Allow me to introduce my mother

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My dad and mom in their early 20s

Patricia Constance Conroy Desonier: born on May 6th, 1917, she married my father on May 26th, 1947,

and died in her sleep on September 24, 1994.

My mother never complained about how much pain she experienced in her life. Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis as a teenager, she lived with this debilitating condition, staying as active as she wanted to be. When I was a young adult, I told Mom how much I respected her for her activity level, knowing each deformed joint in her body never let her forget the disease that got progressively worse as the years wore on. Mom’s response, “If I stay at home and do nothing, I’ll still hurt. I’d much rather be active, doing something I love, and hurt more.” Nothing stopped my mother  – absolutely nothing. She took neighborhood walks; she golfed using special clubs with thickened grips; she made all our clothing; she painted the insides of each home I lived in and stripped and restored wood furniture that stayed with the family in various iterations throughout our lives.

Mom encouraged me to write from a very early age. As a four-year-old, she let me pound on her manual typewriter, typing gibberish but encouraging me to read my “stories” to the family at dinner time. My current soft activism can be attributed to both my parents, but especially to my mother. I say “soft” activism, not because I pull punches, but because I learned how to have an impact on others without offense, without judgment, and with a kindness that speaks far louder than words. Like my mother, I won’t stand for injustice; also like my mother, I won’t dish out unjust behavior just so my voice can be louder than the offending voice. I guess the phrase, “Kill ’em with kindness” is applicable in this respect. My mother killed many a person in that manner.

Mom didn’t miss out on seeing all of her grandchildren, including my daughter, Erin, above, but she did miss out on meeting my extraordinary husband, Jerry, and his two daughters, which she would have welcomed as her own granddaughters. Dad had the privilege of getting to know my husband and he met my additional two daughters, and for that, I am truly grateful. I honor Mom today – her birthday – and every day because she deserves the same honor and respect she bestowed on others, including my father with whom she was married for forty-seven years.

I love you Mom and am so pleased you live within me.

8 thoughts on “Allow me to introduce my mother

    Theresa Hupp said:
    May 10, 2019 at 10:06 pm

    Irene, I could feel how much you loved her as I read this. Happy Mother’s Day.


      Irene Olson responded:
      May 11, 2019 at 7:36 am

      Thanks so much, Theresa. For a few years now, so much of my focus has been on my father as relates to my novel capturing my experiences as his caregiver. My mother’s influence on my life was far-reaching. I’ve not given her, her due, at least not publicly. She was a wonderful woman.

      Liked by 1 person

    Don Desonier said:
    May 6, 2019 at 5:03 pm

    Thank you Irene for your wonderful, loving tribute to our Mom. Two more activities Mom did not let her arthritis thwart, were playing the organ in church, and the piano at home. Pain did not prevent her from pursuing and enjoying these passions. I remember a trip Nancy (my wife) and I took to Hawaii to visit Mom and Dad during the Christmas holidays in 1990. Nancy had been a professional flutist, and brought her flute with her. On the last day of our trip we gathered around the piano and Nancy and Mom played a few duets together. A blessed memory this is, especially as both Mom and Nancy are no longer with us.

    Liked by 1 person

      Irene Olson responded:
      May 6, 2019 at 5:06 pm

      Yes, thank you for mentioning Mom’s keyboard skills and she had such a good ear, she didn’t need sheet music to play the latest top-40 radio hits.


    Bruce said:
    May 6, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    A very nice post, Irene…


    Jill Weatherholt said:
    May 6, 2019 at 1:47 pm

    Lovely tribute to your mother, Irene. I’ve never once heard my mother complain either.

    Liked by 1 person

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