Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A Tribute to my Mother

I got my love of gardening from my mother. We've spent countless hours together designing and planting and harvesting; bonding with the soil and each other. After we left San Diego and hit the road I looked forward to our return each fall and another opportunity to play in the dirt with her in her garden.

In January she was diagnosed with a Lymphoma brain tumor and started chemotherapy and our gardening dynamic changed. She would sit on the deck overlooking the backyard while I would do her bidding around the yard, using the healing power of nature to relieve our mutual stress whenever possible.

I also inherited a love of cooking from my mother. One of her joys while her energy was low these past few months was to spend hours going through her massive recipe collection, looking for interesting dishes for me to create each time I came to the house.

She'd help me start the cooking process but as her energy flagged she'd retire to the family room and I'd take over. Going through her cupboards reminded me where all of my cooking habits started. I suddenly realized where I'd learned to alphabetize my spices and the unique way I stored certain dishes or foods came from right here.

My love of travel came from my parents. In the early 1970's they bought their first RV. Soon afterward we took a memorable six week road trip around the US; visiting cousins in Arkansas and Tennessee, seeing the monuments in Washington, DC, scary lightening storms and the fascinating Amish lifestyle in Pennsylvania, amazing wildlife in Yellowstone.

Two years later we took another six week family trip to Alaska by RV, this was before the Al-Can highway was fully paved. The wonders experienced on this trip combined with many subsequent years of desert boondocking had both my sister and I hooked on travel at a very young age.

The night that Hans and I met in 2006 we talked about how my parents had just returned to San Diego after two years on the road in their RV. Clearly their decision to buy an RV when I was a kid was ultimately a factor in our decision to RV full time.

Amazingly, my mother could say she beat brain cancer. The chemo treatments she received over the past four months eliminated the brain tumor and she was in remission when she entered the hospital this past week. Unfortunately the pneumonia she was diagnosed with was too much for her weakened immune system and she passed away peacefully at age 75 on May 23, 2016 with her immediate family by her side.

Though our relationship had its difficulties like most any mother-daughter relationship, we also shared many fine traits and adventures and memories. Phyllis Lea McGuire will be missed but our time with her will be cherished forever.

My parents met us in Ouray,CO in June 2013.

My parents were a strong influence on our decision to RV so it was fun to be able to meet up with them on the road.










61 comments:

  1. What special bond you had with many memories. So sorry for your loss but glad for your chance to spend time with her and explore your connection. Life can be so confusing.

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    1. Thank you. We were very fortunate to be able to stay in San Diego during this difficult time.

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  2. A beautiful tribute. I lost my mother last September so i send my heart felt empathy. Cherish your memories.

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    1. Thank you. I am sure you can relate to the many conflicting emotions and challenges we are going through now. The good memories is what makes life so worthwhile.

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  3. We are thinking of you...❤️
    m+e+🐶+🐯

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  4. Oh Lisa my hear goes out to you. What a beautiful tribute to your mom. That bind is something you'll share with her forever.I'm so very sorry for your loss.
    Nina

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    1. Thank you Nina. It is amazing how fast life can change, but our memories keep our family members alive in our hearts.

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  5. My sincerest condolences. Seems we share some similar background in being introduced to RV travel at a young age. My mom and I also had our kitchens organized the same way. On one of their visits to our new home in Colorado, my mom was able to tell me what was behind each cupboard before opening it. We shared a lot of laughs that day. I lost my mom to pneumonia 3 years ago and cherish the time we were able to spend together reminiscing and talking during her last days. May your fond and loving memories help ease your loss.

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    1. Thank you. Love the cupboard story! Wouldn't it be wonderful if every child could be exposed to camping?!

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  6. Beautifully written tribute, Lisa. Sorry for your loss.

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  7. Beautifully tribute to your mother, Lisa. She will always be with you as travel, garden, cook and carry on these influences:) Thoughts are with your family as you all move forward.

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    1. Thank you. I am so grateful for the many years we had together.

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  8. Oh my, I can empathize with you having lost my mom a few months ago. Writing this beautiful tribute to your mother certainly helped in easing your sadness and loss. Your mom will always be with you in your travel as she influenced you at an early age.
    Our hearts and thoughts goes out to you, Lisa.

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    1. Thank you. I know you have just been through this too. It may be a normal course of life, but it is never easy, is it?

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  9. Beautifully written. You're in our thoughts. Hold on to those wonderful memories.

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    1. Thank you. I will do my best to cherish the memories.

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  10. She sounds like a wonderful lady and a great Mom. I'm sorry for your loss.

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    1. Thank you. She was a good person and will be missed by many.

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  11. Lisa, I can totally understand, as Fran and I buried our mothers just a few weeks apart. We were suddenly orphans! Altho mothers do not last forever, their influence and our memories will. You've written a great tribute to her.

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    1. Thank you. That must have been a very difficult time for you both. Thank goodness for memories.

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  12. I'm so sorry to hear about your mother. What a beautiful tribute you've written. Cherish all those wonderful memories.

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    1. Thank you. We can never prepare ourselves for these sudden big changes, thank goodness the memories don't disappear.

