Nine months later

Today most of the local family is getting together at my sister’s house to go through my mom’s things. We need to decide what we want, what to donate and what to toss. I know that my sister already told my daughter that she will be getting all of my mom’s yard gnomes. My daughter loves them, my sister tolerated them for mom’s sake.

We will also be spreading some of her ashes in her flower beds as she requested. It will be bittersweet but something we need to do since it has been nine months since her passing.

This is where we ended up spreading some of mom’s ashes.

It’s back in the far right hand corner.



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Mom’s memorial service

It was a perfect day for mom’s memorial service. The weather was great and the turn out wonderful. Full of family and friends. Mom would have been smiling.

Mom's favorite candies

Memory basket

Mom's flowers still looking beautiful

Mom’s memorial service is Sunday

Sunday June 27th would have been my mother’s 81st birthday. We are having her memorial service Sunday. We wanted to wait until all of her beautiful flowers were in full bloom and hopefully the weather would be nice. The weather forecast for Sunday is calling for sunny and 81 degrees.

Last Sunday three of my sisters, a niece and I got together to work on finalizing the plans for the memorial service. There is not going to be a formal ceremony. The memorial service will be open house style. We expect there may be as many as sixty people attending. We hope that some family and friends will speak about their memories of mom. Every family member contributed photos of mom and family to use in a slideshow. We have some great photos, some current and some very old that represent many memorable occasions of mom’s life. We are going to have the slide show running continuously on the TV in my mom’s bedroom. Mom’s Christmas toys and decorations will be displayed in her room since Christmas was her favorite time of year.

Some of mom’s favorite foods will be served. Mom always wanted KFC and a Dairy Queen ice cream cake for her birthday parties. Maybe this time we will finally get the timing of the cake just right; not too melty or too frozen when it is served. My sister Debi and a niece will be making mom’s famous potato salad. Everybody always raved about it.

It will be a tough day to get through but it will be good to have all of the family together including some from out of state. I am sure that I will take lots of photos of the gathering.

Mother’s Day 2010

Remembering my mother on this Mother’s Day. Helena Louise Umland Conlon June 27, 1929 – December 28, 2009. I miss you Mom!

Mother’s Day is an annual holiday that recognizes mothers, motherhood and maternal bonds in general, as well the positive contributions that they make to society. In the United States, it is celebrated on the second Sunday in May.

Many different stories about the origin of Mother’s Day can be read here.

Yesterday when I talked to Tara she wanted to take me to brunch today but the restaurant she wanted us to go to had 15 people on the wait list and the 1st dinner opening at 8:15PM. So she suggested I call my favorite breakfast place in the morning even though they don’t take reservations. Tara was sure they would for me as I am one of their best customers and I know that they would too. Instead I said that I would rather just go over to their house and have something grilled. My SIL is going to grill carne asada and we will have Mother’s Day burritos or tacos. Because after all Mother’s Day is about being with the child or mother that you love.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you Mothers out there.

The first of many firsts

Tomorrow will be the first Mother’s Day without my mother. It has been hard the last couple of weeks hearing all the Mother’s Day commercials on the radio and TV. Thanksgiving and Christmas will be especially tough the first time around because my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer just before Thanksgiving and died three days after Christmas. Christmas was my mother’s favorite time of year.

I created the electronic invite to the memorial service for my Mother which is taking place next month on her birthday. It took me at least three tries to get it done because I had to stop when I started to cry.

This morning several members of my family participated in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. The walk is to honor breast cancer survivors, remember people we have lost, and raise funds and awareness to help end this disease. Making Strides is not a race; it is a celebration of survivorship, an occasion to express hope, and a shared goal to end a disease that threatens the lives of so many people we love.” Although my mother did not have breast cancer my sister Debi pulled together some family members to help out the cause. I donated enough $ yesterday to get them to their team goal.

My mother – May she rest in peace

Mother at her 80th birthday party

Helen Louise

June 27, 1929 – December 28, 2009

My mother passed away this morning about 9:30AM. It was about 6 weeks ago that she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. She was admitted to the hospital Saturday as she was very dehydrated and had a lot of pain in her stomach. The CAT scan showed air in her stomach and liver lining and in an artery. The decision was made late yesterday afternoon to take her off all meds and give her morphine to try to make her comfortable. She went into a coma last night and was gone this morning as I said around 9:30. She made it to Christmas which was  her favorite day of the year.

 After all of the family in the area came to say our goodbye’s mother’s eyes were going to be donated to Devers Eye Institute. Although she was blind in one eye from a stroke years ago and had been treated for glaucoma they said that she would be an excellent donor for research purposes. 

My mother had the foresight a few years ago to make cremation plans through the Neptune Society. We will have a small memorial service in three weeks or so.

Your’e never too old for Christmas, right?

My mother may be 80 but she loves stuffed animals especially those that make noise and move. She has most of her Christmas stuffed animals on display in her bedroom suite. These photos are of just some of the decorations and stuffed animals in her bedroom. She has more on display in the hallway outside her bedroom.

You are never too old for Christmas, right?