Saturday, April 16, 2011

~ Eight Years Ago ~

Eight years ago today I received a phone call from the nurse at 5:30 a.m. stating that my mother had just passed away. She had been in a nursing home for a very long time and had severe health problems. This was truly a blessing for her...and we had expected it for a long time. We had been told by Drs several times that it was iminent, however, she always rallied. It was still a shock, an ending and, in the days to come, the feeling of being an orphan overcame me.  My step-dad passed away quite suddenly of an aneurysm when I was 14 and my brother was 9. My dad passed away suddenly in 1983 of a heart attack. Those were shocks indeed but, in my humble opinion, so much better than watching the deterioration of my mother. 

She was an extremely strong person and had faced many challenges throughout her lifetime. She was in the "middle" of a family of 9 siblings and given the name of Genevieve. I always loved that name!  In later years, I teased her and called her "Ginny" at times. I was the only child born while she and my dad were married. Unfortunately, he had an affair while my mother was pregnant with me and they separated when I was 6 weeks old and my mother found out.  At that time, we went to live with her parents. We were there for 2-1/2 years...until she married my step-dad. I did NOT want to leave!  I honestly don't remember my grandfather as he passed away 6 months after we moved, however, I had an extremely close and wonderful relationship with my grandmother, "Mama", until she passed away in 1966. I think of her constantly. We had such a special bond!

My brother was born when I was 5-1/2 and I was so mad!  LOL  I don't think they even thought to discuss this impending birth with me....things were so different back then. They just brought him home from the hospital and said "You have a baby brother."  Just remember...I had been the only child up until this event. :-)  He's a wonderful person and I adore him!

My mother and I did not have the "perfect" relationship at all. I always needed an emotional bond with her like I had with Mama but it didn't happen. She was always, always "busy" ~ washing, ironing, cleaning, cooking, polishing, shining, name it. She was very hard on me and I always wondered if it was misplaced anger due to my dad. I had more of his outgoing personality and mischievious nature too. :-)  I asked about this in later years but she always denied that I was treated differently than my brother.  Not true!

She went to work outside the home for the first time after my step-dad passed away.  We didn't have a lot compared to many families, however, we had a nice home which was impeccably clean (sterile is the word!). My mother was an incredible cook and between her and all my aunts, I started my attempts at cooking around the age of 8. I'm so glad!

A friend of her's encouraged her to go back to school for certifications for nursing home administration. She was quite successful and was Administrator of the nursing home where she lived after her health began to deteriorate. We were so fortunate because they took such good care of her!  She was given a private room and we were able to move some of her furniture there as well as painting, hanging drapes, etc.  There are no words to express how wonderful it was to have her safe and well cared for!

She was always quite active in the community and very involved in her church. Her first love was for her Lord, then family and friends. I know that she has probably exhausted everyone in Heaven with all her cleaning & polishing!  :-)  As I stated earlier, it was so difficult to see her when her body was so frail and she didn't know us. I always wondered why God allowed this to continue. I know, I know...we're not supposed to question "why" but I did. She passed away on Wed morning and Easter was the following weekend. She LOVED Easter!  Also, my son & his family were living near Houston at that time and my nephew & his wife were in PA.  They were all coming here for Easter and everyone would be together for the first time in awhile. I really think that she and God decided to make it easy for everyone. :-)  

If you did read all the way through, thank you!  I just felt that I needed to write this today. She loved pink roses and these are for Ginny with much love ~


  1. Pat that was very touching, and yes I read through the whole thing! You write very nicely. Your Gram was a very special lady too...I have the best memories of my Grandparents and think of them every single day since they have been gone. They left their mark on me for sure. Hey girl, today is your lucky day too:) Go to my blog.

  2. What a beautiful post, Pat. You blessed my heart this morning in sharing your memories. I really enjoyed learning more about you and your life. Thank you so much for sharing this with us today. Blessings to you today, sweet friend! *hugs*

  3. Oh Pat, such a touching post. I read every word of it! You lived through some very hard times as a young child, losing your loved ones. It never ceases to amaze me how truly strong our bodies are, as in your mom living with severe health problems.
    My mom passed away at age 52....I was 26 and remember feeling that I had to become an adult then... I wasn't ready!
    The pink roses are so very pretty!

  4. This was a very sweet, straight from your heart post and I enjoyed every minute of it...even while getting choked up. I so identify with you in many ways. When I wanted my mom's love or attention, she always seemed to be cleaning or with my siblings. Now I realize how hard it was for her to take care of 7 of us with my father working 2 jobs. Cleaning was her way of making up for not having the good china and silver.

    Ironically, since my Dad passed away in December, I don't feel orphaned, I feel content that they are together once again. I will survive.

    Hope you are having a good weekend, Pat.


  5. You post was very touching. I read it all and it was nice to know your story. I lost both my parents 6 years ago while I was pregnat with my first child. I really miss them alot.
    Thanks for sharing your memories with us and also thank you for stopping by my blog today.

  6. Pat- Your relationship with your mother was very much like my own...and her Mother was a wonderful Gramma to me. My only brother was born when I was 4 and there was a huge difference in the way we were treated. I know it but I don't think he ever did. My mother also suffered from dementia and ended up in a nursing home for the last few years of her life.

    We have walked some of the same life paths together, you and I. Hugs-Diana

  7. Pat- thank you for sharing this part of your life with us, it was very touching.

    This post tonight makes me want to wake my daughter up right now to give her a big hug, and then call my Gram. ;)

  8. What a nice post! It reminds me that I need to spend more time with my own mom.

  9. I have a lump in my throat from your lovely words. Each person is impacted differently by our mother's influence. I am blessed with a wonderful mom (OK I am not her favorite of six kids--but she does make me feel special). I hope I am the type of mother like your grandmother...something you are reminding me to strive for. Thank you.

  10. I am just catching up and I'm glad I got to read more of your story. You have had your share of loss...but it sounds as if there were good memories too. You were so lucky she was in a good place. I'm learning that they aren't all so great. I do know that as hard as it has been at our house the past 11 months, both of our mothers went from healthy to gone in a matter of weeks...and we count our blessings for that.

    I enjoyed learning more about Ginny and you too.

  11. Pat, I just found your blog and read your story with your mom and was very touched with it. I am a only child and had my mom till she was 95, how lucky can I be. Dad passed away at age 83. She also was in a convalescent home and they called me at 4:00am to tell me she was gone, it's an awful phone call. Although we were expecting it, still very upsetting. I send you many blessings today and always, I am now following you....Hugs,Lu


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