Two Teens And Their Mama: Mothers Here and Gone

Friday, May 9, 2014

Mothers Here and Gone

Mother's Day will be a little sad at our house this year.  My mother-in-law passed away two months ago.  She was 87 and had been suffering from dementia and other health issues for several years, but it is still hard to believe she is gone.


Elizabeth had my husband when she was 40 years old.  No big deal today, but 47 years ago it was pretty much unheard of.  For a woman who had originally been told that she wouldn't have ANY children, finding out she was pregnant with her fifth baby at the age of 40 was a bit of a shock.  She thought she had the flu :).

She was an amazing, strong woman with more energy than anyone I've ever met.  Two days before her first daughter turned one, she gave birth to twins.   And this was before disposable diapers and formula.  Her house was always spotlessly clean - she even washed her walls twice a year.  Does anybody else do that?  She was less than enthusiastic about my housekeeping skills, but she got over it eventually :).

When my husband was four Elizabeth reluctantly had to go back to work to support her children and keep a roof over their heads.  By the time I met her she had paid off her house and didn't have a single bill.  In all the years I knew her, I never heard her complain - not once.  She always treated me with kindness and love.  When my babies were born, she came over once a week to stay up with them so I could get some sleep.  There was no greater gift anyone could have given me. 

At the other end of the spectrum,  my mother was a very young 23 when I was born.  She was the sunny California girl who met my father in college, got married, and had me less than a year later.  They certainly didn't waste any time!  


My mom is sweet and kind and always there for me when I need her.  She's endured a lot of hardships in her life, but she stays positive through it all.  She just turned 70 and I hope I'm as healthy and vivacious when I'm her age.  My parents retired full time to Arizona and I miss her daily presence in my life very much. 


Elizabeth and my mom could not have been any different.   My mother turned 40 when I was a senior in high school - my husband's mom gave BIRTH to him the year she turned 40.  They had nothing in common - except us.  But they were always good friends.

Two very different moms in my life.  One is here and one is gone.  I love them both very much and I have been so blessed to be touched by their presence in my world. They helped shape the person I am today, and I am very thankful.

Remembering all of that, maybe Mother's Day won't be so sad after all.

22 comments:

  1. So sorry for your loss.. Its so amazing to have such different mother figures in life.. you get to see and learn so much more..and your mom was and is absolutely gorgeous!! Wow. Reminded me of Jackie Kennedy a little..

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    1. Thank you for your kind words. You've made my mom the happiest woman in the world today!

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  2. I live in Arizona!! It's starting to get a little hot around here though.

    Two great Mothers, thank you for sharing your story. I remember the first Father's day w/o my Dad was a little sad and hard. Give the hubs extra hugs that day.


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    1. Thank you! My parents love the heat (after living in Seattle for 35 years it may take them a while to thaw out). It will definitely be harder for my husband on Sunday.

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  3. aww So sorry for your loss! :( The photo of you two together is so so beautiful!

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    1. Thank you for your nice comment. My mom is a beautiful lady inside and out.

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  4. I am sorry for your recent loss, and my condolences to your husband and kids too. When I scrolled down and saw the first photo of your mom, I was immediately struck by how much she looks like you!

    “I never heard her complain, not once.” “She endured a lot of hardships in her life, but stayed positive through it all.” Not too many of us can be described this remarkable way. Next time I start to complain, I am going to remember your two amazing mothers, and swallow my negative comment.
    Thinking of you all this Sunday.

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    1. Susan, you are so kind. I definitely try to be positive - I have nothing to complain about compared to some of the things they have gone through.

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  5. What a wonderful post about two wonderful women. The part that got me about Elizabeth was the house being spotlessly clean and washing the walls! Even though that is sort of minor, anyone who takes that kind of care and pride in their home to keep it nice for their family when they are probably exhausted is my hero. I need to go wash my walls now.

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    1. She took so much pride in her home. I always thought washing the walls was a bit much though :)

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  6. Wow, what a beautiful tribute to two amazing women. It really is a testament to that fact that moms, no matter what age, have a lot of challenges and goodness knows-they overcome them! I hope you enjoy your mothers day and that it's filled with lots of love.

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    1. Thank you so much! I hope your weekend is wonderful as well.

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  7. I'm so sorry to hear about your mother-in-law, but I was very taken by this post. My mom (who passed away a year ago) and my mother-in-law (who also sounds like yours. She is now 86. She had 6 kids, her last 2 were twins, that she had at age 38 and she didn't know she was having twins until her 8th month of pregnancy!) were 2 very different people, but they got along great and enjoyed seeing one another. My MIL was and still is very upset about my mom's passing. This was a beautiful post about 2 very important moms in your life...

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    1. I am so very sorry about the loss of your mom. My mother in law also didn't know she was having twins until the day she had them - 3 months early! I can't even imagine. Thank you so much for your nice comments.

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  8. so sorry about your mother in law.
    You are your mom are so cute!
    i hope you have a very wonderful mother's day, you deserve it!

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    1. Thank you! I'm looking forward to a nice mother's day with my mom.

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  9. Loved the photos. My mother was 34 when she had me and 37 when she had my youngest brother. I turned fourty the year my youngest child graduated highschool. A big difference in the two relationships even though I love them both dearly.

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  10. Your appreciation & love for these two very different women are so clear!

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    1. Thanks Carol. I do love them both.

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  11. This is such a great tribute to both your mother-in-law and mother! They sound like wonderful ladies and you're lucky to have been influenced by them both!

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    1. Thank you! I have definitely been blessed in the mom category.

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