30 Years in Heaven

6 Jan


My beautiful mother, Eleanor, holding me while my Dad, Jim looks on.

Some of us remember dates better than others.  I don’t know why that is… but I have an idea.  When an event creates an indelible mark on your heart, to you or someone you love, it can be hard to forget.  Some of those events can be joyful such as the birth of your children, and others sad, as in the death of a loved one.

Well, this post is about the latter. Today is the 30th anniversary of the date that my mother succumbed to the cancer that she battled for 12 years.   I was a new mother and my baby girl was three months old when my mother passed away.  It was so strange to lose my Mom when I was just becoming one.  All the questions about parenting I never knew I had, would never be answered by her.

Since I had no mother to turn to, I often reached out to other women to help guide me along the path of motherhood.  The advice came from my Aunts, my friends, and sometimes complete strangers.  As they say, it takes a village, and if you don’t have a village, sometimes you create one.

One of my dear “villagers” was Irene Orselli.  She was my neighbor in Portland when Alexandra was a small child.  Irene never had children, yet, even so, she doted on my children as only an adoring mother could.  Irene got me, encouraged me, and inspired me.  It felt as if I was given another mother to help me and I will always be grateful for her love and support.


On this day of epiphany, I would like to recognize all of the women, and men, who have been a part of my village.  I am deeply in debt to you for your wisdom, guidance, and love.

Finally, please allow this proud Mom a moment to celebrate the release of my dear daughter’s first book, The Secret Joy of Hygge.  I’d love it (and be so thankful) if you would take a look and consider supporting her.


A Pear Kuchen for a friend.

“Losing a Mother doesn’t happen in a moment.  It takes years to appreciate the impact of what’s gone.”   Lisa-jo Baker


7 Responses to “30 Years in Heaven”

  1. shirley97520 January 6, 2019 at 9:40 PM #

    Thank you, Karen! I keep realizing over and over how blessed I was to have my mother with me well into her 99th year. I still think of her every day and the whole family (and many of her friends) quote her on a daily basis. Congratulations to Alexandra on her book! Looking forward to reading it! Love, Shirley

    • pieadaygiveaway January 7, 2019 at 6:27 AM #

      Shirley, I remember you with your Mom… and how sweet you were together… and with Bill there too. You were blessed… but you were also a blessing to them both. And to the rest of us who know you!

  2. Carol January 7, 2019 at 4:49 AM #

    You know we love you. I’m so often reminded of your mom: cardinals, cows, and a photo of a young girl and her little brother that hangs in our bedroom, but most of all the memories of the best sister-in-law ever

    • pieadaygiveaway January 7, 2019 at 6:28 AM #

      I’m glad you got the hint! I’m reminded of her often too. And at my new job, my coworker shares her name. I take that as a good sign! xxoo

  3. Peter January 7, 2019 at 10:06 AM #

    Karen, Beautifully written as always. I will request The Secret Joy of Hygge at Bloomsbury, if they don’t have it already. I’m going to send you an email with a poem or two on the subject of appreciating the little moments in life.

    • Peter January 7, 2019 at 3:43 PM #

      Note: I was able to order the book from Bloomsbury. It will be available mid to late February.

    • pieadaygiveaway January 8, 2019 at 8:12 AM #

      Thank you Peter. I loved the poems you sent. Truly, working in a hospice situation helps give one perspective on what is really important.
      Best to you and Kathy in 2019.

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