My mother is without a doubt the best mom I have ever met and I have met a lot of mothers. For over 30 years I worked in an average of 6 homes a day, 5 days a week. That’s a lot of homes and a lot of moms! (Over 45,000! Of course some were repeats, so an exact number is impossible.)

My mom has always trusted my judgment and allowed me to make my own mistakes. She felt it was the best way to learn and I agree. She would offer her advice and opinions, but let me make my own decisions.

Throughout my entire life, she was always the one I turned to when I needed advice. She was always willing to give it and it was always good, but she never told me what to do.

Of course, I made plenty of mistakes over the years, but she never said “I told you so”. She would just try to make sure I learned from them. She was also the one I called when I just needed a sounding board, or a shoulder to cry on. She was always there for me.

Mom was the hardest working woman I ever met too. She worked a good 40 to 50 hours a week running a machine shop (I know, I worked there too.), stop at the grocery store on the way home for fresh food and get home and cook a full meal, every night. My dad was a ‘meat and potatoes’ kind of guy and would not eat sandwiches, casseroles or soups for supper.

Twice a week she would stop and do laundry before going to the grocery store. She did all of this without complaining. “It’s my job” was her only reply to “why do you do it?”

But mom also knew how to enjoy life. She knew how to have a great day at the beach, she knew how to make sure we kids had a great day at the zoo and she knew how to let dad have a great time whatever he wanted to do.

I have many wonderful memories of camping and fishing with her. She loved to fish, both fresh water streams for trout and deep sea ocean trips. She was known as the “Queen of the bottom”! She could always catch plenty of halibut when no one else was catching any. And yes, she cleaned her own fish.

After my dad passed away, mom finally got the rest she deserved. While life with dad was rough for her (He was very demanding and strict) she loved him with all her heart. He loved her too in his way and never denied her anything she wanted. Of course she never asked for much. She missed him and was lonely and finally moved into a “Mother-in-Law apartment” built onto my sister’s home on farmland. While she missed her many friends in Los Angeles, she loved the peace and the animals around her. She did what she wanted, when she wanted, but of course was still always there for us.

In the end, it was very hard. This beautiful angel on earth, who would do anything for anyone at anytime, contracted 4 different cancers at almost the same time. I know it’s wrong, but it still doesn’t seem fair. Beautiful people like her should live forever. But then as she would say “If all the good people lived forever, where would the angels that people would need, come from?” That was mom, always thinking of others.

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