Today we lost a great person…my mom

My mom died unexpectedly this morning. She left my dad, 4 children, 13 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.  She was 77.  She had been successfully battling cancer.  Our family was with her just last week, and she was doing great.  On the drive back from Wisconsin to New Mexico, we got the call that her aorta had torn, and she was not expected to make it through the night.

A few years ago I wrote a tribute to my mom.  I would be honored if you took a few moments to read it.  I titled it, “She’s Not Just Anybody’ s Mom”

She had one of the toughest jobs of anyone in the world…being a mom.  It required the skills of many occupations: nursing, taxi-cab driver, secretary, administrator, chef, maid, teacher and counselor to name only a few.  She did it all without complaining and was content with her role.  In fact, this mom is one of the greatest persons I know.  She’s not just anybody’s mom…she’s my Mom.

For nine months, she carried me in her womb while I kicked at her ribs.  The pain was minimal compared to the joy of having the first of her four children.  My mom nursed us through dozens of colds, sore throats, bouts of the flu, bronchial pneumonia and chicken pox.  She was always there through sickness to offer us 7-Up and toast until we were healthy again.  I saw her care for many others also.  She nursed my Dad through a high fever in Greeley, through a perforated ulcer and back problems.  When a life threatening epiglottitis left his airway almost swollen shut, she was there to get him to the hospital in time.  With her gracious hospitality, she opened her home to Grandpa and Aunt Lyda as their bodies succumbed to cancer. There was never any doubt that Mom would offer compassion, kindness and care to anyone in need.

Mom’s kitchen was the best place to be.  It was cozy, and a great place to hang out because she was there.  I remember chocolate instant breakfast drinks before Little League games.  On Sunday after church, there was bacon and eggs or waffles with strawberries and Cool Whip.  Her baked beans were famous.  No one else could make them quite like she could.  She made chocolate oatmeal cookies and fudge at Christmas time.  All the food that came from Mom’s kitchen was great-even the fish sticks that we had to eat on Friday nights when she took time off to go on a date with my Dad.

Mom always had a forgiving heart.  She forgave me for the times as a toddler when I surprised her with a bite on the back of the leg as she stood at the sink doing my dishes.  She forgave me when I threw tantrums and banged my head on the tree for not getting my way.  She forgave me when I went through my rebellious stage and didn’t want anything to do with her.  When she left me in charge of dinner, and I destroyed the meal by adding green food color in the creamed potatoes, she let that slide.  For all the times I teased her about her old sweatshirt and baggy pants, and for all those times I made her “sick and tired”, she forgave me.

Mom was a humble servant.  She never got much of the spotlight, but she was always present.  She graduated from college with honors and became a teacher.  When I came along, she laid down her career to be at home with me.  She was self-sacrificing, placing my needs above her own.  When I needed to be at baseball or basketball practice, she got me there.  She never got the credit, but she never complained.  She made me feel important.  At my games, she was in the stands cheering for me.  When we went on family vacations, she got us organized and packed, though I’m sure it was not much a vacation for her.

Mom taught me to have good manners and the importance of honoring people with hand-written thank you notes.  She taught me the value of money and how to balance a checkbook.  She stretched our one income teacher’s salary to help put me, my brother and sisters through college.  When I hid behind the couch and thought nobody loved me, she held me in her lap and taught me that love and discipline go hand in hand.  I guess she never give up her teaching career after all.

My Mom was a loyal wife.  She was faithful to my Dad and a perfect partner for him.  She worked alongside him to run the basketball camps every summer.  She often worked behind the scenes at home to organize and collect camp registrations.  She helped him run the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Clinic every year also.  Her work went mostly unnoticed by the crowds, but my dad knew that she was the reason for it’s’ success.  She was the right complement for my Dad.  She loved him dearly and was at his side wherever they went.

Only God knows how many of my stinky diapers she changed, how many snotty noses she wiped, how many rides to games and practices she gave me, how many fevers and sicknesses she nursed, or how many tears she compassionately wiped from our eyes with little thanks or appreciation shown in return.  She did these things and many more as a humble servant.  She never complained; she was self-sacrificing and forgiving; she was a perfect partner for my Dad.

She is truly a woman to be honored.

She’s not just anybody’s mom…She’s my Mom.

Thanks for all you’ve done for me, Mom.  I love you.

Each of us was able to tell her good-bye and that we loved her.  Now, she is with Jesus and in a better place.  But we miss her.  I am so grateful that we were able to spend last week with her.

