Showing posts with label tribute. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tribute. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Reminiscing 70+ years part 3

               At the time we had mom's party I had not yet started my blog nor do I think I had started reading Corey's.  Perhaps I did and I just don't remember.  He hasn't posted for a while, and so I haven't looked at his blog page much the last year and a half.  I did open his blog page yesterday to see if he had mentioned the event or what he said about it - but I couldn't find anything - not at the time the event took place anyway.  He had his own personal trial he was dealing with.  I don't know if he ever got around to reminiscing the events that took place that summer my mom turned 70. 
               He gave mom a copy of the list he had created, but not the stories he had shared at the party as he paid her tribute and entertained those who came; thus I will share his list and my own examples as I can remember them.

70 Things I Love About My Mother

1.      She's always supported my career and seen just about every show I've done.
2.      She encouraged me to serve a mission.
3.      She loves me just for who I am.
4.      She loves to play games.

                                As I hadn't started my blog until the last year my mom lived in my childhood house, I hadn't recorded much pre-dementia.  Playing games with my family was just a part of life - I thought all families did it. 
                               Mom and dad had taught Patrick and me how to play a card game called 500 which I mention here.  We would play board games.  I remember one time when the power had gone out, we played a game called SKUNK; we played by Candle light.  Even after daddy's health deteriorated, we'd continue playing games.  There was one called Encore which is a singing game.  Dad had had a series of strokes and it had become difficult for him to get the words out of his mouth, but you could see him light up, and he would think of a song, and it didn't matter which team's turn it was or how long he took - we allowed him to provide an answer and would give it to whatever team's turn  it was to play.
                               Mom didn't seem so competitive as a team player, but boy, she was competitive when it was player against player.  Corey and I were her rivals.  She would play all games with all people, but there were specifics that I talked about in this post.

5.      She's a worry-wart.
6.      We love to go to lunch together.

                                            Mom enjoyed food and loved having the company of her children. More times than not it would be just her and only one child.  I remember her telling me about going to the mall when Patrick was working at one of those gift cheese stores.  She would stop by and ask him to go to lunch and one day asked if that embarrassed him as he was having lunch with his mom.  He told her that some of his co-workers were actually jealous about it.  All of us would always have good discussions with mom when we would go out to eat.

7.      She supported my educational pursuits.

                               Mom helped each of us with our education, but we all seemed to notice it the most with Kayla who really struggled in school.  Her mind was much slower than any of mom's other children or Kayla's peers.  She required extra attention for focusing and it did not help matters that the phone was always ringing off the hook as her friends would constantly call or come over.  Thus mom removed Kayla from the neighborhood environment for a couple of hours each week, possibly every day . .  I can't remember. 

                During the summer mom would take Kayla to a local drive-in for breakfast and they would hang-out for the required time that mom had set up to help Kayla understand whatever subject that Kayla was expected to understand.  She was so diligent in making sure that Kayla received a proper education.  I have always admired that

 8.      She helped me get my first job.

                            As I had mentioned in this post: except for dad, all of my family had worked at Snelgrove's Ice Cream Store - not at the same time, mind you.  Patrick and I had both started earning wages at age 13 or 14 with paper routes, but for Kayla and Corey, Snelgroves was a first job. 

 9.      She instilled good work ethic in me.
10.    She instilled in me an appreciation of theatre and movies.
11.    She instilled in me an appreciation for reading.

                                                Both my mom and Corey were avid readers.  They could have three or four books read before I had even completed one.  I do enjoy reading.  It just takes me a lot longer.
                                             Mom was reading books again while in assisted living.  She could never tell you what she was reading, but we do know she did read.

 12.    She read stories when I was young.
                                             She also read to/with the grandkids

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Reminiscing 70+ years part 1

            I enjoy looking at the memories that facebook reminds me for each day.  The thing I enjoy most is reading comments from friends who have since passed away - like yesterday morning for instance, I was reading thoughts to wish my husband and I "Happy Wedding Anniversary" for almost each year I'd been on facebook.  The last comment I read was from my mom.  I think that's cool.

