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My mom December 21, 1919 – June 21, 2012

Monday, July 09, 2012

My mom passed away recently. On a poetic note she was born on the winter’s solstice and she passed away on the summer’s solstice. On a more bittersweet note she passed away on her oldest daughter’s, my sister’s birthday. Her brother, the last surviving sibling ( he just turned 90 on June 10), said, when I phoned to tell him the news, “She gave a lot to all of you.” She did, as a mother, sprirtually, culturally and materially. She was an artist from childhood, she always had a pencil and pad nearby. Before marriage she went to art school in Florence. She was a stay-at-home mom and enjoyed being involved in her children’s interests and education. When her nest was empty in the 70s, she took art classes at college, participated in artist workshops and retreats and travelled to see art museums. She liked designing logos. She also liked drawing and painting portraits, landscapes, flowers and still-lifes. She was born and grew up in Italy, both her parents were Swiss from the canton of Glarus. Hiking and skiing were family traditions, mom remembers her dad taking her and her brothers every Saturday. Living in north Italy at the beginning of the Alps offered beauteous outdoors opportunities and they sometimes holidayed in Switzerland as well. She came to Canada with my dad and older brother and sister in 1955. My next older sister and I were born in Canada. My dad was a dairy farmer, she helped him start and continue the farm in Canada. I enjoyed a very cafe-free and outdoors childhood. Currently my husband and I are still on the farm, my other siblings have moved on to other occupations. We went back to Italy and Switzerland for holidays several times while growing up, we enjoyed a multi-cultural upbringing. My mom became a born-again Christian in Canada, she loved the Mennonite traditions of Christ-centred simplicity of lifestyle, along with high academic and music standards and extensive charitable outreach. My mom had a long life and many interesting experiences. The last four years were difficult, she was in a care home and not able to walk any more. It was hard to see her living a restricted life. In her seventies and eighties she always said she never wanted to go to a care home. When she was 88, she was no longer able to live independently and her kids were not able to put together a coordinated plan to keep her at home. Last year when my youngest child graduated from high school, I took a 6 month course to be a health care assistant with the goal of bringing her back home to the farm and caring for her. The plan was to have her come home in the summer when she is the strongest and enjoy with her, her garden here on the farm, the flowers and the trees she planted, perhaps revive her herb and vegetable garden by her house. To spend some time outside, in the sunshine, visiting the calf barn and seeing the newest arrivals, things she liked to do before she left to go into a care home. I am missing her presence, and wishing she could have spent at least a summer at home, but am also happy for her that she doesn’t have to live a frail and restricted and dependent life anymore, freedom for her, on to greater glory.

my mom as a little girl

as a young woman

my mom and dad Feb 21, 1946

voyage to Canada in 1955 with my dad, older brother and sister

having a tea party with my next oldest sister

my mom and baby me

on the farm

in her eighties

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Wow - what a wonderful tribute to a wonderful lady. I am so sorry you lost her here on earth but was heartened by the wee note that assures us as to where she is now. Glad to hear you are taking some time to grieve and heal this summer.

    Take care,

    Gail emoticon
    1944 days ago
    June, so sorry to hear about your mom's passing! What a great lady, and you will have these memories close to your heart always. Thinking of you! My Condolences!What a beautiful story and consolation that she is indeed in a place far beyond our imagination! HUGS!
    1968 days ago
  • _LINDA
    So very sorry for your loss -your Mom was an amazing woman -wonderful to see she led a full and happy life -just LOVE the photo of her and you as a baby! Its hard to believe she was in her eighties in the last photo -looks like she took very good care of herself! I so agree with her not wanting to be restricted living in a nursing home. But it was sad she didn't get one last look at the farm..
    I was stopping by to thank you for visiting my blog -I too have fond memories of a child being in the Radium Springs pool when it was snowing! Moms are so special, can't imagine the loss :(
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1968 days ago
    Thank you for sharing your mother's story -- and the photos.
    She sounds like a very interesting person.
    How fortunate for you to have had such a talented mother.
    And I'm sure it is so sad to have to say good-bye to her -- especially since you had prepared and planned to have her home on the farm again.

    May all your good memories bring you comfort at this time of loss.

    1972 days ago
    1975 days ago
    What a lovely tribute blog. As much as I'm sorry for your loss, I am happy you've had such a wonderful mother in your life. Big hug.
    1980 days ago
    What a moving tribute. Thanks for sharing.
    1980 days ago
    Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute to your mom. She sounds wonderful, creative, full of life. A great role model. So sorry for you loss.
    Take care,
    1980 days ago
  • STHRNLDY1969
    Wow! What a wonderful tribute to a beautiful lady! Like Heather, I'm amazed by the picture of her in her 80s..how lucky she was to have had that health and beauty well into her 80s and how blessed you were to have her in your life for all those years.
    1981 days ago
  • LAURIE5658
    I love your stories and THANK YOU for taking the time to share. I know it helps you immensely. Your mother sounds like she was and still is a great woman. Please know that she will be waiting for you!

    1981 days ago
    Was wonderful reading about your Mom June, she had a full and exciting life. I couldn't believe the pic of her in her 80's she looked fantastic.
    Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.
    1981 days ago
    June, thank you so much for sharing your mother's story. What wonderful memories you have. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
    1981 days ago
  • LINDA!
    What a beautiful lady. I am so sorry for your loss.
    1981 days ago
    Revisit those good memories often - she sounded like a wonderful woman and very influential in your life.
    1981 days ago
    emoticon Such great memories. Those are the things you will remember when you think about her.
    1981 days ago
    I'm sorry for your loss. It sounds like she was an amazing woman.
    1981 days ago
  • BILL60
    What great memories to have. Hold on to them.
    1981 days ago
    What an amazing person! Your pictures and history of your Mom's life is very much a treasure.

    I am sorry for your loss. What a magnificent woman to have in your life. ~ Trish
    1981 days ago
    June, I'm so sorry to hear of your mother's passing. Thank you for sharing your memories of her with us. She was an amazing woman.
    1981 days ago
    What an amazing life your mother had! I'm sorry for your loss. My dad died fifteen years ago and I still find news ways to appreciate him and all the things he did for me.
    PS I love your beautiful pictures. The really give a sense of the kind of person your mother was.
    1981 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/9/2012 1:01:29 AM
    So sorry for your loss, I am hoping your happy memories of your mom will ease the loss of her passing.
    1981 days ago
  • ALICIA214

    What lovely memories you have of your dear mother what a treasure trove you have to
    look at down the years and I bet she is smiling down and thinking what a good job she did raising you.
    May she rest in peace.

    I live on the West Coast Vancouver!!

    1981 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/9/2012 12:35:04 AM
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