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Mom’s Sunrise

Today is my mom’s birthday. She’d be 104 today. I woke early and was greeted by this gorgeous sunrise peeking over the beautiful Madison Range.

As I zoomed in on it, it became more vibrant.

Orange was my mom’s favorite color. Good morning, Mom! I see you smiling down from heaven. I remember your best days, and set aside the years when Alzheimer’s robbed you of the sparkle, the tenacity, and the wisdom that marked your best days.

Mom & Dad’s wedding picture 1937
Mom & Dad’s 30th Anniversary
Mom wore her Rebekah Lodge badges with honor and dignity.

Always involved in activities, Mom loved the Rebekahs (female branch of the Odd Fellows), and her bridge club, which weekly met in our living room. Even into her 80’s she loved her 20-Ands Club. She represented a lot of “Ands.” She was an impeccable dresser, beautifully groomed. Managed always to stay fit. She was probably the person who invented the “Selfie”!!

I wrote this poem on December 18, 2004 with Mom in mind. I used phrases she spoke in her last weeks on earth. She was big on giving orders – right up to her last days – even telling God when to take her “home.” She died the day after I composed this, on December 19th.

Before I Die

Before I leave this earth
I have a few requests
Listen up, my dears,
Tomorrow there’ll be tests.

Take my diamond necklace
And convert it into cash.
Use it for my funeral,
Then live life within the dash.

It’s too late for me, friends,
To change the things I’ve done;
But you have time to listen
And teach others of God’s Son.

“The Dash” is all the years
Between birth and when you die.
Those in-between years
Are where your stories lie.

Take my gold and silver,
Go out and help the poor.
Make amends for all the years
I lived from store to store.

Take my many angels,
Give them to folks who are
Ill, hurting, or lonely.
Tell them about the star:

The star of Bethlehem that
Was where the angels went
To see the newborn baby –
Our Lord from Heaven sent.

Take my many clothes and find
Folks who are in need.
Take the food that I have stashed.
Go to the hungry. Feed!

Take my shoes and slippers.
Take them all and give
Them to the cold and homeless.
Help them to warmer live.

Take my chairs and tables,
The lamps and bedding, too.
Give them to a Home or Mission.
They’ll help out quite a few.

Then look around your house, friends.
And see the excess treasure.
Take it to the needy.
You’ll be blessed beyond all measure.

Live your life within the dash
In loving generosity.
Before you leave this earth,
Reach out in pure humility.

Take your gold and silver.
Go out and help the poor.
God will bless you richly, and
You will never want for more.

Her diamond necklace DID pay for her funeral!

And we did give most of her angels away – my friend/former student, Lorei, hung them with a note on the doorknobs of the other residents at her care facility where mom lived. Mom had dozens of angels in her collection! And, we gave her clothes and other “stuff” to the people and places that could use them.

However, I have a few of her angels in my “Sanctuary” upstairs. My maiden name is “DeAngeles” (translates to “of angels” – in Italian). Mom lives in me… and today I celebrate her sunrise, her best qualities, and the gifts she instilled in me: self-confidence, unconditional love, tenacity, and a love of poetry.

Happy Birthday, Mom!
I am “Living in the Dash” just as you taught me.

What qualities did your mom instill in you??

Have a blessed Friday, my friends.
See ya later.

Comments on: "Mom’s Sunrise" (10)

  1. What a beautiful tribute to Grama ! πŸ₯° My mom instilled many good qualities in me, dare I say? Among them being empathetic, generous, kind, and loving! Thank you SO much, Mom, for…..everything! I love you!πŸ’•β€οΈπŸ˜˜

    • What a wonderful response, sweet daughter of my heart – my soul – our love! You are such a blessing to your dad and me!! Yes, you are empathetic. You are generous, kind, and loving. We are blessed to have you for our daughter.

      • Awwwww! πŸ₯°πŸ’•πŸ₯°πŸ’• Thank you!!! πŸ’—πŸ™πŸΌπŸ’—πŸ™πŸΌπŸ’—πŸ™πŸΌπŸ’—

  2. Hello Mrs JanBeek, how are you doing? Nice to hear from you today is a very good day to hear that your lovely Mom Birthday is today………Today I pray from deepest part of my heart may God bless our Mom More long life and prosperity Amen.. Happy Birthday Sweet Mother We love you so much

  3. This was so touching. How blessed she was to have you as her daughter that still loves her and honors her like this.

    • It’s been a fifteen year process – from her death until now – to put all our similarities and differences into perspective – and to focus on the Mom at her best. I am the fortunate one! Thank you for your visit and comment. I appreciate you!

  4. Wonderful witness of a mother and daughter relationship filled with amazing love! Your poem was so special, and now I know where those dashes come from. Your mother reminds me of my Mom’s mother with her impeccable appearance. My Mom taught me about staying organized and on top of things (qualities which served me well during my 40 years of teaching) as well as treating people with true respect. In her later years, she is teaching me the value of her inspiring unconditional love for my stepfather.

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