            Mom was not an avid facebook user.  She seemed to allow herself to get flustered with modern technology.  The year I started my facebook account was also the first year her children all wondered if there was some instability happening with mom's mind.  I don't know if that was the first year she'd been tested for Alzheimer's.  I do know she was tested at least twice, but the results didn't show Alzheimer's - but she was in the early stages of dementia.  Many people assume they are the same thing as Alzheimer's is a form of dementia.  I personally don't understand the difference, but here's how it was explained to me:  Dementia is like a wheel and Alzheimer's is just one spoke on the wheel -  

thus everybody that has Alzheimer's has dementia, but not everyone with dementia has  Alzheimer's.  I have never heard any other names to refer to dementia except for Alzheimer's.

            Corey is more well read on the subject than any of the rest of us are - plus he has friends who had been schooled in the subject.  There are seven stages one goes through when he or she has dementia.  My mom passed away during stage five - which provided us with fun memories.  I have always been grateful that none of us had to see her at stage seven.  

            My mom turned 70 the summer of 2009.  Sunny had suggested doing a tribute themed party for her.  We would invite everybody in the ward, everybody she had ever worked with, everybody that we could remember she had known.  I made up some fliers - I don't even know how many.  I had mailed about half, emailed a few and hand delivered quite the rest.

            A neighbor had called me to ask if watch her girl who had been in pre-school with Jenna.  I told her that I had to run some errands, but if she was okay with it, I could take Amber with me.  That actually turned out to be an awesome blessing for me, as I didn't even have to stop the motor on the car.  I would hand the fliers to the girls, tell them which houses to leave them at, and made a game of it.  I think I must have picked a day that my mom was not home as we were able to hit all the houses in her neighborhood without having met her.

            When I was down to my last six invites, I asked one of the neighbors if the girls could play in her yard until I came back.  As it turned out, the neighbor was doing some gardening and the girls volunteered to assist.  The neighbor was disgusted by the amount of snails that she'd come across while gardening. Jenna and Amber would eagerly pick them up and play with them.  They each had three snails on the table when I returned.  They were watching them "race". 

They wanted to keep the snails but I told them that snails were not allowed to ride in the car.  The neighbor put them in the garbage can after we left.

            We encouraged those who couldn't attend mom's party to send a letter which might include any memories they had of mom.  Sunny provided paper and pens for those who wished to write a letter during the party.  We held it at Patrick and Sunny's house.  Their children had made a giant banner and hung it over their garage. The birthday party was great!  Mom was certainly surprised.

            Corey had a special tribute to share and read a list of 70 things he loves about mom.  He read the list of simple words or phrases, but would pause to relate an experience of why a certain thing had made it to the list.  It was an awesome program.  Wonderful memories.  Enjoyable night.

            All of her children took pictures, and Bill asked us to send in what we had and he would put ALL of our pictures on one disk. We started a scrapbook  for my mom to put the cards and letters and I added the pictures.  I had created 15 pages on the computer, but had added handmade pages with photographs and incorporated them with the letters - more than 65 pages total.

            I don't know how often she looked at it.  We brought it to her after we had moved her to assisted living.  I pasted this to the top of it: 

            I thought if she looked at it every day, she wouldn't feel so alone (not that she was, but before she met Harold, she often felt that she'd been forgotten) but she kept it in a drawer - which defeated the purpose.

            I'd forgotten that she had passed away the day after my 12th wedding anniversary date to Roland - or that she was buried the day before dad's birthday (which he didn't seem much for celebrating on earth - probably not in heaven;  though I'm certain that their reunion was a great birthday gift)

Friday, January 30, 2015

Say “Hi” to Mom and Dad for me

Shilo is a sweet dog
I refer to him as “Highness”
In my posts
He was old when we got him
Loved to dig in the back yard
And escape.
I thought it odd that
The animal shelter had not
Collected him

Favorite activities:
Go for walks
And sleep

Picky Eater. 
He’s always been a picky eater
Since we’ve had him
As I mentioned in my blog before
I think his owner before us
Tied a bib around his neck
And let him sit at the dinner table
       With her

Jenna and I would take him on long walks
Or else I would put him in the car
And walk him around
After I dropped off Jenna

He could jump onto the couch
And into the car – but age has slowed him down

He stopped digging
At least two summers ago
He needs assistance climbing on anything
                                    Higher than he is
He tires a lot more easily
On our much shorter walks
He’s wheezy and his nose is dry
                                    He hasn’t eaten for three days

There isn’t a hospice for dogs.
I don’t know how miserable he is
I can only guess.

Today Roland will take him
To the animal shelter
To put him down
To send him over to where
Mom and Dad are. 
Maybe Harold will have
A treat for him. 
Harold loved
Giving treats to the resident dog
At the assisted living
I only hope Shilo isn’t as picky
And accepts Harold’s treat.

