about 6 months later and was content in her little place. It was small but it was okay with her and had everything she needed. She seemed to be happy there.

She had nothing when she passed away. It was so sad to go through her belongings and see that she truly had NOTHING.

My Mother was such a giving person and loved her Children and Grand and Great Grand Children so much. I don't know what I would have done without her while I worked as a young Mother. She worked nights and I worked afternoons so she would care for my boys until their Father got off work. There were many times we had no money to buy food so she would come over and bring a sack full of things like bread, peanut butter and jelly and soup.

One Christmas my husband was out of work and we had no money for a tree so here comes my Mother with a tree and all the fixin's for a Christmas dinner and also gifts for the boys to put under the tree.

She was loved by so many but never thought people liked her. She would have been surprised to see the church FULL of people at her funeral.

This is her oldest friend Hilma at her 80th Birthday Party in 2004. Hilma was with my Mother when my Father passed away.

I have lots of wonderful memories of my Mother and I will hold on to them until I can see her again in Heaven.

I miss you Mom but I am content that you are in a better place and at peace with no pain, diabetes, blindness or worries and that I will see you again in Heaven.

The Lord is my Sheppard, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me, in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Psalm 23:2


Lydia said...

What a beautiful tribute to your beautiful, loving and hard working Mom, Patti. My Mom also made cinnamon scrap cookies from the left over pie dough:)

My Dad taught her how to make apple pie(he was American born, she from Byelo-Russe). We LOVED my Mom's apple pie. We would rate them, but they were always good! My brother's would get them when coming home for visits. My sister and I 'd ask why the guys warranted the pies- jokingly:0. She didn't see them much when they travelled around in the military.

Your heart is filled with so much love. How lucky you are to have had such loving and giving parents.:) Lydia ...your children, grandchildren, great-grand-children... are then also blessed:)

Debbie said...

Oh Patti. Tears are flowing. I can't believe it's been a year. I also can't believe the similarities with your upbringing and mine. My Mom and yours were two strong women who survived, no matter what the obstacle. It was just Mom, Me and my brother. We even ran out of heating oil and stayed warm the same way! (We had a door in the kitchen)

Reading this brought so many memories back of my Mom and my childhood. We were very blessed, sweetie :)

((Big hugs))

Anonymous said...

What a lovely tribute to your Dear Mother. How special.
Coming from a family of nine, I can relate to so much of what went on .. but We each have a "special" Mom who we can be so thankful for..
It is so nice that you did this.. and also helps with "healthy grieving" Patti..
Love and Hugs,
Darlene xo

Mica said...

Oh Mama I can't believe it either !!! I feel blessed to have known your Mom ( Gramma Grape) I think of her often too!! We all do. Sure do miss her. This was a beautiful post tributed to a wonderful person. I love the picture you did on the top with her on it...photoshop??? Love ya and so glad we are talking every week....Love ya, Mica

Bev said...

Yes, my dearest friend you've brought tears to my eyes as I read this awesome tribute to your loving mom and dad. Our lives differ only that my dad was the one to do the baking and caning. He was the one to curl my hair. You are so lucky to have had a mom who showed her love in many ways...a year isn't very long...and knowing she's in heaven makes all the difference doesn't it?? (((gentle hugs sweetie))) I know you will keep those special memories close till you see her again!!!

QueenBe said...

Those are some wonderful memories, Patti. I too, am missing my Mother more than I can say, and today is her birthday. It's something you never quite get over, I guess. Thanks for making me smile.

Managing Life and Art.... said...

Patti, I am touched by your tribute to your Mama. I don't want to imagine life without my sweet Mama. I lost my Dad almost 5 years ago but the ache in my heart still feels brand new. My dad accepted the Lord twice in his life, the last was while terminally ill in the hospital. To know that when he passed, he would be saved and in the arms of Jesus is all I ever wanted. That is a blessing and a gift, but I miss him terribly - so I do know how you feel. Praise almighty God, my mother is saved and santified! I do all that I can to show her how much I love her. I wish that I had done more for my Dad in that regard.
God Bless you Patti. Hugz, Your art pal,


Very touching story about your Mom & Dad. What a brave and loving person she was.Always wonderful to have these great memories that are so dear. No wonder you are such a awesome lady, YOU were raised by the best Mom a girl could have, she taught you well. Please know that I understand your pain and deep hurt of not having MOMA around, something we never get over but I totally agree with you Patti, someday we will all be reunited with are loved one's in glories heaven. Thanks for sharing this loving and wonderful story.
Hugs and love to you always.....

kimberly said...

a beautiful tribute to a beautiful person, patti....brings tears to my eyes....as i have lost my mom too, and know how that feels.....your mother was truly a loving, giving, caring woman....and anyone who knew her would have been blessed it seems.

Jann said...

What a beautiful post! I love the photo of your mother when she was young--what a pretty, pretty girl she was! And she looks beautiful, also, in later photos, like she just has the nicest personality! I enjoyed reading your tribute to your mom, and loved that you shared such special memories with all of us. Interesting that you printed the 23rd Psalm--I didn't know this until my father was dying, but that was his very favorite prayer. I have prayed it every day since. Blessings to you, Patti--Love, Jann

mollye self said...

Oh my sweet Patti, What a poignant and beautiful story of your Momma. I swear I feel as though I know her. She would be so very proud of you. I miss my Momma too although she has been gone since Thanksgiving of 1988 at the age of 62! I also wrote a few things about her and my Dad on my Shezadoozey website. It helps to keep their memories alive by writing about them. Take care hon. Peace and hugs, Mollye