07-14-18 Cassandra O’Leary

Monday, November 3, 2014

Grateful for the Time I Had by Paty Jager

November is the month we all look back on what we are thankful for. There are so many things in my life that I don’t take for granted and am thankful for every single day. One is being healthy.

Twenty-four years ago this Thanksgiving we lost my mom to cancer. We spent that Thanksgiving pretending everything was normal while mom lie in a drug induced coma in the living room in a hospital bed. We all said our good-byes, and soon, she slipped from our lives at the age of 56. 

She would have delighted in her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She doted on the ones that were alive at the time of her death. She and my dad attended school and sporting events to cheer them on. 

When my kids weren’t in school yet, and my husband worked as a truck driver, my mom would take my kids for a week or two at a time to give me a much needed break from being a “single” parent.  She loved to knit, crochet, and sew clothing and fun items for them. 

She reveled in her grandkids because she was a working mom while we were growing up. We saw her evenings, half of Wednesday, half of Saturday, and all day Sunday. My paternal grandparents lived with us until I was twelve. My grandmother took care of the household chores and daily care of my brothers and I. But Mom and I did dishes every night after dinner. She washed and I dried. You wouldn’t think a girl would be grateful for drying dishes, but that was the one time during the day I had alone time with Mom. We’d talk about school, friends, and she'd drill me on my multiplication tables.

When my parents moved my grandparents to a mobile home next door, I became the cook and housekeeper. But I didn’t mind, it was good preparation for being an adult, and I was the boss over my little brother now that my controlling grandmother was out of the house. ;) I made the evening meals and mom did the clean-up and dishes. I would sometimes offer to dry if I didn’t have homework, so we could talk.

Mom wasn’t the type to hug you and say I love you all the time like some mothers. But I could tell by the sparkle in her eyes and the tone of her voice when she talked with me that I was loved.

I wish she was here with us today, but I am grateful for her telling me I can do whatever I set my mind to. That’s the attitude I’ve taken towards being a writer and becoming published. I set my mind on the task and stay true to that task, thinking of Mom every time I write a story. While she wasn’t a reader, she understood my need to write and tell stories. She urged me to learn all I could and to strive to do my best. She didn’t believe in just my writing, she believed in me. Wholeheartedly.
That’s what I take into every book and every story I write. My mom’s belief in me.

I’m grateful for the 32 years I had with my mom.

Has there been or is there someone in your life that believes in you so strongly you know you can do anything you set your mind to?

I wish I had a photo I could scan of Mom but living in a cabin right now with all my stuff packed, I don’t even have the photo of Mom that I keep on my writing desk.


Diana McCollum said...

Ah-h, Paty, what a sweet, heartfelt tribute to your Mom. My Dad was the one in our family that encouraged me. He always told me I could do anything I put my mind to. He was a rock through my hard times and I miss him terribly.

Sarah Raplee said...

it's obvious how much you miss your Mom and how much she inspires you,Paty. My Dad always encouraged me to follow my dreams. I miss him so much, but I feel he's watching over us from the Other Side.

Paty Jager said...

Hi Diana and Sarah. Your dad sounds a lot like my mom. It is wonderful to have a parent who believes in you and lets youknow it.

Karen said...

Paty, I only met your mom a couple of times but I remember the sparkle in her eye.

I think it is the same one you have in yours!

Shannon said...

Wonderful post, Paty, to remind us to enjoy and be grateful for what we have.
We lost my brother-in-law two months ago--at age 40--to brain cancer. Even though he and my sister only had a few short years together, he loved her so thoroughly that I'll always be grateful to have been witness to something so beautiful.
Happy November Everyone

Judith Ashley said...

My Aunt Marne told librarians and book store owners about her niece the author (as well as her friends). Most weeks she called me on Sunday evenings and asked me when she could read my books.

She died a year before I was published.

Danita Cahill said...

I wish I could have met your mom, Paty. She sounds a lot like mine was - very supportive. My mom always told me I could be anything I wanted to be. I took her at her word.

Danita Cahill

Paty Jager said...

Karen, Thank you! That means a lot to me that you see it.

Shannon, I agree. Never take for granted the time you share with loved ones.

Judith, having someone so devoted to who and what you are is a blessing.

Danita, It is an uplifting thing to have a mother believe in you so strongly.

Sorry I'm late responding to these. I've been so busy I forgot I had a post up here.