We will all miss you, Shilo.
I hope you will be happy and active
                                    On the other side

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Remembering Mom

         It was in January of 2012 that my sibs and I worked together with my niece and her husband to put ourselves on a schedule so that someone would always be at home with my mom – which unfortunately did not always work out.

         We would keep in touch by phone and sending the same email to our group so that we could all kind of keep track of what was going on.  It wasn’t until November when Nate decided to create a group page on facebook.  He gave it the name “Operation Grandma Care”.  We started out with Six members and gradually we became Nine.

         The site was up for less than three months before we had moved my mom into assisted living. I don’t know when Nate removed himself from the group but it couldn’t have been more than eight months after he’d created the site.  Nevertheless the seven of us that remained continued to keep tabs on one another, supply information and make inquiries. 

         Pictures we posted and Sunny even posted a video which shows my mom singing three songs. What a treasure that is!  I am so grateful to Nate for having created the site for us.

         After my mom passed away less than five months ago, we decided we would keep the site but we changed the name.  Well, Kayla did.  Operation was dropped and an S was added to make “Grandma Cares”  It’s funny that the site contains only one grandchild. 
         We kept it in order to share stories and photos and memories of mom but also of dad and our family.  Corey will periodically post discoveries he has made while going through her journals. Yesterday I posted one of Jenna’s favorite stories that only Patrick and I had experienced.  (Fortunately for Corey and Kayla they both missed out)

         True story: In searching for creative ways to economize, Salt Lake Tribune had a featured area of suggestions and recipes.  My mom tried one called “Peanut Butter Casserole”  the very idea of putting tomatoes, onions and peanut butter together would make my nose turn – but now that I’ve tasted it, I can honestly say the idea makes me puke.

         Mom decided to go heavy on the peanut butter – which I have no way of knowing weather it improved or hindered the taste.  My brother Patrick thought it was the grossest thing ever.  He had had only one bite and figured out what the ingredients were and pulled away from the table as though he had been bitten. 

         I remember finding the recipe that mom had so carefully cut out of the paper.  I tore it to bits and distributed only a few pieces into each trash can we had in the house.  Mom wasn’t good at puzzles.  She would never be able to put it back together if she wanted to.  But she too, admitted it was bad.

         I didn’t realize until my neighbor commented on my post that she too had tortured her family with the yucky excuse for a meal.  She, too, can testify to its awfulness.  Now we can all laugh at the experience.

         Thanks again, Nate, for creating the site for us.  We do have another site with all of our children to inform them of events taking place currently.  But it’s fun to have a “Grandma Cares” site for memories

Friday, January 24, 2014

What's in a Name?

I recall a former bishop who has six children – each given a name or names after people that this bishop and his wife had crossed paths with.  I had actually met the two men whom their youngest had been named after.  I was just a youth when one of the men passed, but I’m actually good friends with the man who is living.  What an honor the bishop’s youngest should feel to share a name with such a marvelous man, as I’m certain each individual involved with the lives of their family.

My mom had been given one of those feminized masculine names (e.g. Josephine, Roberta, Patricia, Geraldine, Georgette . . .), which she didn’t particularly care for. It was three syllables long and as she learned to write was too long of a name to fit on the top line of any school paper.

It wasn’t until high school when she decided to go by her unisex nickname (e.g. Joey for Josephine, Bobby for Roberta, Pat for Patricia, etc.) but still did not care for the name. 

After Corey had finished his mission, my mom went to Europe to tour with him before he returned back to the states.  Corey introduced her to several people he had served with.  One was a man whose wife was expecting a child.  They wanted to name the baby after Corey (who’s given name could be feminized quite easily) but said that if they were to have a girl that they would name the baby after my mom.  I think she may have been flattered in a way, but hoped the couple would have a boy, as she was not fond of her name – though she did like the way her name was pronounced by the expecting father.  They ended up giving birth to a baby girl whom they named after my mother.

There are several names now adays that one may associate with being feminine or being masculine that eventually end up on the unisex list.  We would have named Jenna after my father had she been a boy but Roland wouldn’t go for the name for a girl – nor did I know how to feminize it though I had a few suggestions – nothing really felt right.

