Friday, June 29, 2012

Remembering my Mom

It has been a year since she passed away. I had a crazy day today. We are in the Dallas Area househunting. My phone would buzz. First it was a reminder from my daughter's calendar that today was the one year mark -- Who knew that she put it on her calendar????

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Then it was the little memories people would share on facebook.

Then it was the emails.

There was always a little buzz that meant a new story or memory had been shared. I would read it on my iphone, smile a little, tear up a little, and then look at yet another house.

Here are just some of the memories I read today.

From her best fried from high school, Randy-

Two weeks ago today I attended the 40th Sanger High School reunion of the class of 1972. Many of the other students asked me detailed questions about Candy and were shocked to learn of her death. At one point there was silence for the 31 missing classmates who were deceased from the class of 1972. I don't think there was a dry eye in the room.

On Sunday morning I had breakfast with friends from high school who also knew Candy very well, Scott Nishioki, Tom Uribes and Tony Biasell. The gathering was to remember Candy and our teacher Mr. Peoples. Mr.People was the high school journalism teacher. But more than being our teacher, he gave us a safe playground during our high school years to have fun and explore life without getting into trouble. It was a true age of innocence when I think of the late nights we spent in room 1 without an adult having fun, hours in the dark room developing film and printing pictures, spending summer evenings together decorating the room for our senior year painting it in psychedelic colors and designs.

We spent 3 hours together and we still had more to say and share. One story that Tom remembered was that he, Candy and myself had gone to Fresno on a Saturday night for some type of photo shoot at the Del Webb hotel. (Tom was the school photographer for the yearbook and newspaper.) For some reason we crashed a party doing what Tom described as a "Mexican Polka" and cleared the floor dancing with both me and Candy. He said he got a little private lesson outside of the ballroom and then all three of us danced the night away. 40 years after our high school graduation many of the memories were as sweet now as they were then. After we had breakfast we went over to Scott's home in Fresno to wish his 91 year old mother, Faye, happy birthday. She still does all of her own yard work, which is perfect, and cuts and styles hair in a salon close by. An amazing woman.

Scott had in his closet a few pictures of Candy that he finally was willing to part with and sent them home with me. I will mail them to Craig once I get a folder large enough. There is one that says "Porker" on it under the picture of Candy. We would all go to Farewells Ice Cream Parlor together after an evening out, Scott, Duane, Candy and myself, and eat what was called the "Trough" which fed 4 people. The word porker does not refer to the size of Candy, only to the enjoyment of the ice cream. I think that nick name stuck in high school. These were wonderful memories with Candy before her life as a wife and mother, but I am sure had some influence on the wonderful woman Candy was and the lives she touched. There may be more pictures surface as time goes on. Tom, having been the photographer had a folder full of pictures that only he knew about and has kept since high school. Tom now is the media director for Fresno State College, Tony is the director of a Christian Camp called Calvin Crest close to Fresno and Scott lives in Washington DC and is a 30 year veteran on the hill working for various assemblymen from the Fresno area as a legislative aid and lobbyist at one time for a communications company. Scott said that Candy and her family were the only people who ever came and visited him in DC. As always, Candy did not miss a beat in living a full life.

From her sister Penny,

Candy was nearly perfect, however there were a few incidents growing up that showed a little different side to her. When we were little, she would come up behind us and pull our hair and then run screaming to Mom. Now , who do you think got in trouble? Actually, that is the only such memory I have. All my other memories are of a sweet, patient, kind, and supportive sister.

A few years ago, my friend Dottie, went to Houston with her hubby, who was having cancer treatments. I called Candy and asked if she could check in on them from time to time. Candy, being Candy, did far more than that. She took Dottie under her wing, and visited and provided meals for the few months that they were there. She involved the R.S. sisters in helping to provide meals. She took Dottie places she needed to go. I felt such love for my sister as she lovingly provided this service for someone she didn't even know. Dottie has told me over and over again, how much she appreciated Candy's love and concern for her.

When I spent some time living with Dan's parents, Candy and Craig were still in Utah finishing up school. Candy was my refuge in the storm. It was so hard to have two little boys to take care and no Dan to help me. My father in law was ill and eventually hospitalized, so Mom J. had to focus on his care. I would go over to Candy's in the morning and take care of Jamie while she went to school and then talk and visit with her when she got back. I don't think I would have survived nearly as well, if I hadn't had her love and support.

Candy has always been the voice of reason. I find myself asking all the time, "How would Candy react to this situation?" "How would she handle this problem?" So even beyond the grave, she's helping me to be a better person.

I was able to go and be with her for three weeks last October as she began her chemo treatments. We did some projects together and I thought "How fun it would have been to live closer to her and do projects together." That was such a choice time to be there with her. Often when I would come out of my room, she would be kneeling beside her bed having her morning prayer. One day as we were talking, she told me "I'm okay with what ever the Lord has in store for me." What a woman of faith and inspiration.

All of us sisters were there when Candy got the news that she wasn't going to make it. I have never seen anyone face such a pronouncement with the courage and acceptance that she did. How difficult it must have been for her to know that she would be leaving her husband, and children, especially Tyler and of course all of her beautiful grandchildren for a season. As I sat with her on the couch holding her hand knowing it would be the last time until we meet again, I felt tremendously blessed that the Lord allowed such a beautiful person, inside and out, to be my sister.

I will forever miss you and always love you. Get those projects lined up for when we meet again. Does having your body restored in all of it's glory, mean that you will now have talents like Candy had on this earth? I can't wait to find out!!!!!

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