Dedicated to my mother...

July 1, 1944 - March 12, 1996

It's been ten years since I got the fateful call from my brother informing me that our mother, who was lying in a hospital in Dublin, Ireland, had passed on. She'd returned to ireland to spend the holidays with her family, but the day after Christmas was admitted to the terminal ward of St. Vincent's Hospital. I spent three weeks with her when she first fell ill from non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. The staff *promised* to call if she got worse. They never called. I wasn't there when my mom took her last breath. Part of me is glad, because my mother died what I considera violent death--vomitting blood since the cancer had eaten through her G.I. tract. Anyway, she was an amazing woman--loved God with all her heart, and was working toward her degree so that she could work with special needs children.

My mother was born in London, England to an Irish carpenter and a very proper English mother. Shortly after her birth, the family returned to Dublin, and there she was raised. There were a total of seven children in her family, and my mother was the eldest girl. My aunts and uncles tell me my mom was like a second mother to them. Just recently, I learned the reason my mother never finished her schooling in Ireland--she had to drop out to get a job and help support her family. The one thing my mother loved very much about her homeland was the ocean. that's one thing she always spoke about with great fondness--but, interestingly, she could not swim. :-D

Having been crushed by a man she was engaged to, my mother made what I know was a very difficult decision--she emigrated from Ireland as a governess to family who lived in Boston. Here is my mother then with her charge, Colin. Soon, the family who sponsored Tina returned to Ireland, but my mother opted to stay. She began nightschool to get her education, and there she met my father. They were married in 1965. My brother was born the same year. Five years later, I was born--while my parents were livign in Germany and trying to adopt a baby girl. My mom always called me her miracle baby...then she started calling me her Little Butterball because I had a golden tan and was chunky!! Well, some things just don't change. *grins*

It's incredible to believe an entire decade has passed without her. I remember being so frightened--I'd never been without my mother. When I was a teen, my mom told me a story--she had gone home during one of my father's TDY assignments and spent time with her family. She placed me in a playpen at the top of the stairs (I know--let's NOT even talk about that safety issue, okay?)--and my mother stepped otu of view, and apparently I shrieked. My Nana nearly had a heart attack, and when she asked, What on earth is wrong with the child? SIGH My mother said, Nothing, she just can't see me. Yeah, I know. Tragic. Imagine how I felt when she died--imagine grapplying--truly grappling with mortality and the afterlife. I wanted, no DEMANDED to know exactly where Heaven was. Anyway...I've moved beyond that. LOL But I miss her dreadfully. My mother had a heart for children, and sometimes, it's just too much for me knowing she never got to see any of my children save my then-2-year-old daughter, Ciara (who was her Nana's Little Irish Girl).

Always missed. Always loved. Always in my heart.

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9 Responses
  1. Awww ... {{{{{{{{{{{{{Ronie}}}}}}}}}}}}}} What a beautiful tribute. Thank you for sharing! (Wonderful pics, too!)

  2. okay I'm looking ike a complete copy cat here... but dang it Shannon said what I wanted to say!!!

    That was beautiful, girl. Hugs!(loved the pics!)

    Love you!

  3. This one's hard for me to fathom. I have a grandmother still alive. Both parents, too. But it is a great tribute.

    I'm just glad it didn't happen yesterday. When I first saw the post, I said, "Oh no, she's had *another* death in her family. This time it's her mother." I proceeded to tell Debbie about it.

  4. What a beautiful tribute to your mother! Loved taking a peak into your life and your families life. Blessings, Lisa

  5. Aw, that's beautiful, Ronie!

  6. Girl, I learned even more about you in this. Very cool. You are so special. Such a great tribute to your mom. Didn't realize it was the anniversary. Miss ya, girlie!

  7. Beautiful tribute, beautiful pictures.....I'm so blessed to have you in my life....after reading what you wrote, I see a part of your mother living on in you! Bless you, sweetie!

  8. What a lovely tribute to a lovely woman. Your mom has been greatly loved.

    I still can't believe this May will be 2 years since my Mami's passing. I still have weekly cries. I still get those terrible, wrenching, gut-clutching moments when I miss her so bad I think I'll die if she doesn't come through the door. I still kiss her pictures. I still want her here.

    I guess that won't change. I always will have this hole, as you do.

    The best of it is this: We have known what it is to be loved by great moms and to love them back. That's something some people don't have in their lives. That's a blessing that, to miss it, is truly tragic. Ain't nothing like a great, selfless, loving mom.

    Only a great, selfless, loving dad can come near to it. :D

    God bless, sweetums. (And I Loved that pic of your mom in the sun with her pretty face and curly do and the plump, adorable, curly-haired cherub in her arms--who dat? You or brother or...?


  9. Awww (((((Ronie))))))) I can totally relate. Yesterday was the two year anniversary of my mom's death and I just stared at her pic, wanting to hold her just one more time. It is so hard. This was just a lovely way to commemorate your mother's life.