Sunday, November 9, 2008

For those days...

For those days when I really miss you I will always remember this quote from Elder Wirthlin about how to deal with challenges:
"The third thing we can do is understand the principle of compensation. The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude."
Elder Wirthlin, November 2008 Ensign. (pp. 28)
Thanks for thinking of me today and helping me realize this mom! Love you!

Friday, November 7, 2008

The day my life changed forever...

The day that my mother died has come and gone. I've been too emotionally drained to even really think about it until now. I remember holding her hand as she left us and wondering why no one was doing anything. How could we all just stand there and let her die? How could I ever go on without the woman that I loved best to help me and show me how to be a good woman and mother? I never thought my mother would die so young. Mother's don't die. They don't leave their children. I don't think you ever get used to being motherless. Over the last two years my raging torrent of grief at her loss has settled into a quiet stream of melancholy that flows through my life. Every new event and happy occasion is tempered by the fact that she is no longer here to share it with me or her grandchildren. There is no one to call and cry to on the days that I want to give my kids away (not permanently, maybe just for the day). So often I wish I could lay my head in her lap, have her brush my hair with her fingers and tell me that everything will work out. I never thought her death would make me feel so lonely. A lonliness that no one can help, because I only want my mother. I want my mother. So much. I know that I will see her again. This parting is only temporary. Still, on days like this, it seems far too long and only offers a measure of comfort. I share these thougths because I know that there are women who will read this that know too well my pain. My hope is that together we can make the lonliness and heartache a little more bearable.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday Mom! Have fun up there with Bri and we're sending our love, hugs and kisses!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Almost two years

It will have been two years since you passed away, next week. Here is a poem I wrote tonight in my ESL Methods class. Hope you like it.

My Mom's Hands

They held me when I wanted to cry
and scolded me when I tried to lie.
They lightly tickled my ears at night
and helped me count my years just right.
I miss them running through my hair
or waving goodbye to me in the air.
Their shape was perfect in every way
and were always there when it was time to pray.
They shaped my life through service and love
and continue to do so from up above.
Now when I look at my hands I see
the person my mother always wanted me to be.

Friday, October 3, 2008


I was doing a little research today and came across this test that can help to determine your risk of developing melanoma. Part of me would like to look into getting and part of me doesn't. I worry A LOT about getting melanoma, espcially now that it seems have such a strong genetic presence is our family. Sometimes I look at my children and wonder how much of their lives I will live to see. Knowing my odds won't change them, but maybe make my doctors and myself more vigilant in keeping my healthy. But can I live with that knowledge if the test does come back positive? Just curious what your thoughts are on this Tate and Dorius family. Here is a website about the test.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The way things used to be

These last few days we went through all the stuff that my mom and dad had accumulated over their 26 years together. There was a lot of it. I couldn't believe some of the things that my mom had kept. Lots of our school work, awards, cards, those grade school mother's day gifts we gave her, and so many pictures. Some that I had never seen before. I came across a family picture we took at my high school graduation. There we were, all of us together the way we used to be, and I missed that home and that family so much. That sense of comfort and belonging that is "home". It's hard to realize that I don't have that anymore. I have my own family now but the child in me still sometimes longs to go home. I miss my family, plain and simple. Not just my mother and my sister, but the family that we were together. There were five and now there are three. The one constant thing in life is change I guess. Somedays I just have a hard time keeping up.

I came across some great pictures of my mom. I'll try to post some of them. I found one of she and I swimming when I was little. She is so beautiful! I couldn't get over it! My mom the beauty queen.(: Those bright, laughing, beautiful eyes that I miss so dearly. I also found a picture of my mom diving in Hawaii. I was always so proud of her for doing that. She was clausterphobic so it was not easy for her to learn to dive, but she did and she ended up really enjoying it. She never let anything stop her from doing what she wanted to do. I loved that about her.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Old Friends

