Carol was born in 1945 and grew up in Minneapolis and St. Paul Minnesota. I knew her as my Mom, and she took care of me until I was a teenager. When she was twenty one she gave birth to my older brother Bill. Two years later, I arrived to form a family of four. We all waited five more years for my little sister Sue to arrive. I still remember the day she came home from the hospital, wrapped in a blanket.
I remember sleeping in Mom’s bed when I was sick. She would hold me until I fell asleep. When I was older, I cared for her when she was in bed with a bad back.
I remember waking up on Christmas morning and running downstairs to see her and dad waiting for us, with presents under the tree. Their smiles so big and their laughter bright and warm.
We’d travel as a family by car from New Jersey to Minnesota at least once a year, usually twice. The kids would all ride in the back of our station wagon, we had blankets setup as a bed in the back. We’d play games and sleep while Mom and Dad drove all night and all day without stopping. One time the car broke down and we stayed in a hotel with a pool, us kids thought it was wonderful.
She always encouraged me to learn and grow and loved me for who I am. I’d draw, play outside or build Lego in my room. I’d roam the woods behind our house, build forts and race boats down the stream. Mom always knew where I was and what I was doing. I don’t know how, but she did.
Mom smoked her whole life, quitting every once in while, but always starting again. She was diagnosed with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) several years ago and it took it’s toll on Mom. She was on oxygen and started to get weaker as the years wore on. For the past four months, she had been bed ridden and slept most of the time. She gave up her fight last week.
If you are worried about me, I am doing alright, I’m sad she is gone but I also know she isn’t in pain anymore. Writing this post has also helped me and I have strong support from my family. I like to remember Mom when we were both younger and she was healthy. We had many, many good times together.
In lieu of flowers, you can make a donation to the American Lung Association here: