Wednesday, October 8, 2008

It Doesn't Seem Like It Has Been Six Years........


This week is filled with so many memories for me. My mom died on October 6, 2002. Her birthday was October 8, 1917. She would have been 91 years old today.

The years have passed quickly and there is never a day that goes by that I don't think about her. So many times something funny will happen and I want to pick up the phone and call her to tell her about it. Or an issue will occur and it is something that I would like to discuss with her and get her incredible perspective on things. It is almost an automatic response because that was how it was for 53 years of my life.

My mother was quite a woman! She loved this time of year and the presidential elections. She would have watched all of the debates and would have definitely had an opinion. Knowing her, I think she would probably have been for Hillary, but she was a Democrat to the core and would have supported Obama and Biden.

Whenever I would get a card for her birthday or for Mother's Day, it was always difficult to find the right card. She was never the kind of mother who made cookies or did any of the things that so many cards stereotype a mother to be and do.

Her love was unconditional. She was a role model for how a woman can be strong and self-sufficient. She was always for the underdog. I attribute so much of what I have done in my life to her.

Her sense of humor was second to none. She always found the humor in life and I thank her for passing that gift to me. She was feisty and would stand up for what she believed in no matter what.

She also believed in giving back to your community. After she retired from Phelps Dodge at 65, she ran for the city council in Douglas and served until she was almost 80. Her first election was in the mid 1980's when I was still teaching. I took personal time and took my kids down for the election. She was running against an incumbent and she beat him four to one. On election day, we made phone calls, took older people to the polls, made sure that people who said they were voting for her actually got to the polls, and were busy all day. That evening, there was a party at 858 to celebrate her victory. She ran for two more terms serving 12 years. For several years, she was the vice mayor of Douglas. She served on many boards and always rang the bells at Christmas time for the Salvation Army. She even did this in December before she died after she had been so sick for those few years. She worked at the thrift shop for St. Vincent de Paul into her 80's. She was a member of the Cochise County Fair Board until the day she died. She was also very active in her church, St. Luke's.

I remember her telling me that even though we went to a Catholic school, it was very important to vote for every school bond election and every school board election. She said that public education was what made this country what it is today and that it must be supported no matter whether you have children in school or not!

She also loved sports, especially ASU and Notre Dame. She watched games on television all of the time, even reruns!! She would have loved HD and our big screen television!!

She loved my kids, but she was always strict with them. The best thing that ever happened to her was Cameron. Did she love that little boy!! He could do absolutely no wrong in her eyes and she made no bones about making sure that everyone knew that, including his mother. When he turned three, he wanted to go to Douglas for his birthday to be with Great and Tia. He called my mom "Great" which certainly didn't hurt him in her eyes. He couldn't say Teresa and so he called her Tia, which is so appropriate!!

She had a stroke on May 5, 2002. That was the beginning of the end. She was unable to walk and she worked so hard with the physical therapist trying to regain the ability to walk. When she had the aneurysm a few years before, she had to go through therapy. When the physical therapist told her to do something, she would retort, "If you think it is so great, why don't you do it?" Needless to say, all of the therapists and nurses loved her and her wit. She went to a private home after getting out of the hospital for the 24 hour care that she needed. That was so hard because she wanted so much to go back to Douglas. I will always be so grateful to Judy for taking her home to her house for that last month and taking such wonderful care of her, along with hospice. Kerri and Patrick were also wonderful with her. Kerri would help Judy with any of the tasks that needed to be done and Patrick took her to appointments or wherever she needed to go by lifting her into and out of the car.

In the words of my favorite children's author, Carmen Agra Deedy, "Those we love are never really gone as long as their stories are told...."

Margaret Scott Shannon
Oct. 8, 1917 - Oct. 6, 2002

9 remarks:

velvet brick said...

What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful lady. God bless Margaret Shannon...and the wonderful family that carries her spirit and traditions on in her honor. God bless you all, Sheila.
Carol

Kerri said...

I know that was hard to write, but it brought back many memories. Especially of Cameron & her.

Kerri

Anonymous said...

Loved reading your treasured memories. Your mom was special...
as all moms hope to be. I saw Cameron give Dottie a gigantic hug today after the Flag Ceremony. He is special too...4th grade, Yikes!!!
Thanks for sharing...it is inspiring to read it all.
Ann

Anonymous said...

Was in your dear mother's home just today visiting with Teresa. As Tom and I sat in the livingroom, I could just see your mom sitting there in that recliner smiling and giggling as both she and Teresa told us stories of our Douglas. We miss her, Sheila, but her spirit and love continues to be present in that lovely old house. What an inspiration she was to us all.
Love, Tom and Sandra

Anonymous said...

That was beautiful Sheila and brought back so many memories. I thank God every day for the memories as I know you do too!
Love & hugs, Nancy

Anonymous said...

I sure do miss Auntie! She was my favorite God-Mother. Great memories of a fiesty old lady....Kerri has her spunk!
Miss her dearly. Thanks for your memories.

Love,
Cecilia

em said...

Sheila,
Your mother's legacy lives on through all of you - especially you with your humor and spunk!
I am very blessed to have met her through you.

Love you,
Em

Anonymous said...

Dear Sheila, Your blog was such a fine tribute to such a wonderful woman! I couldn't get through reading it without tears . . . lots of them . . . not only for missing her spunk and spirit but most especially because I know how much you miss her every single day of your life. Your Mom was such an accepting, kind, and genuine person--how could anyone not love that woman!!! You could ALWAYS see that hint of humor and/or mischieviousness in her eyes . . . a lot like you, I might add!!! How proud she must be of the legacy she left in you and your family, Sheila! You, who you are, and all that you stand for, are an incredible tribute to your most amazing Mom!! I know she is SO proud!! Lots of love, Dottie

Susie of Arabia said...

Your mom always had a smile for me and worked so hard all the time. She reminded me a lot of my own mom.