Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My Mom passed away on Memorial Day, therefore no "Road Trip"

My mom passed away at 6:15 a.m. on Memorial Day. It is very sad to know that 4 months ago she was essentially the picture of health, 4 weeks ago she was just a bit confused (she had a car accident in mid-Feb that was a confusing time for everyone because we could never figure out the timing or what happened) and now she is no longer here.

Having visited her last week was good because my sister and I were able to reminesce to her about all the fun times we had. When I went to school at University of Central Florida and worked at Disney World my mom would come down frequently and after I graduated she would occasionally go to Florida for the winter including several seasons at Disney. I could also talk about all the hikes and travels we took.

I also told a few stories about my grandfather whom she and I lived with at the house she grew up for about 1 year (my Junior year of high school). My sister and my aunt had no idea how inappropriately my uncles, mom and I acted at my grandfathers funeral (there was a solemn rembrance part at the beginning but then it degenerated). In fact my uncles, mom and I ended up nearly dying of hysterics because of the ministers bizzare speech pattern. I had pointed this out several months previously after my grandfather had his original stroke. Then during the service the minister would enunciate about every 4th word. Apparently my Aunt had heard of our antics but never knew what had set us all off.

I think while we all loved my grandfather dearly, it was the kind of funeral party that he would have hoped for. I know my mom will want to be remembered as the vibrant, active, energetic, compassionate, caring, free spirited person she was. She was a great mom and I loved her. I will miss her dearly.

As a teacher (I know it's not chapter 11, but it is some chapter for at risk students) she definitely was a positive influence. She always believed in people and always saw the glass as half full. I have never met a more optimistic or positive person. She really firmly saw the good and opportunity in everyone. And she really appreciated the small things. A beautiful sunrise, a chat over a cup of coffee sharing information with campers, a hike or many other small treats others might take for granted were appreciated and shared with others.

I am finding it hard to believe within 4 weeks she degenerated so quickly. I try to emulate her spirit and take comfort that she suffered minimally and did not spend an extensive period of time in an environment she would not have been happy within, but it is still hard.

I do wish I could have said some final goodbyes when she was still alert and responsive but hopefully as an angel she knows how much I cared about her and how wonderful a parent she was to me. If I was to guess, I would say my mom lived a life without regrets. She saw so much, met so many people and just really made this world a better place.


Nyght said...

Many condolences to you and your family. Your mom sounds like such a wonderful person; I'm glad you have so many happy memories to help you through this rough time.

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

I'm sure your Mom knew how much you loved her from the way you treated her every day, sister. It sounds to me as though you should have no regrets. You loved her and she knew it.

I offer you my heart-felt condolences on her passing away, but it sounds to me as though your mother was not the type who would want people to mourn her death - but rather celebrate her life. Or just celebrate life, in general, because as tough as life can sometimes be, it's still pretty precious.

Jamie Donaldson said...


Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family! On every run and at every race, you get to celebrate your mom's life.

Mike Bailey said...

I'll be thinking about you Tammy. Like Jamie said, run to celebrate your mother and celebrate her life. In this you will surely find a inspiration to make your feet as light as air.

Blessings to your family,

Runner Tammy said...


Thank you. My mom was a wonderful person. Like you, she was an "older" mother (for that era...she had me when she was 34). I think her being older gave her more confidence, knowledge and patience which contributed to her being a great parent.


Your words are very comforting and so thoughtful. I am incredible lucky that she was such a great parent who obviously cared about everyone including my sister and I.

She sure did live life to the fullest and I was so lucky in many cases she shared this spirit of adventure with me (Yosemite National Park, Acadia NP, Blue Springs State Park, Pocohontas State Park, White Mountains NH and many other places Tristan and I got to stay with her in her tiny 22 foot motor home:-).


You are right, running definitely will be a great way to celebrate my moms life. I know in all of my runs, hikes and through my journey of life she will be with me in spirit watching over me (and hopefully she will make sure I do not take any wrong turns that add challenges, miles or difficulties:-).


Thank you...I think in spirit my mom was an "honorary" ultra-marathoner. While she never ran a distance race, she definitely had the "time on feet" training by being my crew or cheerleader. And of course in personality she was definitely an ultra-runner because she was always so generous, encouraging and had a tremendous amount of courage.


NCBuzz said...

Very sorry to hear of your mom's passing. The suddenness of it makes it all the more difficult. You have given her a meaningful tribute here that helps me to feel as though I knew her. Be well.

Just_because_today said...

So sad to hear of your loss. My deepest condolences. She left so many good memories! not something that can give you comfort now but it will later.
So sorry...