Category Archives: Moms

Heroes & Angels

On July 18th one of my heroes passed away.  My Grandmother June Gimse was 90 years old and had suffered several strokes that took her memory from her, so her passing wasn’t totally unexpected but somehow it was.

I never thought she could die.  In my head Grandma is larger than life.  Maybe that’s why it’s taken me so long to put anything about her down on paper.  Everything I say or write seems so pale and inadequate to the task of describing her or my love for her.

Grandma enchanted me.  I think that’s the closest I can come to an accurate description.  Don’t get me wrong, I have not created in my mind a revisionist perfect person.  Far from it.  She was remarkable in the way that she was perfectly imperfect.

This photo of her angel is an awesome illustration of what I mean. Notice anything different about this angel?  I took this angel home when we moved Grandma into the nursing home.  A small memento that I could keep near Angel Photome to remind me everyday of Grandma. But something about it bugged me. Every day. What was it?

Then one night I saw what was bothering me. Her wings.  They’re upside down.

Grandma had apparently broken the angel’s wings off (or maybe it was one of the grand-kids who did it-I may never know) and she repaired it. The fact that they’re upside down is just so her. It’s fixed. No, it’s not perfect but life is not perfect. Something that Grandma knew so well.

Grandma faced so many set backs in life. Her husband died leaving her with 3 young girls to raise. A father-in-law who owned her home who tried to take the home away from her. No education or skills. And a world that told her to give up her girls because there was no way she could raise them on her own. Everywhere she turned someone was telling her, “You can’t succeed.”

This is why she is my hero. She worked several menial jobs to earn money while she put herself through college so she could become an accountant.  She took her father-in-law to court to keep her home and won.  She kept her girls with her and raised them all.

This was not the life she had envisioned, but she never pitied herself. She never lost her faith in God. She never lost her sense of humor, of love, and of compassion. When she got knocked down, she would rise. If the world threw another curve her direction she would meet the challenge the best she could.  Her favorite song was Keep On The Sunny Side and she lived it.

Grandma didn’t believe things couldn’t be done.  There was always a way. It may not be the best way or the most perfect way, but she would find way. She went after what she wanted in this life.

She inspires me. Her strength in the face of what to me is unimaginable circumstances is the thing that legends are made of, or heroes are born from.

Her angel watches over me everyday and reminds me that life isn’t always perfect. So put your wings on anyway you can and get to living with what you have.

I love you Grandma.


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Filed under Inspiration, Moms, Random Musing, Women, Writers, writing

A Giving Soul

1973 Feed The Hungry Loaf

1973 Feed The Hungry Loaf

How many of you remember these little bread loaves? When I was a kid we would get them from church and put our pennies in to feed the hungry.

Awhile back we were cleaning out my Grandmother’s house and we found an empty one that she saved for some reason (she saved a lot of WTF? things). On the back this loaf is dated 1973 – 43 years is a long time to hold onto a plastic loaf – I’m just sayin’.

When my daughter spotted it she asked me what it was and I explained it to her. She asked me if she could have it. No one else wanted it, so I said she could take it home. She put it on a shelf in her room and I really haven’t thought about it since. Until yesterday when she brought the loaf to me full of money. Not just pennies but folding money (yep that’s a $20 bill in that photo). She told me I had to bring it to the hungry people. She told me she even put the lucky penny she found in there so they could 31.27have some luck too.

I was stunned. And heck yeah I got choked up! I’ve written a post before about how she forces me to buy the food-shelf bags at the grocery store and our standoff over them on one fateful trip (you really should read it – click here), but that was her being caring with my money. This was something different.

My daughter doesn’t receive an allowance yet and she’s seven so she has no job. That means whenever her Papa or Uncle (the two biggest culprits-I’m sure it’s Papa’s $20) gave her money she squirreled it away, or at least part of it, in this bread loaf so she could give it away.

What amazed me even more is that we’ve booked a trip to Disney for this year that she’s been saving for too. Yet somehow she managed to fill this loaf. It was the most selfless thing I’ve ever seen anyone do.

In total she saved $31.27 to feed the hungry and I delivered it to Second Harvest Heartland as she instructed. I emptied it from the loaf so I can return the loaf to her, so she can start again.

Everyday, I fall deeper in love with the person she’s becoming.

I’m urging all of us to follow her example and give to the Second Harvest Heartland. I have set up a food drive called $31.27 with Second Harvest Heartland.  I’m challenging you all to match her donation. It’s such a small thing to do that makes a big difference. Show my daughter how much grown-ups care.


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Filed under Giving, Inspiration, Mommy, Moms

The Real About Me – Part 3

The Real About MeSince we’re being real here, I am a terrible mother.  I do not say that like all mom’s who want other mom’s to say, “Oh no you’re not.” I know I am, and I usually keep it to myself because others will eventually know I am too.  Others will try to say that I’m not but there won’t be any conviction behind the words.

This is serious. I truly mean there aren’t enough years left in her little life for the amount of expensive therapy she will need to recover from me.

Here’s an example.  My mother-in-law gave us tickets to The Grinch Who Stole Christmas and my daughter was being kinda naughty that morning.  So I told her that if she didn’t shape up the Grinch was going to come off the stage to steal her and I wouldn’t stop him.  Well, unbeknownst to me the Grinch actually does come off the stage during the performance and run through the isles of the theater.

Yeah.  We were in row 2. He ran off the stage right towards us and my daughter starts screaming, because her mother terrified her.  She was clutching onto my arm like she was being sucked out of a hole in an airplane. You can’t comfort that kind of scared.  And a six year old doesn’t understand, “Mommy was just kidding. Ha, ha!”

Then there was the day she hurt her knee. We were in the middle of nowhere and she had hit it pretty good, so my instinct says we need to get ice. So I pick her up to get her in the car, and hit her other leg on the door. She screamed all the way home.  So now we have two ice packs.  She is in desperate need of a bath so I think I’ll get her in the tub and bathe her that will help calm her down.  Yeah, I dropped a cup on her head while washing her hair.  So she cry’s. Then I cry. Then she strokes my hair and sings me the Laurie Berkner song, “I’m not perfect.” (if you’re a parent you’ll know that one – if not see below).

Believe me a six-year-old who has had double kneecapping and cup dropped on their head trying to comfort you for your crappy parenting does not make you feel good. No it does not.  She’s doing it because she knows.

She knows.


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Filed under humor, Mommy, Moms, The Real About Me