|Marlene Rose, Senior Picture|
They moved to Bowling Green, MO where my dad grew up and where he worked with my grandfather at his store, Woods Locker and Abattoir. It is now simply called Woods Smoked Meats. My parents had a lot of close friends that they hung around with and did the usual drinking and partying that you do in your 20's. Plus, it was the 70's so I think people had more fun back then. Everyone started having kids around the same time, so my siblings and I always had playmates around.
My parents' marriage fell apart when I was 11 years old and my mom moved herself and the 4 of us kids back to Kansas City. We lived with my grandparents for about 3 months until my mom was able to buy a house. Although she never really talked about it, I have a feeling that she was extremely unhappy during this time period. She had taken a huge risk and moved away from all of her friends and was on her own with four kids to take care of. My aunt Beth moved in with us to help and my mom started working nights and going back to school. She had never completed her degree so when she finally did, it was a huge accomplishment. She was able to start working days again and with a much higher salary.
I do not remember her ever dating anyone after the divorce. Apparently, we were her priority or she never met anyone she considered worth dating. I really don't know. My dad got married about a year later and is still married to my step-mom to this day. When I was about to start my senior year of college, my mom announced that she was getting married. I was floored as I didn't even know that she had been seeing someone. I had serious reservations about this man I had never met. It turns out that he was the best thing that could have happened to her, though. He was so good to her and it was obvious that he loved her very much.
|Mom and John|
|Rachel and Mom|
|Last Christmas with Elsa, the photobomber|
On her 58th birthday, we had a huge party at her house. She was bedridden at this point and chose to have a nurse come in daily rather than be in a hospital. All of her close friends and family were there and everyone was gathered around laughing and telling stories and she was the happiest I had seen her in while. The next day, she passed away quietly in her sleep.
Yesterday, she would have turned 63 years old. Today is the 5th anniversary of her death. They say that time heals all wounds, but to lose your mother at such a young age is a cut that runs deep. I don't know that I'll ever be fully healed. I still miss her every day.
She had the best laugh and she loved corny jokes. She loved the color pink. She was an amazing seamstress and made a lot of my clothes when I was growing up. She was ridiculously kind and always taught us to be nice and respectful of others. She instilled values in us that I hope I have been able to pass down to my own kids. She was such a strong woman and although she went through a lot of tough times, she never seemed to complain. My worst fear was not my mom being mad at me, but for being disappointed in me. I can only hope that wherever she is now, she is proud of me and my sisters and brother.
|After her funeral - don't know how we were able to smile|