I really did like the name Jenna – but that’s the only thought that was put into it.  I named her that because I liked the name.  That was it.  I did give her my maiden name as a middle name.  This I did for three reasons:

1)             I could honor my dad with his last name and have a piece of me in there as well
2)             If something should ever happen to me and Roland, it was decided that my family would continue raising Jenna (and the boys as needed) and I wanted her to have the name for family connection
3)              My maiden name isn’t Cannon.  It’s less common (about the 975th most common name) while Roland’s last name is very common (65th most common at the time) and to avoid financial problems and “proof of identity” that may occur later on, I gave her an identity that should separate her from pretty much everybody else on the planet.

Had I thought about it, I may have named her after Roland’s late wife.  But it really didn’t even occur to me until my sister Kayla was pregnant with her first child.

Through inspiration, Kayla had already suggested to Bill that they should name their first daughter after his late wife.  And thus Anna was named after Annaleigh.  Had she been a boy there was a name reserved that has become tradition for Bill’s side of the first name for I don’t know how many generations. But the boy would go by whatever middle name his parents gave him.  Thus two years later the names were given to my (currently) youngest nephew.  The name he goes by is the first name of my father.

Now pregnant with their third child, they decided to name him/her after mom though the spelling would be different.  I can’t help but believe, though mom was not fond of her name, that she would be honored, as the child should be for being named after such an awesome woman. 

Here is another interesting situation that has occurred in my family:  My maternal grandmother is the oldest of three.  She has two brothers.  Girl, boy, boy.  My mom is the oldest of three children.  She has two brothers.  Girl, boy, boy.  I am the oldest.  I have two brothers.  Girl, boy, boy, girl
My brother Patrick and his wife were the first to provide my mom with grandchildren.  There eldest is a girl.  She has two brothers.  Girl, boy, boy, girl.  I had told Kayla that her first-born would be a girl.  Mine was.  Mom’s was.  Patrick’s was. 

Do you honor the names that you have?

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Two Weeks

Two weeks after I started my blog I became part of a search party who went out looking for mom who had dementia and had wandered from home.  She could not be left alone.  Each of us worked out a schedule so that someone would always be with her.

Two weeks after this year started mom was released from the hospital and spent her last night at the house she’d lived in for over fifty years. It had been on a Sunday when Ellen found my mom passed out and called for Nate to assist.  Patrick ended up taking her to the hospital.  He and Nate were both dressed for church but stayed at the hospital all day. They did not go to Church that day. Patrick had chosen to stay with mom. On Monday mom’s four children worked together to fill out the paperwork to move mom into assisted living. On Wednesday Kayla took mom to her new home at the assisted living facility – the last place she would live. And Corey came from Las Vegas to assist and say good-bye to the house. 

Two weeks ago we lay mom to rest - buried beside my dad.  She’d been rushed to the hospital two weeks prior to that.  It was on a Sunday when she was found passed out on the floor. She'd been rushed to the hospital. Patrick met her at there.   He was dressed for church but stayed at the hospital all day.  He did not go to Church that day.  He had chosen to stay with mom. He took the next two weeks off.  And Corey drove from Las Vegas to say good-bye.  We all spent time with her for 7-10 days.  And then she finally let go.

Two weeks ago Corey and Kayla and I met Fern and Michelle at the Mortuary.  We watched Corey and the Mortician dress my mom.  Michelle applied some lipstick – that’s all that was needed.  Mom looked like she always does when she falls asleep. She still has her purse.

Two weeks ago we talked with family and friends who had come to pay their last respects.  Sunny offered a beautiful prayer before we all went into the chapel. I tied mom’s bow and veiled her face – my final act of service for her.  The lid was closed.  I think Brian cried the hardest. His sobs just seemed louder than the rest - maybe because he's a giant.

 Two weeks ago today we paid our last respects and shared our stories and beautiful thoughts for such a marvelous woman.  Daddy’s birthday was the day after the farewell services.  It was on a Sunday. Corey had planned to spend this week with mom. Instead she's spending it with dad.  We miss you mom! (and dad)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Ode to David Smith

We all know a
David Smith such a
common name 

In my case you were
the boy next door
middle child
your mom and
my mom showed
pregnant bellies
three times the
same time – well maybe
just two and a half.

Tow headed blonds
we both were
neighborhood games
and school
Your family had
the only trampoline
there for a while

chain linked fence
separated our back yards
we grew
neither of us married
until our late thirtys

you had two daughters
I have one.  Wish we could
have gotten them together
before you passed on
a year ago last month

Your final act of
service happened when
you were only 49.  You
were in the basement of
your parents up 
on the ladder I believe 
and you lost your balance 
or your footing
and you fell and left this
earth life. 