Hey Mom!
It's been a while since I've written on here but I just had to tell you about my new teacher experiences! Last week I went to Scera Park to meet Miss Greaves for help on her preparation day, but it ended up just being a "Back to School" meeting with the teachers and principal. Of course I stuck out like a sore thumb in the middle of teachers who all new each other but then came the time for my introduction. Miss Greaves introduced me as Mrs. Fieber but someone on the table behind us quickly piped up and asked, "Are you related to the Tate's?" I turned around to answer the question and lo and behold it was Valerie Louder!! It took me a second to recognize her but I then I said that you were my mom and that I knew who she was:) I had completely forgot, even though grandma had told me:), that Valerie taught at Scera! And I must tell you that I was so proud to hear a few "ohh's" and "really, she was your mom?" as many of the teachers reminisced for a moment about their experiences with you!! I'm pretty sure that no matter where I am in Alpine School District I always run into someone who you touched! It was such a tender few minutes when I got to talk to Valerie and "catch up". She shared some very special memories and we shared a few tears. I really can't help but miss you everyday and especially when it comes to teaching.
I've been a little overwhelmed at times these past few weeks just wanting to call and ask you all of the questions that I have as an almost new teacher. How do you plan out a general year plan? How do you start the first day of school? What do you tell parents at parent teacher conference and back to school nights? How do you set up rules and routines? I know that most of this comes just by doing but I just want to be selfish for a bit and want you here.
We went to Russel's homecoming talk this morning and he has become quite the man. You would have loved to have been there and listening to his experiences and how he's changed. I chuckled to myself as he had "translation" times. I remember those days all too well. We all went over to Becky's for some yummy food and good conversation. It's been difficult sometimes to be around everyone since you've been gone. At times I feel like I'm a piece of the puzzle but without the piece that connects me to everyone else, you. I know that everyone there loves me and is always there for me but sometimes its so hard to feel like I have a reason to be there. I know that these feelings will pass but I so wish I could talk to you. You always had a way of listening and making me feel better about the situation. Now Brooke mainly plays this role for me. She is so much like you in that way and I'm blessed to have her. I also know that I have so many other people willing to listen to my blabbering and it brings me comfort in times of need. I had a dream about you the other night. You gave me a hug and I didn't want to wake up because I felt so at home. Love you as always and hope that you're proud of who we are!
Love always,
Jamie D.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dearest Name

Every night at bedtime I climb into Parker's bed and we snuggle and sing a few primary songs together. It's my favorite time of the day. It's also a way that I hope to build his little testimony of Jesus. He picks two songs and I pick one. Lately I have been teaching him the Dearest Name song. I have always loved it and now it's word bring me a smile and a feeling of peace as I think about my mother. The events of this week made me want to post it here in honor of all of our mothers and especially for those of us whose mother's now watch us and love us from heaven.

I know a name, a glorious name,
Dearer than any other.
Listen, I’ll whisper the name to you:
It is the name of mother.
Mother, so tender and kind and true,
I love you, I love you.
Mother, so tender and kind and true,
I love you.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Saying Hello

Amy and I took our kids to the cemetery to place flowers on Steph and Briana's graves. Sarah, my four-year-old daughter, was very concerned as to how they were going to get the flowers. "Are they going to come and pick them up?" she asked. I explained to her that they were watching us from heaven and smiling, knowing that we love and remember them. "Oh!" she replied. Amy quickly told them to say hello, and they immediately looked up to the sky and began waving and yelling, "Hi Aunt Stephy!! Hi Briana!!" It was a beautiful and happy moment!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Girls' Weekends

We had our annual Girls' Weekend this past Friday-Sunday. Well, it isn't really an annual one, per se. Sometimes it is substituted with Family Reunions, but we have had eleven since we began in 1993. This year we headed to Park City. We missed you, Steph--you would have loved it! We started it off by going to "Mamma Mia"--and that set the tone for the rest of our time together! We were crazy--laughing and dancing and singing and eating and shopping! We also missed Brooke, who couldn't make it from Washington, and Krista, and everyone else who was unable to attend! Here is a brief history of our weekend get-togethers, in pictures . . .
Park City 2008

San Francisco 2007

When Steph was too ill to come, we brought "Girls' Weekend" to her bedroom--October 2006

Seattle 2005
We skipped 2000 and had Family Reunions 2001-2004.
And we can't find a photo from our trip to San Diego in 1999.

