April 13

Written by Bill Grandi on April 13th, 2022

Another interlude this morning.

It is Wednesday, April 13, 2022. My thoughts? The power of memories.

To many people today is just another day. To me, not so. If my mother had not died in March of 2004 from a rare form of lung cancer (I could tell you what it was if I could spell it) which mostly struck women who never smoked, she would have turned 90 today. Ironically, my father passed away in 2017 at the age of 90.  He had dementia at the end. I’m guessing about the last 3-5 years. He lived in PA so I rarely got to see him. (Once I was his son. Once I was a family friend.  The last time he was clueless). There was a big difference between mom and dad. Dad left home in 1976, about 6 months after they celebrated their 25th anniversary. The reasons are irrelevant here.

What I do know was the difference. Mom’s faith was tested and taken through the fire and proven to be true. My dad’s? I’ll not judge, so I will again remain silent.

She loved Jesus. She loved the One who died for her. There were times she could have cashed it in. When dad left her she was almost 44 and had to go to work. Except for a short time when I was in elementary school and he was laid off from the railroad, mom didn’t work outside the home. She was a full-time mom. When my great aunt was unable to function and live on her own, and suffered what I’m thinking was something dementia-related, my mom kept a promise to her my father made years before when she put him through computer school. My aunt lived with my mom (I’m guessing) until the last few months when mom could no longer go to work and stay up all night taking care of her, because mom kept the promise my dad made to my aunt of not letting her be put in a home. Mom watched her own mother fight cancer twice-15 years apart-and eventually die during the second bout. She took care of my grandfather afterwards, even when he had a stroke as they were contemplating moving to Florida where my grandparents spent their winters. Mom eventually left the bank she had worked at for years when all the new stuff and requirements got to be too much. But she soon found another job she absolutely loved.

She could be pushy. And maddening. (I never am… 🙂 )

Most of all, she loved Jesus. I treasure the last 6 weeks of her life when I made the weekly trip from Sandusky, OH to West Mifflin, PA (5 hour trip by turnpike) to spend 2-3-4 days with her. Work suffered.  But, oh well. My very patient and understanding wife encouraged the visits. She even made a day trip with me when mom was in the hospital and not expected to come out (she defied their prognosis). I can still remember our weariness coming home from that whirlwind trip.

I can also remember her last days. She would fall asleep and wake up and say, “Oh, I’m still here.” She longed to see Jesus. Grandma. Grandad. Friends and other loved ones. She is enjoying that reunion now.

Thanks for listening. And thanks mom for showing me Jesus and loving me.


6 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ryan S. says:

    Thanks for sharing Bill, a picture into the heart of your mom… and you.

    Good to remember.
    May your day be filled with joy of the positive memories.

  2. Your mother was a saint, Bill. Thank you for sharing this memoir with us.

  3. gail says:

    Thanks for sharing Bill, I love that the love of those that passed before us, lives forever in our hearts.
    I lost my mom and dad in june 2009, three days apart, mom passed away from lung cancer, dad had other health issues but for the most part, I think he felt like he took care of mom til the end, and then he was ready to go to. They found Jesus before they passed, being catholic it took til the end to get there. I can’t wait to see them again.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Knowing they found Jesus makes death a whole lot easier to accept. And longing to see them again and knowing it will for eternity makes it look better.