Sunday, June 22, 2008


"Presidio means strong." That's what Jodi told me when I asked her why Jeremy used that name for their building company. (I had suggested "Sure Lock Homes"....but, for some reason, they decided to go another way.)

A while back, there was one of those fun things going around by e-mail where it asked you to describe a person in just one word. If asked to describe my mother in one word, I wouldn't necessarily say "presidio"...but I would definitely say "strong"!

Her own mother died when she was just 14 years old. Being in the middle, age-wise, of 13 children, I'm sure she felt lost and she had to get strong in a hurry. As the responsibilities of married life and motherhood came along, she needed an increase in that strength to meet the new demands that come along with those roles. As the storms of life buffeted her about, she relied on that strength to get her through. She also had great physical strength. It's been a very long time, if ever, since I could keep up with her energy...whether cleaning a house from top to bottom or walking 18 holes of golf.

She was diagnosed over 4 years ago with advanced aortic stenosis. That's a calcification and closing off of the aortic valve. The only real "fix" is a very risky surgery with no guarantees. It wasn't really recommended for someone of her age, so she made the decision to just live as best she could for as long as she would be allowed. A few different doctors looked at her test results and told us that, by their best estimates, she would have less than a year. Like I said...that was over 4 years ago! Strong? I think so.

So in the past 4+ years she has lived with us and flown to Tucson to visit Karen occasionally...and lived with Karen and flown to Georgia to visit with us several times. This was once she got over the initial scare when the doctors told her she shouldn't travel any more. If she was going to be alive...she was going to live on her terms. Strong. This way she got to spend time with children, grand children, and great grand children.

She came to visit us again this past February and was supposed to go back to Tucson with Karen in mid May. But by April it was becoming apparent that her strength was finally wearing out. Even the Energizer Bunny can't last forever, and after 5 weeks at Our Lady of Angels retirement home, she died...very peacefully...on the morning of June 12th.

As she is now reunited with her parents, both of her husbands, and many beloved siblings and friends, I pray that the strength that served her so well in this life will dissolve from her and she will again have a child-like spirit, awash in the love that is all around her...for all eternity.
"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might." Eph. 6:10


Lynelle said...

A lovely tribute to your mother. I'll see you next weekend.


Anonymous said...

safe journey as you travel back home for fun and the memorial service for your mom. look in the are a strong woman as well. miz b

Jackie said...

What a beautiful tribute! I'm so glad she raised a daughter that knows when to be strong and when to be child-like. Take care, my friend.

jodi said...

That's really nice. Btw...forgot to tell you Karen said to make 60 copies of this.

Squirrelly Shirley said...

Very nice, I wish I could be with you at the memorial service..but will look forward to our time together over the 4th. Love to all You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Amy said...

I just read Jodi's blog, and I wanted to come over here and offer my condolences on the passing of your mother. I remember Jodi always speaking highly of her. She sounds amazing, and she lived a very full, rich life. Have a safe trip back "home" to Illinois...a place I will always call home, too!

Warm regards,
Amy (Baker) Bellowe