Lake Tahoe 1998

Tucson 1997

San Francisco 1996

Park City 1995

St. George/Cedar City 1994

Las Vegas 1993

Sunday, July 13, 2008

In My Daughter's Eyes

This is a video that Kim put together just after Steph passed away. It shows not only Steph and her girls but also many other "mother-daughter" relationships in our family. Enjoy . . .

Monday, June 30, 2008


This afternoon Parker and I were talking about our trip to Utah and how fun it was to see everyone. The first person he talked about was grandma Tate. He loves her so much and they really have a special bond. One of his favorite things in the world is to play cars out on her patio. I told him that grandma Tate was grandma Stephanie's mommy and that if grandma Stephanie was here she would love to play with him all the time. He asked me if grandma Stephanie was coming to our house. I told him that she couldn't because she lived in heaven but that we would see her someday. He thought for a moment and then said, "she's busy." I asked him what she was busy doing and he said, "playing with Jesus."

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Today is for you

Hey mom!! I'm just sitting here at work and thinking about our little barbeque that we'll be having in honor of you tonight. Most of the family is coming and we're having hamburgers, grandma's baked beans, and Becky's potato salad. I must admit that it wouldn't be a Tate function without those things and I love it! I looked up your name on google last night, since work was a bit slow, and I found out that you recieved the Golden Apple award from Alpine School District! I'm not sure when you did because we never talked about it, but I'm not surprised because you were always content to just do your best and not care if anyone noticed.:) I so admire you for that trait! I'm really trying to develop it for myself. You always did things because you knew it was right and you wanted to, never because someone else was watching. I'm sure that is why you were such a great teacher! You made every day your best day of teaching, even though I am almost positive you still had some more difficult days:).

Yesterday I had peaches and cottage cheese for a snack on my break. I can't help but think of you because you were the one who introduced it to me. Adam always asks me how I can eat that stuff... and I always remind him that you I tried it because of you! I also eat pears and grated cheese, and frozen burritos... some other "mom classics". I'm so thrilled to be able to go to Brooke's house and have a night about you! We don't get to talk about you with dad so much anymore, so it's nice to be able to have an night to blab on about all of memories. We were in Park City last weekend up at the time share and I got to share some memories with Adam...:) I remember getting you all spruced up in our room, putting your make-up and wig on and heading down for the BIG family picture. The best part of the entire picture experience was when little Parker reached out and pulled your wig off!! I will never forget that or the way you laughed when it happened! I think that was also Parkers first time "driving" Dad's beamer. We're going to see some of Kathy's kids tonight and I pray that Brooke and I can be a support to them througout this whole experience. They seem to be doing alright, considering everything. Melanoma is such a sneaky little varmint, but we're doing our best to keep it at bay. If Kathy ends up coming over there you make sure and give her a hug... we'll do our part down here but hopefully her kids will have her longer. Mom, I love you and miss you everyday. Thanks for helping become all I could be while you were here.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Just how I feel...

I was reading some of the memorials on the melanoma website and I came across this poem that really touched me. It's really sums up how I feel about my mom.

"The Agony is so great.....
And yet I will stand it.
Had I not loved so very much.
But goodness knows I would not
Want to diminish that precious love
By one fraction of an ounce.
I will Hurt,
And I will be grateful to the hurt
For it bears witness to
The depth of our meanings,
And for that I will be
Eternally Grateful."

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hi mom. Just me, missing you.

Monday, May 5, 2008

You are always on my mind

As time passes I find myself coming up with all kinds of questionst that I would like to ask my mom. Here are just a few of them:
  • What was your favorite color? ( I don't think I've ever asked you that)
  • How did you keep your nails so gorgeous?
  • What advice would you give me as a new teacher?
  • How in the world do you teach kids to read? I felt lost in Literacy I.
  • Do you think I'll be a good teacher?
  • Will I always be so stubborn...?
  • How can I be a better wife?
  • Should I do a masters equivalency or just do a masters?
  • What was your favorite dessert?
  • Is it okay that I learned how to play poker? :) LOL
  • What advice do you have about being a mother?
  • Are you proud of me?
  • How can Brooke and I better deal with dad's marriage?
  • What do you wish you had done before the end?
  • Should I keep my hair long or short?
  • What should I do for a summer job?
  • How do I fill the hole you left?
  • When will I get to see you again?
  • Am I doing a good job at Dixon?
  • What do you miss most about our family?
  • How's Briana?
  • What do I need to do to be better spiritually?
  • Do you know how much we miss you?
  • Are you okay with the new wife?
  • etc....

