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For My Mom

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January 29, 1944 to November 21, 2003

My Mom was probably the most beautiful woman I have ever and will ever know in my life.  She always had a smile to share with someone.  Through turmoil and elation, she was always someone you could count on when the going got rough.  
She lived a life that most people would think to be just ordinary, but, in my eyes, she was a hero, a healer, a mentor, and most of all, my best friend.
If ever I needed a shoulder to cry on, or just needed my butt whooped into shape, she was the one I would go to.  The one I could tell all of my secrets and ambitions to.  I dedicate this page to MY MOM!! 

Born and raised primarily in Mound City, Missouri.  My mom moved to Omaha, NE, where she met and married my dad 2 weeks later.  They would share the next 41 years by eachothers side.
In 2001, she was diagnosed with kidney cancer.  She had 3/4 of her right (and only remaining) kidney removed.  She survived a 30/70 % chance of survival.
In 2002, she was diagnosed with colon cancer.  Once again, she underwent surgery, having 3 foot of her colon removed.  And, once again, she would survive to tell about it.
In November 2003, she suffered a very mild stroke.  One that caused a very partial paralysis to her left side.  Unfortunately, doctors were unable to detect the seriousness of this mini-stroke. 
On November 18, 2003, I went to visit my parents.  Towards the end of the evening, the comment would arise from my mom to my dad "If I died tomorrow, you would have no way to pay for the expenses.  I have no life insurance."  That would be the last time my sons and I got to see my mom in a "normal state".
On November 19, 2003, my mom suffered an irreversible and debilitating stroke.  The last words I heard from my mom's mouth, would be "I love you, and I am going to be ok!!"  The next day, I received a heartstopping phone call at work. 
I was to go to the hospital right away.  Upon arriving, I was told "there is no chance of recovering."  My mom was given 12-24 hours.  Unfortunately, the 12 hours wasn't even possible. 
My mother peacefully passed away on November 21, 2003. 
This poem was sent to me via e-mail recently, from someone who means a very great deal to fits perfectly in this spot!!!  Thank you Tim!

If tomorrow starts without me, And I'm not there to see, If the sun shouldrise and find your eyes all filled with tears for me; I wish so much you wouldn't cry the way you did today,

While thinking of the many things, we didn't get to say. I know how much you love me, As much as I love you, And each time that you think of me, I know you'll miss me too;

But when tomorrow starts without me, Please try to understand,That an angel came and called my name, And took me by the hand, And said my place was ready, In heaven far above, And that I'd have to leave behind; All those I dearly love.

 But as I turned to walk away, A tear fell from my eye, For all my life, I'd always thought, I didn't want to die.

I had so much to live for, So much left yet to do, It seemed almost
impossible, That I was leaving you. I thought of all the yesterdays, The
good ones and the bad, I thought of all the love we shared, And all the fun
we had. If I could relive yesterday, Just even for a while, I'd say good-bye and kiss you, And maybe see you smile.

But then I fully realized, That this could never be, For emptiness and memories, Would take the place of me. And when I thought of worldly things, I might miss come tomorrow, I thought of you, And when I did, My heart was filled with sorrow.

But when I walked through heaven's gates, I felt so much at home. When God looked down and smiled at me, From His great golden throne, He said, "This is eternity, And all I've promised you." Today your life on earth is past,

But here life starts anew. I promise no tomorrow, But today will always
last, And since each day's the same way, There's no longing for the past.

You have been so faithful, So trusting and so true.

Though there were times you did some things, You knew you shouldn't do. But you have been forgiven, And now at last you're free. So won't you come and take my hand, and share my life with me?

So when tomorrow starts without me, Don't think we're far apart. For every time you think of me, I'm right here in your heart.

Mom and I 1987

Some of my Mom's favorite things.

Jon BonJovi
Steve Perry
Collecting things (clothes, shoes, pictures, dishes, salt and pepper shakers, tv's, vcr's, video games, cd's, movies, earrings, watches.......too many to keep listing.)

When mom started collecting things, she continued until there was no room left in the house to collect anymore.  She had a tv in every room except for the bathroom.  But, she had talked about it numerous times.  She had an earring rack that she had gotten about 20 years ago, that was overflowing.  An entire wall in her bedroom, was dedicated to home movies, all of the M*A*S*H* series, every Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, and even Halloween movies ever created.  Carnival Glass adorned her kitchen, living room, and even the basement in their home.  Seemed like she never had enough pairs of high heeled boots, jeans that went out of style 30 years ago, and sweaters, that even my grandmothers wouldn't have claimed.  But, they were hers and that was what counted.