Is there anyone you need to spend time with, and let them know you love them before it is too late?

A couple helpful articles:

  1. Facing the Great Inevitable: How to face death and dying without fear
  2. Where Do We Go From Here: to those recovering from a major loss


24 thoughts on “Today we lost a great person…my mom

Add yours

  1. What a beautiful tribute to your mom. i’m so sorry for your loss and so glad that you had special time with her before she went home. You will be in our prayers as you mourn.

  2. Steve, thank you for sharing. What a great gift you had in that last visit. May the Lord bring you comfort, peace and strength and give you wisdom and a prophetic voice as your family turns to you for support.

    1. Thanks Ray. That week was definitely a gift. God has blessed us with that week of us all being together with my mom. God is still good, we are experiencing the comfort, peace and strength that only He can give in times like these. I am enjoying time with my kids being together and glad we could go through a grieving process together. At times we are laughing recalling memories and other times cry. No patterns, just things that catch us off guard at random moments. Thanks for keeping us in prayer.

  3. Me recordaste a mi madre, este es un tributo a todas las madres. Gracias amigo y que Dios consuele y fortalezca sus corazones .

  4. querido Steve, recibe un gran abrazo, gracias por compartir tus pensamientos sobre tu mamá, creo firmemente que Dios te dio un tiempo con ella antes de partir, ahora ella goza de la presencia de Dios y aunque se que tu corazón te duele Dios te bendice y te reconforta. Estarás en mis oraciones

  5. Loved reading this Steve… What you wrote about her made me reflect on the type of mom I want to be… type of mom I want to continue being… and as I read this, I pray that my kids love me the way you love and honor your mom. Seems she’s still impacting lives even after her death! Thanks for sharing and we are praying for you all as you walk through this season. Miss you and Terry much!

    1. It was really a process for me. Writing the tribute 15 years ago or so was a very healing process for me and for my mom I believe. Reading it to her and giving her the tribute in a nice frame was a special gift that she hung in her bedroom. Hope you guys are doing well in your transition. We miss you also.

  6. Steve…thank you for sharing that beautiful tribute to your mom…what an honor and gift it was to be with her as a family the week before she met her Lord and Savior…

  7. Steve Morgan; Thanks for the beautiful tribute to your Mom.. We haven’t known her long, but she impacted our lives with her quiet soft touch. One day, we were on our way over to Dubuque, IA for my sister’s birthday, and I called my niece Nancy to tell her we were going to church first. Little did I know that I was talking to your Mom by accident. She was so gracious about my mistake, but went along until I was finished speaking. She offered us their condo last year, but we already had one. She was one in a million….

    1. Thanks for your kind response, Arlene. The funeral service is this weekend. We are sad to lose her but know she is in a better place. Her faith in Christ was exhibited in the character you saw in her. Thanks for reading the tribute.

  8. Steve, I read the Gazette and saw the news of your mothers passing. I consider myself fortunate to have spent time with her both in Janesville and on Axehandle lake. I recall her joy for music and particularly the ukulele. What a joy it was to watch your Mom and Dad make music together. I was also pleased to see them both on Padre Is. a few years back and spend a few minutes visiting. May she rest in the Peace of Christ, and may His perpetual light shine upon your mother forever. You, your Dad, Kelly, Robin, Mike and all the extended family shall be in my prayers.

    1. Hey Magoo. I am heading back for the memorial service now. Sad but God is still good. We were all there the week before she died. She was beating the cancer, but her heart gave out. We are confident of her faith in Christ so know she is in a better place. Thanks for your kind words and for reading the tribute. Hope you are doing well my friend. Blessings.

  9. Steve, my thoughts to you and your family. How special your Mom was, she has blessed many!
    My prayers go to all, especially your Dad. I am a widow, my husband died almost three years ago. We were married 27 years, God has been so good to us and let us raise 4 beautiful children. I know your love to your Dad is so important for him now. My son was such a blessing to me, He has made time for me to call him (or he would call me) and let me cry or help with a household problem. My daughter has called me everyday just to say “Good Morning” There are a few good book on grief, sometime, the best is to let you all share your feelings with each other. The peace of the Lord be with you all.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your story. I am sorry for your loss. sounds like you raised great kids who have been a blessing to you in helping you and let you share. That is a great encouragement and reminder to be that for my Dad.

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