Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Moral Support

My posts have been a little sparse as of late and will continue to be because I'm not at home where I can indulge my sewing machine addiction unabated, or at least it seems that way. I have been in Florida where the sun shines and the evenings are mild but this isn't a vacation. You see, I've come to assist a sister and brother-in-law care for our mother since she has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. For those who have walked down this same path, you know how hard this can be and we are no exception. She was diagnosed two weeks ago and I have been here a week so I did get to see her while she was talking and still a little bit feisty but just as quickly she is now unable to eat and does not get out of bed. Our hearts are breaking but she has been quite up-front and realistic from the beginning so we have hospice care to help her and us, her caretakers.

My mom has been my biggest fan of my sewing machine adventure blog, always reading each post (especially when I could put her on an alert list so she would get an email when a new edition was posted) and sending an email back with her praise. Now, she has said she didn't always understand what I was referring to, but that was okay since my writing sounded just like I was speaking. She said she felt closer to me when she read my blog and what I was up to. That always felt good since I didn't spend enough time on the phone with her but she didn't really complain, just told me how much she liked to hear the sound of my voice. Isn't it like that with people we love: we just want to hear their voice!
Alison, Emma, Mom, Karen summer 2015
When I became an adult and got the chance to view my life from a broader perspective, I went back to my parents and thanked them for three things.

  1. My curly hair: this has made my life easier with a quick wash and blow dry.
  2. Letting me go to college: my sister Sue was the trail-blazer but they didn't put up much fuss and I knew they could have.
  3. Encouraging me in my sewing: fabric was bought, items cut but never finished as I tried new skills and wasn't too successful, clothing worn that didn't flatter but I had made it myself, and even helping me learn some new skills like putting in a placket for a sleeve cuff. 
They kind of laughed it off and siad they really didn't do that much but those were things I wanted them to know before I wouldn't have a chance to tell them. That was almost forty years ago and my dad has been gone since 1985 but I'm still learning things from my mom.

She left a job of eighteen years when a friend asked her to come work at a better company. It took courage to leave the comfort of her job as a secretary in a retail store (remember Wieboldt's?) and venture farther from home and into the unknown and she said it was my encouragement that got her out the door. Only a few years later she left that job for a better position and this was where she stayed until she retired. Again, it wasn't easy but she made new friends and enjoyed learning new skills. In retirement she decided to move to Florida because her arthritis was so much better in the warmth of the south. We were a little unsure of such a big move far away but we have all visited her, some every year, and she has always been a wonderful hostess. 

In her youth, my mom was a bit of a beauty queen as her town "Miss" going onto the county contest but from there we aren't too sure and we know she was never Miss Iowa. She was always a beauty in our dad's eyes and we could see the admiration he had for her. In her widowed years she continued to be a beauty and has had a few boyfriends in Florida and we can't help but chuckle at our beauty queen mother. 

And now we have the privilege to help her in this new adventure of leaving the familiar behind and to go on alone. She's been quite a lady, one we will miss, and my biggest cheerleader. We miss you, Mom.

Kelly, Mom, and Karen


Sandra Cox said...

She sounds wonderful. May your love comfort you.

Anonymous said...

May God give you strength and courage to let her move on when it is time. her love and teachings will help get you through.

Kara Kwilts said...

I am so sorry for you and your family! I really don't know what to say, but I will cry too. Hugs!

Michael C said...

Sad to hear about your mother. She sounds so special to your family.

Thin Man Sewing said...

Thinking of you, your family, and your mother.