Wednesday, May 7, 2014

My Mom's passing

It was an early day--one that stared with grieving news. I had a couple of missed calls on my cell phone--but it was on silent. Dana was up getting ready for work at 5:00 am, and checked her phone and listened to voice mails telling of my mother's passing. Mom inherited diabetes--from both her mom and dad. That, along with some subsequent heart problems, high blood pressure, and a couple of strokes made her last couple of years a less than desirable existence. She had lost her sight, and use of the left side of her body.

This morning May 7 in the wee hours, she had raised up from bed to get a drink and told Dad her blood sugar was low. Dad got her some orange juice which she quickly drank, and she nibbled on a peanut butter sandwich. This normally brings her blood sugar levels up quickly. Dad went to check on something, and came back a minute later to find her on the floor face down. Her heart had stopped. He called 911, but she was already gone.

Dana and I spent the day with my Dad, a sister and niece. We cleaned house, Dana cooked a meal, and then we went to the funeral home to make arrangements. The funeral director in Sperry Ok seemed like a good old country boy--very nice and helpful. He treated our family like a friend--and not at all in a fakey salesman-ish sort of way. I was very satisfied with our encounter there. The funeral services will be this Saturday morning.

I prefer to remember all the fun good times instead of wallowing in the grief of loss. Mom lived a GREAT life. She was young at heart. She was a young bride, and I came into the world just before her 17th birthday.

Mom and Dad used to camp a LOT. We did the tent camping thing for years, then graduated to a tent-trailer and finally a travel trailer. Many summer weekends were spent on the shores of the Illinois River where we'd cook out, fish, swim, and float.

Mom was a wicked card player. Liverpool rummy was one of our favorite face-offs. She had an evil streak LOVING to catch everyone with a handful of cards. These were such fun times.

She was a stay-at-home Mom while I was growing up. I have two brothers and three sisters. After I was 18 and on my own, she went back to college.  I was doubtful that as a 30-something that she could/would finish her degree--but she did and upon graduation, served as a parole officer for a few years.

Later, she taught school at Cornerstone Christian school. Mom and Dad adopted three of my nephews--effectively giving me three more brothers. Her teaching position financed these boys (as well as another nephew and niece) graduating in this good private school.

I have no doubt she made a huge difference in so many kid's lives. Mom always looked for the good in people--overlooking and ignoring people's shortcomings. I miss her--and the hurt comes and goes in waves. I look back at her last few months and years. They had moved to Skiatook--some 25-30 miles from me--and I wish now I had made more time to come see her. As busy as I thought I was--I still should have made time to pick up that phone and call from time to time. Sad--how a cell phone glued to my ear could have been so much better used.


  1. TZ, I didn't know your mom, but I know the man that she raised and the shine for people that you have that bears witness of her. Blessings my friend, may we all strive to see the good in people and lift them. Thanks for sharing, prayers for you and your family. Love you brother.

  2. TZ, Thinking of you and the family. Please let me know if you need anything! Love you all!

  3. Sorry to hear this news. Sounds like your mom was a really special person. My thoughts will be with you and yours in the days and weeks to come.

  4. I was privileged to know Kay and even got a chance to travel to Mexico with her and Ken. She was a great woman. I worked with her for a few years at Cornerstone and she was always such a sweet person. Her young students really loved her and you could tell she also loved all of them. I didn't see her often in the last few years, but when I did, even though her health had failed and she had so much she could have complained about, she was always so cheerful. I remember what a great smile she always had. Loved her but know she is well now and I can see her again.

  5. Thanks for giving us a glimpse of the woman who raised such a fine man, Ken. Prayers go out to you, Dana, and the whole family. ~Steve & Kathleen