Sunday, August 21, 2016

For my Mom

My Mom passed away on the 1st of August - not entirely surprising due to her poor health, but still not what we expected.  She was recovering in a rehab center in Arizona after open heart surgery, and while her recovery was slow, we were all fully expecting her to be released.  On the night prior, she fell and the fall itself caused complications. 
1975ish - the year I was born.
I think it's been hard for all of us (my three sisters) to adjust to this strange new reality where my Mom just isn't.  I listened to a message she had left me the day before, and while memory issues and general weakness were apparent, her voice sounded strong.  We were making plans for her to come live with us in Washington, as her health issues had gotten to the point she couldn't live alone anymore. 

I can never complain about my childhood.  My Mom was a tough lady - being German, living through World War II, and carrying her heritage proudly wrapped around her.  She became an American citizen in 1967 and loved her new country more than anything.  It was a defining moment for her.
The day Mom became an American.

Mom and Dad loved each other tremendously and stuck it out through many hard times. 

Note from my Dad to my Mom.  He was in the Army for over 26 years.
Even in the lean times, we had a home and love.  ...and in the not so lean times, we had animals.  I think Mom and Dad were miffed about my animal-loving ways, but never said no when I asked.  I even remember my Dad calling me one time and asking if I had had an orange cat yet, and when I said no, he told me to ask my mother if we could have another cat.  We had all kind of animals growing up - birds, chickens, ducks, rabbits, rodents, goats, sheep, dogs (Great Danes and Golden's) and of course all manner of horses.  Mom loved them all. As Mom got a little more frail, her dogs got a little smaller - Rosie was the last pup she had, rescued from the pound. 
One of the toughest things to face for me, and I think I just need to fixate on something, is the loss of Mom's phone number.  My sister is handling Mom's affair, as she is still local, and we've decided to give Mom's number one more month before having it disconnected, just to capture any calls that might need handling.  ....but, this has been the number I've used to call home for over 25 years.  It has been the lifeline for so many things - when I wasn't feeling well in school and needed Mom, when I passed a college final, when the vet called to tell me that our beloved Golden Daisy passed away during surgery, when I needed reassurance during my first job, when my car broke down and I desperately needed my Dad to rescue me, the number Aaron called when we first started dating and I didn't have a cell phone, and the number I called to tell Mom Aaron and I eloped...  Even now, when I wanted to tell her about our new adventures in Washington, it was hidden beneath the familiar name "Mom" on my iPhone, but it was still there.  It was the number  I could reach out to share the highs and low of life and the security of knowing Mom was just a phone call away will be gone.
Mom and Sam.
Thanks to loving neighbors who helped to keep an eye on my Mom, and who were quick to jump the fence or give me a call, Mom was able to stay in the house my Dad bought for her 31 years ago, which was what she wanted more than anything.  After Aaron and I married, instead of finding horse property of our own, we kept my horses on her property and I made daily visits out there to feed and check on her.  Of course, I always brought a pup along, and Mom enjoyed seeing our Golden's as much as having company.
Mom and Harlow
When Daddy passed away 13 years ago, Mom sort of quit living.  She was lost with my Dad, and she was waiting to join him again.  My only hope is that they've found each other and Mom is finally at peace.

I love you, Mom.

Margarete Maria Sturm
June 19, 1942 - August 1, 2016


  1. Oh Christine -

    This is so like the pain and memories Diane and I have felt since our loss May 18, 2015 - you stop and think of all the shared messages and calls and more - too often during the time since our mom Maryellen got her wings - rather suddenly as did yours - we think of calling her or texting her with SOMETHING we HAVE to tell her -

    You did a GReat job with this -

    We would hope your mom and our mom have crossed paths - we spoke of you to our mom on many many occasions - she knew of your special angel - and was so happy Diane could visit with your during your AZ days -

    Much love for sharing such a wonderful post -

    Auntie Di and Phyll
    and of khourse, Khyra, Holly, and THOSE Golden Khousins too

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  4. This was beautiful. I'm sure your mom is up there with your dad smiling down on you and your sisters surrounding you all with their love and I bet they are both extremely proud of all their girls. Much love to you and your family adjusting to this new reality.

