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A Saint Patrick's Day Tribute...

Today is my mom's birthday. She would have been 78. I've been wanting to do a tribute to her, and I thought today would be a good day for that. I want to tell you a little bit about the person my mom was.

My mom was named Patty because she was born on Saint Patrick's Day. How neat is that?
(Mom & Me circa 1961)

My mom was the kind of person that made friends with everyone, and once you were her friend, you were her friend for life. She taught me a lot about loyalty.

Circa 1969

She was a beautiful woman, and very stylish. As a teenager, I always liked to borrow her clothes and jewelry...

(Renee, Mom & Me circa 1976)

Mom was a believer in women's rights. She was a big fan of Gloria Steinem. She went through a painful divorce from my Dad when I was 15, and after that, she was a very independent woman for many years. I always remember her wearing a t-shirt that said "A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle!" HA. She taught me to stand on my own two feet. She taught me to make my own way in the world.

In 1985, she got a chance to move to California for her job. It was a chance for a fresh start. I was sad to see her and Renee go, but so happy for her to have a new adventure, a new chapter in her life. She was my inspiration to never be afraid to try something new. To take a risk.

In 1987 she met Elmer. The two of them were perfect for each other. They got married, and started going on adventures together...

(Mom & Elmer circa 2004)

They used to spend their summers here in Minnesota, and their winters in California...

(Mom & Elmer circa 2005)

My mom was there for me through all of my ups and downs. She was a wonderful mother and friend...
When Elmer got sick, she was there for him too. A committed caregiver, she never left his side. Renee and I tried to get her to take a break once in awhile and go do something for herself but she refused. She was right where she wanted to be she said. She taught me alot about love.

Elmer passed away in April of last year after a four-year illness. She was alone again. Lonely, but resilient. We talked every evening on the phone. As the days and months went by, she started to make new friends, started a new exercise program, and her social calendar got busier and busier. She was very active with her church. She even made plans to go back to college. It made me feel so good that she was doing well and was happy again. She taught me alot about strength. She taught me alot about cherishing every moment.

Mom and Michael's Mom Sue this past summer (2010).

My mom volunteered regularly at her local soup kitchen. She was part of a "prayer shawl ministry" through her church. She would knit shawls and they would be given to people who were going through a hard time in life, to give them some comfort. She also was part of a group that got together regularly and made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the homeless. She taught me a lot about being a giving person.

My mom always had a smile and a kind word to share.

She was my inspiration.

She always will be.
Happy Birthday Mom. I love and miss you. You've been gone for two months now, but you will always live in my heart.

Thanks so much for visiting. I really appreciate it! I will be back tomorrow with some new artwork to share.
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