Tuesday, December 31, 2013

In Memory of My Mom


This is an extremely hard post for me to write.  I haven't blogged in a few weeks.  There was no time. And then there were no words. And now I have decided that I need some type of closure on these pages to continue. After all, I've transitioned to unknown territory.  I created this blog to help inspire, encourage, and give ideas to teachers who are in the trenches everyday with our youngest students.  And if you have read my blog for any amount of time, you know that my own 3 children inspired me so much in my teaching philosophy.  But I don't think I ever shared who is "the wind beneath my wings."  My mother was my role model for wanting to work with children.  She loved working with children more than anything.  She was calm, patient, loving, creative, and inspiring.  And for that, I am so grateful that God chose her to be my Mom.      

My mother passed away on Saturday, December 21, 2013 from cancer.  She dedicated her whole life to taking care of others from caring for children with special needs, to creating a children's church program for over 30 years, to running a home daycare, to working in missions in Mexico, to being a "grandma" to over 1000 children as a foster grandparent at an early childhood school for PreK students. In fact, at the age of 79, she volunteered in 5 PreK classrooms each week for 6 hours a day, working with students and just being "Grandma Ruth" to those children who needed a little extra care, time, and assistance - even as she began radiation for tumors in her brain.  Even though I struggled with her desire to continue working with children as she fought her battle, I had to respect and admire her decision to continue making the difference in the lives of countless little children.

So as sad as I am that she is now gone, I am happy with the legacy she left behind. I will continue that legacy.  She would tell me to keep on making a difference.  Keep on caring for others.  Keep on being a cheerleader and advocate for those who take care of our children.  For in fact, she was the biggest cheerleader in my life for becoming a teacher.  I was the first in my family to graduate from college.  She cheered me on.  I had a child born with special needs.  She cheered me on. I myself was diagnosed with cancer 20 years ago.  She cheered me on.  I finally graduated with my degree as an early childhood teacher.  She cheered me on.  I became a National Board Certified Teacher.  She cheered me on.  I graduated with my master's degree in special education.  She cheered me on.  I decided to record my own songs for children.  She cheered me on.  I decided to start presenting at national conferences.  She cheered me on (even though she disliked me flying "all over the place").  Her last words to me were "I love you so, so much.  You are so beautiful.  Will you be good?"  Yes, Mom.  I will be good.  I will miss you. But I will continue on knowing you are still cheering me on in heaven.


Mom, I love you dearly.  I thank God that he chose you to be my mother.  I thank God for the many, many children who were able to call you "Grandma Ruth." And I thank God that he gave me the same passion.  After all, I had the greatest role model.

Happy New Year to my many  "blogging friends" and to those who also make a difference in the lives of children.

21 comments:

  1. A beautiful tribute to your beautiful Mom....many thoughts and prayers for you in the days ahead!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words and prayers. They are greatly appreciated.

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  2. Such a touching tribute to a beautiful lady! Sending prayers to you and your family. Love Angela

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    1. Thank you Angela. I appreciate the prayers for my family. Have a Happy New Year.

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  3. Thinking of you, Kathy. Your mother's legacy will surely continue on in all of your hard work, enthusiasm,and kindness. Sending thoughts and prayers your way!

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    1. Thank you Kate for reading my blog and for your kind words. Your prayers are appreciated.

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  4. Thinking of you and your family! Thank you for writing such a personal and touching post! I am sure she is as proud of you as you are of her!!! Amber ~ Kindergarten Rocks Blog

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  5. You are a great inspiration too. I saw you in Vegas and if you are anything like your mom, she was one terrific and kind person. Hold onto those memories. I'm sure you will cry, laugh, and smile just thinking of her. Hugs.

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    1. You are so right! I'm either laughing, crying, or smiling. I am very thankful for the wonderful memories my Mom gave me. Thanks for coming to see me in Vegas. Maybe we will see each other again.

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  6. I first met you this past summer in Las Vegas and I knew how special and wonderful you were then. This post just shows the wonderful person that inspire you to be you. Sending prayers of comfort your way..

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    1. Thank you Leslie for your prayers. My Mom definitely was and still is my source of inspiration. And thank you for coming to see me in Vegas. Maybe we will see each other again :)

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  7. I am so sorry for your loss Kathy. I unfortunately know some of what you are feeling. I lost my mom to cancer just last month. Your mom sounds like a wonderful lady and having all those memories will help to keep you comforted. Sending you warm hugs during this most difficult time.
    Shawna
    The Picture Book Teacher's Edition

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    1. Oh Shawna, I am so sorry for your loss too. Cancer is a horrible disease. Yes, we have memories to help. They are popping up everywhere. Hugs to you too.

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  8. Oh, Kathy, I am so heartbroken for you! I can't imagine the loss you must be feeling! I wish I were there to hug you in person and comfort you somehow. May the Lord bless you and comfort you, knowing that she is now in heaven, still there for you and watching over you and loving you, just the same as always! She will always be with you in spirit, and you will be reunited with her in heaven one day when you go to live with her in heaven. In your own sorrow, try to remember that she is now whole, happy, and healthy as she was in the prime of her life, and is cheering you on still. It's just hard for those of us that are left behind. We'll be reunited with our loved ones one day when we go to meet Jesus!
    Lots of love,
    Heidi

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    1. Oh Heidi - I miss hanging with you. That hug sounds really good right now. Thank you for your words of encouragement. It is hard for those of us left behind, but she is in a much better place. And I know her first Christmas in heaven was the best Christmas she has ever had. She's my angel now. Hope to see you soon :)

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  9. I am having a hard time reading this, what with the tears in my eyes. What an eloquent tribute to someone who was obviously such a great support to you.

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    1. Thank you Suzanne. She was my ultimate support system. Thank you for reading my post. I'm glad my Mom has a permanent place on my blog now.

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  10. Hello Kathy,
    I am so glad I visited your blog......inspirational and beautiful!
    Good Bless....
    Paula

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