  5. What a beautiful tribute to your mom.I am sure your mom & dad are together once again.I`ve lost Dad & Mom, then my husband 2 years ago,so I know how hard reality can hit.May God hold you close & you are in my prayers.phyllis

  6. That is such a beautiful tribute to your mom.
    Sending hugs from me and the pups.

  7. It is never easy to lose your mum. At least you have so many memories.

  8. What a beautiful tribute to your mom. Hugs to you, Christine ♥

  9. That's a wonderful tribute for your mother - I understand so well, I lost mine when I was still in college. I so missed her voice, our chats, as you do. May those memories provide you comfort in the coming days.


  10. Whan my mom died in 1974, the phone thing was the hardest part for me to digest. I could no longer just pick up the phone anc call her. Then, later, I learned that I could converse with her in my thoughts. We even had arguments! My condolences for your loss - and sending rottie kisses.

  11. I am so sorry for the loss of your Mother. You've reminded me of the same things I felt and thought after my Mom passed away nearly 9 years ago. I hope you are truly finding peace and comfort in both your memories and from your family and friends at what I know is a sad time.

  12. Oh so sorry to hear about your mom. This was a lovely tribute to her and I know those memories bring comfort. We're thinking of you here on the other side of the country and sending warm thoughts westward to you.

  13. I'm so sorry. This loving post brought tears to my eyes. How lucky you were to have such a strong and loving mother. (My mother cut off all contact 11 years ago). She sounds like a wonderful woman.

  14. Our "Mom" stories are very similar. Your tribute and memories are beautifully done. Love the pictures of Mom and the dogs. Sorry she didn't get to spend time with you guys in the Northwest. RIP Margarete.

  15. hello monty and harlows mom its dennis the vizsla dog hay i am verry sorry abowt yore mom i am shoor she is with yore dad now and they ar both having a gud time vizzitting with sam over the rainbo bridj!!! i am sending lots of tail wags!!! ok bye

  16. So sorry for your lost. Sending big hugs!

  17. That was a beautiful tribute, and I feel so sad for your loss. Even if it was expected, I'm sure it feels as if the rug has been pulled from under you. You, yourself, are a tribute to your mom. I send you my deepest sympathy and lots of hugs.

  18. What a lovely tribute to your mom. I'm sorry for your loss. I lost my mom in December in similar circumstances - she was elderly and in poor health, but recovering from heart complications and getting ready to move into a really great assisted living apartment. Like you, the phone is the worst thing... But it's *our* phone. Our home phone gets almost nothing but junk calls - after my mom passed I realized her calls were the almost the only "real" calls we got. Sending virtual hugs your way!

  19. Oh my. I'm so so sorry to hear of your mom's passing. You wrote a beautiful and loving tribute to her. She sounds like a truly wonderful person. I hope your memories and wonderful childhood will help sustain you through this difficult time.

  20. I am so sorry for your lost. You wrote such a nice tribute about your mom. I hope that the good memories will help you feel better soon.

  21. We are sorry to hear about your mom. These were beautiful stories! We will send her some love, up into the sky.

  22. What a beautiful tribute to your mom. I am so sorry to read about her passing. She was only 7 years older than I am. Falling is bad at any age but as we age even worse. A fall was the ultimate cause of my mom's passing too. She broke her hip in the fall. Had to have surgery. The anesthesia complicated her poor physical and mental health.
    Hugs Cecilia aka Madi's mom

  23. So sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your lovely memories of her, with us.

    Wyatt's Mom

  24. So sorry to hear about your mom. I lost my mom eight years ago and still miss being able to tell her things in person.

    Pippen's mom

  25. My mom has been gone only 4 months now and I miss her like crazy. When does it start to get easier Hugs to you♥