Your family will keep your
memory alive and I
hope that your girls may
visit often and learn more about
who you were and
who you are now.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Another One Bites the Dust

Ode to Skool Lunch

I was working downtown when
I first met you And you
were fabulous!

You welcomed me with
your awesome deliciousness. 
How your scents penetrated in
my nose and I thought I had
found true love,  but alas I
did not visit you often. 

Oh, I wanted to –
I wanted to savor the succulence
on a daily basis –
only there was a hole in my wallet. 

I was allowed to visit just
once in a while and you were
always so good to me.  But you
always left me wanting more.

How I craved for that
Wonderful chicken salad and
baked goods that would
satisfy my pallet.

Years passed.  I was
no longer downtown but
at the other end of the valley. 
Imagine my delight when
I found you near my work.

Good food.  Good company.
I introduced you to
my friends.    We saw you just
a few times but still
not often. 

And then I got married.  My
finances went down and
I couldn’t visit you as often.
But I did introduce you to
my husband eventually. 
We saw you at least a
couple of times – usually at
somebody else’s expense.

It’s been a while - 
a very long while and so
we decided to visit you today
Only to learn that you are gone. 
The economy killed you as
with so many others.  And there
was a pang in my heart. 

Because we had never had
the intimate relationship that
I so desired. Had I known that
your death would be today, I
would have paid my final
respects to you yesterday –

To taste of your goodness just
one last time. To have
a great last memory of your
wonderfulness.  Instead my last
memory of you will be a
note on the door informing all that
you closed at all locations on
August 31, 2012. 

As I write this loving tribute, there is
a tear in my eye. 
The economy bites big time.  Well,
that is one reason why we haven’t
seen you.  It hit us long before it
hit you.  We understand.  That doesn’t
make it any easier.

Good-bye my flavorsome friend.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Quiet Tree

          “My dad reminded me of a tree – always present, steady and strong, but silent and still.  A person has to notice the tree.  It’s not going to make a big fuss over a person.  It will just quietly make a shady spot and keep it there day after day until someone needs it.  I loved my dad.  He loved me.
- from Palace Beautiful by Sara DeFord Williams

          As I read these words I thought of my own dad who would silently support us from behind the stage – never wanting to be in the limelight himself.  He may not have been as mighty as an oak – for an oak tree stands out.  An oak tree gets noticed.

          My dad was noticed by some – many who admired his quiet strength.  And yet there were many who really hadn’t noticed that he was there – because he was so quiet.  Because he never made a production of himself.  Just went about his business and fulfilled his obligations, callings and assignments with very little voice.

          He was a pillar.  He is the one who would wait up until everyone was home.  He is the one who added structure to our lives.  I miss my father very much. 

          Corey wrote a poem about my dad – we played the recorded poem at my dad’s funeral.  Later, Cory created music to go along with the poem.  With Corey’s permission I would like to post that to my Blog:

Knights who fight dragons,
Soldiers who fight wars,
Explorers who tread jungles and such
Have nothing to boast of;
They've nothing on
The hero that I love so much.
Men who climb mountains
Or cross the stormy seas,
Men who lift tremendous weights
With the greatest of ease;
There is no comparison

Among any of these.
My hero matches them all.
The others fall.
My dear hero,
How I miss you.
You and I are worlds away.
Did you know that
You're my hero.
It's the "verité." (Truth)
You never did anything especially noteworthy.
Your name was never in the news.
Flocks of people never hounded you for your autograph.
You never sang the blues.
You never won a Nobel Peace Prize,
A Grammy, or a medal of gold.
You never appeared on Johnny Carson.
You never fought blizzards of cold.
You were never on the front lines of Vietnam.
You were never Prince Charming at the ball.
You were never ruler of the universe,
But your my greatest hero of all.

I love you,
Not for your massive feats,
But for the simple things you did.
You climbed the highest mountains.
You waged the strongest wars.
You won the greatest battles.
For you, Dad, my heart soars.
Your courage, your endurance,
Your patience through the pain
Have shown me the example.
Of you I can't complain.
For you're my admiration.
Now all is said and done.
I love you, my father.
Your son

I am so grateful for the opportunity of having known my dad, and for the example he set for everyone who knew him.