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  13. This is such a lovely tribute to your mother, Lisa. How beautiful that you and your mom shared a passion for gardening, cooking, and travel -- may your memories of those special times together bring you peace. What a gift it has been for you and Hans to be there for your family. We're so sorry for your loss. Laurel & Eric

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    1. Thank you. We were very fortunate to be in San Diego as all of this unfolded. The good memories will be with us for a lifetime.

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  14. So sorry for your loss. May the happy memories you have continue to bring you comfort where ever you are!

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    1. Thank you. Our memories will be cherished.

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  15. Lisa, I am so sorry for the loss of your Mom. But I am thankful for her raising you to become the person you are today

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  16. Oh, my gosh...you look so much like your mother! I can only imagine the depth of your loss, Lisa. Your mother will always be in your heart and soul - and now she's in our minds too. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful tribute. Hugs to you and Hans.

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    1. Thank you. It cracks me up when I look in the mirror sometimes and see that I look like my mother!

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  17. Lisa and Hans, and we are so sorry for your loss. It is a real gift that you had this time together with your Mom and Dad. We are sure your Mom was grateful for your being there and it will be a good feeling that stays with you for years to come. Much love to you and your family. Xoxo Leslie & Paula

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    1. Thank you. We'll now be in San Diego a little longer than when we last talked to you so it would be great if we can get together before we leave...I know you both would be interested in hearing more detail given your parental concerns.

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  18. Oh, Lisa, we are so sorry to hear this. At least you were able to be there with her these past months. Condolences to you and your family.

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    1. Thank you. We were very fortunate to be in town and to be able to stay. This lifestyle has worked out just as we had hoped!

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  19. Oh Lisa, I am so sorry. Your mother was a beautiful lady, and you look just like her! I can't believe she beat cancer only to succumb to pneumonia. I continue to share the love of cooking, gardening, books, decorating, and other things with my own mother, and feel so very blessed that she is doing so well at age 81. This post just made me once again realize how very fortunate I am and never to take her for granted. Peace to you at this difficult time.

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    1. Thank you. I have to admit it takes me aback when I realize we do look alike at this time! Yes indeed, we must cherish these later years with our parents as they will not always be around.

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  20. I'm so sorry, Lisa. My parents also bought their first RV when I was in high school, and that was how I got the travel bug. My thoughts are with you.

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    1. Thank you. I think camping is one of the best things a family can do together!

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  21. I am so sorry Lisa. Joe and I both commented at the same time how much you look like your mom. What a nice tribute...and memories to cherish. Hugs to you and Hans.

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    1. Thank you. I have only noticed the resemblance recently and it makes me laugh!

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  22. Lisa I am so sorry for your loss. Having lost my mother I know it leaves a big hole in your life. This is a wonderful tribute to her and I know how happy she must have been to have you so close in her last months. I was working and unable to spend that much time with my mom before she died. Although we too had one of those mother/daughter relationships, I wish I could have been there more with her. I can say I wish I did look like my mom. I see my dad in my mirror. We send you our deepest sympathy.

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    1. Thank you. We are truly fortunate to be retired as we experience the aging of our parents. I can't even imagine having to deal with working full time at the same time as managing a seriously ill parent. Mother/daughter relationships certainly can have their challenges!!!!

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  23. Lovely tribute Lisa. So happy you were able to spend these last months with her.

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  24. How nice that you and Hans suspended your travels in order to stay close and spent quality time with your mom, cooking and digging in the dirt... the best gift of all. And her "gifts" of loving to travel and cook and garden will live on through you.
    A lovely tribute.
    Box Canyon

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    1. Thank you. Nature is the best healer...travel and gardening will help me heal.

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  25. Wonderful words Lisa as I am sure that it is hard for you. Our thoughts and love go out to you and Hans this tough time.

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    1. Thank you. We appreciate your kind thoughts.

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  26. We are so sorry to hear of your mother's passing. A beautiful tribute you wrote about her. Even on sad days, the good memories will pull you through. Thinking of you during this tough time. Big hugs ~ Lila and Ashley Lewis

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    1. Thank you. There are lots of good memories to choose from.

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  27. Lovely words from and to a lovely woman. Her voice will find you in the wind, her arms around you in the sunshine.

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    1. Thank you. I know her presence will always be with me.

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  28. A beautiful tribute to your mother. She gave you so much. She was an amazing woman. Than you for sharing.

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  29. What a beautiful tribute to your mother. So sorry for your loss Lisa. I'm sure your memories will provide you with the healing you need. We were thankful to spend many months with Terry's father before he passed and will always cherish that time together. So glad you were able to have some quality time with your mother.

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  30. When someone you love becomes a memory that memory becomes a treasure. You are blessed to have so many wonderful memories with your mom.

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  31. I am so very sorry to read of your mother's passing. You've written and shared a lovely tribute to her. Like you, I got my love of traveling from my parents. Every trip you take, she will be a part of. - Linda

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  32. Lisa, I am so sorry to read about your Mother's passing. My Mom died in 1991 of a glioblastoma. It was so hard to watch her go. I used to have dreams that she would survive, but she didn't. Hang on to Hans and take care of yourself.

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  33. Lisa, We hope you are doing okay. I can't imagine what it's like to lose a mom. When that day comes, it will be very painful. I'm happy you got to spend quality time with her during her last years. We send our love.
    Susan & Bob

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