Mourning and Memories for my Mom and Mentor

Memories of a Mom and a Mentor
I haven't been taking any photos lately. I haven't posted anything to my blog, either. All my attention has been focused on my mother's health problems. A series of small strokes has taken some of my mom away from me; and from all of us. It is a bad time for the family, but a good time to celebrate the gift of birding and love of nature that she gave to three generations so far.

Mom with her parents and sister
This picture was probably taken in 1924. Mom was six or seven when the stock market crashed in 1929. Nonetheless, she called herself a depression baby, which probably had a lot to do with her sense of values. Money was not something she sought in life, and she never confused wealth with happiness or good character.

Mom's extended family
Her family was a mix of Irish and German stock. Some of my cousins look exactly like the unknown relatives in this old photo. I am not actually related to anyone here - I'm not even related physically related to my mom, since I'm adopted. But this is my heritage and family anyway.

Mom and her siblings
This is mom at about 12 years old. Her baby sister, who is ten years younger than mom, is now her only living sibling. From the five kids in her family came twenty something grandchildren and god knows how many great grandchildren. I would estimate that almost all of us know that she and my dad were passionate birders for as long as anyone can remember - and very many of us are passionate or casual birders ourselves.

Mom probably wouldn't thank me for posting this picture, but it was the best likeness I could find on short notice. Today, she looks pretty much the same but she doesn't know her birds anymore. She can't see them very well or hear them at all. It hurts me more than I can say knowing that life has stolen something so precious away from her. But the rest of us will hold her in our hearts whenever we see or hear one of her special feathered friends - forever.


  1. Susan, I am so sorry about your mother's illness. Dementia is a devastating illness which usually robs the affected person of any pleasure and joy in life. Your post is a great tribute to her goodness and beneficial influence on you and your family.

  2. ...my heart goes out to you. I went through the same thing with my grandma. One little stroke after another. Your tribute is beautiful. I can see your love shining through....and her sweetness.

  3. Sue how did I miss this post? Somehow it snuck by me this winter, and I'm just seeing it now. What a nice collection of pictures and nice thoughts about your mom. You know how much I love her, and of course I give her credit for sharing her love of birding with my grandparents and my mother, which led to me becoming a birder. And it's really neat to see your pictures of the family. I'll have to share this link with my mom. :)


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