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!