OCTOBER
THRILLER ROMANCE


10-21 Sarah Raplee – Author of “Blindsight” Psychic Agents Series, Book One

Monday, November 5, 2012

My Role Model: Mom by Paty Jager

I didn’t even have to think about this month’s subject of this blog. As soon as I saw the words "role model" a person leaped into my mind. She wasn’t famous, didn’t have a lot of money, and while not a svelte beauty, she had a glowing girl-next-door face and a fun-loving attitude that made people enjoy being around her. My role model is my mom.
Born Regina Rosalie Bohlin to two Californians of German descent, she grew up in the orchards of the Santa Clara Valley playing and working beside her older sister and two brothers, one of whom was her twin. Her mother was a nurse and her older sister became a nurse. Even though my mom really didn’t want to be a nurse, at the time it was a respected profession for women, she went to the Catholic hospital and became a registered nurse. She married my father, was a housewife and mother to my older brother and I while my dad worked for IBM. A rape happened in the park near our urban housing and my parents decided to get out of the city and California. They moved to Oregon. I was two at the time. My mom had never been out of California before, never had to deal with snow or even driving. Her brothers, uncles, or cousins had always driven her where she needed to go or she walked. Living twelve and a half miles from town, she learned to drive. But wrapped white knuckles around the steering wheel when she had to drive herself to work and back in the winter.
When my father moved us to Oregon, my mom had to put her nursing degree to use. She first worked for the county hospital and then became the nurse and office manager for a doctor’s office. She like the office work better than the hospital. Other than it got her goat when hypochondriacs came in taking up the doctor’s time when there were sick people in the waiting room suffering while they had to wait for the not sick person to get his/her time with the doctor. Because she felt this way, we had to have a 103 fever, a broken bone, or blood gushing before we were taken to the doctor. In fact, during my college exam the doctor asked me when I’d broken my collar bone. From my recollections it would have been the summer between my freshman and sophomore years. I was riding a horse in a pasture bareback and fell off twice in the same spot, under an electric pole. After the second time I tried to get back on the horse and my shoulder hurt. I told mom, and she said I probably pulled something. So I walked around for a couple of weeks cradling the arm like it was in a sling and it healed itself. Her face was red and she felt bad when the doctor mentioned the broken collar bone. Growing up my paternal grandmother lived with us. She was nosy and loved to gossip. I hated the way she was always tattling on other people. My mom could have blabbed a lot of stuff about people she learned in the doctor’s office, but she didn’t. She held to her integrity and never told anyone about pregnancies, diseases, and the like that she knew about. Not even my dad because he is like his mother, loose lips. Mom also always had a smile for others no matter who they were. She made each person who came into the doctor’s office feel important (even the hypochondriacs) and emitted the confidence they needed in tough times. What I cherish the most about mom as a role model is her empathy when we couldn’t quite meet my father’s standards in school work. She’d tell us about her middle of the road grades and that it didn’t matter how you tested on paper it was how you tested in the real world. While I emphasized good grades to my kids, I also made sure they could stand on their own feet once they left my threshold. Mom taught me to self-sufficient and I passed that on to my children. She encouraged me to follow my creative side. She had always wanted to learn to play the piano. At the age of 50 she bought a small organ and began teaching herself to play. When I started writing she told me I could do anything I set my mind to. She taught me drive and determination. Both good assets for a writer. I wish my mom could be here today to see the adults her grandchildren have become and to enjoy her great-grandchildren. She loved children and made each one feel special. But we lost mom twenty-two years ago this month to cancer. She knew something was wrong and couldn’t get the doctors to run tests. She’d retired from the doctor’s clinic and was helping my dad when she began to feel sluggish. They diagnosed her as depressed because she wasn’t working steady. It was finally the eye doctor who was adjusting her glasses and noticed the bumps behind her ears. Finally, they had a diagnosis. Lymphoma. The cancer had spread throughout her lymph glands. She didn’t want to go through the radiation or chemo. She wanted to live out her days without the side effects, but my father insisted they might be able to delay the inevitable and a cure would be found. She went through the pain and sickness of the treatments and six months later it had moved into her brain. We lost her Thanksgiving of 1990. She was a strong, smart, loving, caring, woman and one I pray every day I can live up to. And try to put her spirit into everyone of my heroines. www.patyjager.net www.patyjager.blogspot.com

14 comments:

Judith Ashley said...

Thank you, Paty, for sharing your mother's story. She was a remarkable woman and I'm sure she's very proud of all you've accomplished.

Paty Jager said...

Hi Judith. Thanks!

morgan said...

Paty,
I bet you are more like your mother than you realize. My daughter likes to tease me that I am becoming more and more like my mother. She's right because suddenly the things my mother did now make sense. :)

Paty Jager said...

Morgan, That could be. I know every time I look in the mirror I see more of her in my face and notice I have some of her other mannerisms. It's her good heart and skills with people I try the most to emulate.

Maddy said...

Stories of strong women empower us all. Thank you for sharing your mother's life with us.

Paty Jager said...

Thank you for stopping in Maddy. I agree, we need strong role models for women and girls these days.

LisaRayns said...

Thanks for sharing, Paty.

Paty Jager said...

Thank you for stopping in, Lisa.

Diana Mcc. said...

Thanks for sharing the wonderful memories of your mother with us. Your heroines do shine with some of her strengths. You've written a beautiful tribute to her.

Paty Jager said...

Thank you, Diana. It's nice to hear my writing is keeping her alive in a small way.

ellaquinnauthor said...

What a wonderful story.

Paty Jager said...

Thanks, Ella!

Jessa Slade said...

How wonderful that you had such a strong woman to guide you.

Paty Jager said...

Jessa, I do feel fortunate that she was strong and instilled that in me.