Friday, March 28, 2008

Wedding Day

Here are a few photos I found of Steph's wedding day--she was a beautiful bride!

Sunday, March 16, 2008


OK, Jamie you reminded me of some stuff. I used the word "lallygagging" (I don't even know how to spell it) the other day and I had to smile because it is such a "my mom" word! I can't tell you how many times I heard, "quit your lallygagging!" I also remember her letting us come to help her with her classroom at the beginning of each school year. I'm sure we weren't too much help, but she knew we loved to so she let us come anyway. I loved my mom's hands. She had the most slender, perfect fingers and the most beautiful nails. She always kept her nails long enough to scratch my dad's back.(: She worked so hard to make my wedding perfect. That was my mom. She loved us so. I miss her when I don't know how to make baked potatoes and when Makenna laughs and I wish she was here to enjoy my kids. I just miss her all the time. Sometimes I wish it would get better but then I wish it wouldn't because I don't want to lose any of her.

More things on my mind

Now that Adam and I are in the same ward that my parents attended for the last year of my mom's life I have had more opportunities to reflect on the memories that I have.

After returning from my mission in Spain, I remember being shocked to find out that my parents had hired someone to clean the house twice a week. All growing up my mother had been a "do it yourself" person and was very much a busy body. In this bewildered state I asked my dad why they had hired her. He lovingly replied that because the interferon had taken such a toll on my mom's body she decided to hire someone to complete the daunting task of cleaning "the castle house". That little moment helped to realize that my mom was going through some serious treatment even though she never presented herself that way. She was an incredibly strong woman who was very determined to do all that she could by herself.

I remember my dad telling me that almost every night my mom would come home from school and be so excited to tell my dad all about each student and their progression (whether it was big or little). She loved teaching so much and as I have begun my teaching career I can see why!!

I will never forget the night of my mother's retirement party. I got home from work and my dad was frantically trying to figure out where my mom had gone. We only had 10 minutes left before her party at the school and we still had no idea where she went. A few minutes later my mom came through the door. We asked her where she had been and she acted shocked about our concern. She informed us that she had gone to do her visiting teaching and ended up staying a little longer because her visiting teachee "needed to talk to someone". Now keep in mind that this was also a few weeks after she had started her aggressive treatments for brain cancer. I often reflect on this teaching experience when it's time for me to do my visiting teaching. Even though my life gets pretty busy with work and school, I remind myself of the selflessness my mother showed even during her most trying period. Almost all of us have time to do our visiting teaching, no matter what.

She always remembered everyone's birthday and special events. Her car was her room on wheels, much like mine is today. She didn't know how to give less than 110% in anything. She really loved McDonald's parfaits and all american meals. She made sure that we at least had one meal on Sunday together as a family. I'm pretty sure she created the term YOYO dinner (Your On Your Own)... this really helped me to develop my talents as a chef for which my husband is very thankful:) She allowed me to help her with different projects that she had for school that gave precious one on one time. She had a way of talking to my dad that none of us could ever master. She mastered the many "teacher looks" that my dad would comment on at home.

I wanted to invite everyone else to write down their memories of her as well so that we can all learn a little more about the details of her life. Love you all!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

My parent's anniversary

This Valentine's Day would have been my parent's 28th wedding anniversary. When I stop to think about all the things they went through and how they stuck together and kept loving and supporting each other, I'm amazed. I will never forget watching my mom reach out for my dad's hand the last 2 days before she died. Even though she could no longer speak, she still showed my dad how much she loved him and needed him with that one simple gesture. And my dad was always there to hold her and comfort her. They faced their last earthly trial together, hand in hand. The same way they had faced every other trial that had come their way in the last 26 years. As the years roll on, I've come to acccept that my memories of my mother will fade, but I know that this one memory never will.