My Mom was the most positive person one could every met and I was blessed enough to call her Mom. She battled breast cancer for 17 years, never giving up. When she entered the hospital for the last time, her doctor learned that she had just arrived back in California from Arizona, the doctor could not believe that she was still traveling in her condition. We decided not to tell the doctor that a few weeks earlier, my Mom had flown by herself cross-country with connecting flights for a week in Florida. Even in laughter my heart aches.
She pasted away a week after her 72nd birthday, which is a year ago today. Even though it was the saddest day in my life, my mom would want us to think of all the good times, which there were plenty.
She was a small town Danish farm girl, who studied in Switzerland and England before she set sail for America. She arrived in New York by herself and boarded a Greyhound bus across the USA before reaching Southern California. She quickly adapted, made new friends and married my Dad in 1967.
My Mom loved to travel. She flew, drove and sailed her way around the world. Growing up we traveled often.
We would go camping throughout the US and Canada and for many years we spent New Years on Maui.
Each summer she would take my brother and I to visit family in Denmark.
There was definitely some creative travel planning that went into our trips to be able to afford to travel. Once we flew from Los Angeles to New York, to Amsterdam. Then boarded a train, with multiple connections mind you, before arriving in Aalborg, Denmark. She would have to lug the heavy suitcases by herself as the rolling suitcases had not yet been invented. I am pretty sure my brother and I were fighting the whole way on top of this travel nightmare.
I now look back in admiration, as a mom myself, how she did it with two young kids.
In 1990 when I became a flight attendant, she travelled even more. My parents traveled throughout Asia, South America, New Zealand, Australia and Europe. But now sometimes she would get first class. She totally deserved it for sure!
One time while traveling on another airline, the agent thought she was part of their staff and put her on their jumpseat! She just had that friendly grace about her.
My mom would meet me on many of my layovers all over the world. A lot of the other flight attendants just thought she was part of the crew since they saw her so often. She fit right in.
She would always pack a tablecloth, a vase and fresh flowers from her garden. We would have snacks and drinks in the room while enjoying the view. She made everything cozy, no matter where we were. We enjoyed exploring the cities together.
When my Mom was in her 50’s, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. That did not stop her. Together with my Dad, they traveled to Costa Rica for 6 months as foreign exchange students. They went to school and lived with a local family while exploring the country.
Then in her 60’s, my parents flew to Argentina, where they stayed with friends in Buenos Aires, before renting an apartment in the coastal town of Necochea.
She never complained and never let the cancer stop her until the every end. She was the best mom, grandmother, friend anyone could ever wish for.
Joy ends in grief and death is unfortunately everyone’s destiny in Creations grand design. She had a remarkable life and her legacy will live on in our hearts forever, until we meet again.
I love you Mom, I’ll miss you forever and happy birthday!