My Beautiful Mother’s Legacy

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Julie Braig on our left; my mother on our right, in beige.

My mother, Patricia Constance Conroy Desonier, left my world far too early: September 24, 1994. She was an extraordinary mother, spouse, grandmother, musician, and activist.

As a member of the Honolulu Chapter of the Catholic Women’s Guild, she and other community-minded women spearheaded a ministry to benefit the homeless on the areas of Oahu most populated by those affected by the inability to maintain a roof over their heads. In this article the many charitable works of the Guild were spotlighted, including the efforts my mother and another member, Julie Braig, completed, centered in Nanakuli, Hawaii.

Kid’s playground dedicated to my mother after her death.

They created an Office of Homeless Ohana (Ohana meaning family) where individuals and family members could set up a mailing address so they could send off applications and resumes to acquire meaningful employment and/or receive mail from other loved ones, have a place to shower, receive meals, and gather as a community; playground equipment was even secured and installed so children could play and live just like those who had a home to return to each day.

My family lived 30 miles away from where this shelter existed, and my mother’s abilities were limited because of severe rheumatoid arthritis that plagued her since she was a teenager, but my mother and Julie made the trip week in and week out to help those who needed someone in their corner during a rough time in their lives. My mother taught me many things about charity and living a full life. Here are a few of her maxims:

  • Don’t assume everyone lives as comfortably as you do. Life can change in an instant;
  • Give of yourself in any way you can;
  • When in physical pain, just remember: you can be active and hurt a bit more, or you can stay at home and do nothing and still hurt, nonetheless.

Thank you, Mom, for being such an influence on my life, my family’s life, and the lives of so many who never met you. I love you, and I miss you terribly.

4 thoughts on “My Beautiful Mother’s Legacy

    Book Club Mom said:
    April 2, 2020 at 4:52 am

    This is a great tribute, as Jill says. Your mother’s advice is wise and timeless. Thanks for sharing!


    Jill Weatherholt said:
    March 30, 2020 at 2:31 pm

    What a lovely tribute to your beautiful mother, Irene. It sounds as though she gave so much to so many. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

      Irene Olson responded:
      March 30, 2020 at 2:32 pm

      She really did. Had she lived a couple years longer, she would have met my most wonderful husband; she would have loved him. At least my father had that privilege.❤️

      Liked by 1 person

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