Our first Mothers day without you. Today I realy appreciate my wife and children beacuse this would be so diffecult without them. I miss you mom, happy mothers day.
For those that didn't know, when I found out Grandma was terminal we were here at Memorial Hospital in Colorado, the doctor told us together, and the first thing she did was smile and comfort me. She told me it was ok and she was alright with it, and I did my best to smile back, and asked her what she was going to come back as in her next life. She smiled and said she would come back as my kitten, good news, cept that she had now locked me into getting a cat.... worked out pretty well though, because after a short search we found Pepsi, a beautiful and I mean beautiful kitten who had been born 10-10-12, same birthday. When I first saw Pepsi, she was sick, took this as a sign it had to be grandma since she had been sick in the end so it was the natural progression. Anyway long story, short....too late. Pepsi was amazing, never have loved an animal so much, bonded with my family like no animal I've ever seen, was always being held, was never out of sight and a true true joy. She slept with Tavia, and loved to cuddle up by your neck. Purring machine that loved grandma's old white blanket that we have now. She never learned her name but anytime I would talk to her about being grandma she would brush her head against my chin. Was very comforting having what I considered at least a little part of Grandma's energy and spirit with me. Sadly after 6 months Pepsi passed away from a lung issue no less. A virus that all kittens are exposed to and mutates in some, can't be treated and nothing could be done to save her, believe me we would have done anything. As uncke Steve told me when I told him, I guess it really is better on the other side. And it would be just like Grandma to sign up for a short trip back to complete her promise to me. Now to the signs that for me just make me feel like she really is in a better place and she wants me to know. When Pepsi passed Dawn and I knew the kids would be devastated, but they were at school so we decided to go to the humane society, see if there were any kittens we could find (we had also put down another one of our cats 2 days previously so). We didn't find any kittens but one of the cats names at the shelter was Pepsi. So we find one that is in the back and go to sign up to see it, the guy who puts us on the list asks Dawn for her name, when she tells him, he writes Donna on the page... we kind of look at each other, like no way that just happened, besides the D they dont sound alike at all.... I mean he could have heard Don, but Donnawould have been a crazy stretch. Anyway we dont get a cat there, cause we want the kids to meet any kitten we get, and I have to fly out to Florida to visit Dad. I get on my plane and we have a weird kind of spring storm before I can fly to Denver and then to Ft. Lauderdale, I get delayed enough I miss my connection. I get re-routed and have to spend the night in Chicago, O'Hare airport. In a weird way it was nice, the flight fiasco was a distraction that took me away from being sad about Pepsi and what could remind me more about Grandma than traveling and Chicago. Ok so I know Dad had something that he took as a sign happen before I got there, can't remember from the life of me what it was but during our trip we decide to go to a casino. As we are parking and walking in, we talked bout grandma and about me placing a bet in Vegas after Unc had passed #32 in roulette cause Unc had always made dad make that bet, and while I was on the phone with him we hit the number, with 6 $ on it, was a really cool moment... So walking in we are talking and say, lets place a bet for grandma. Well grandma didn't have any number in particular that I can remember except maybe the 10's from her birthday. So we decide the bet is going to be $10 on #10 ... 10 - 10. Well we walk in and go to sign up for players cards, and we get up to the counter and the female employee signing us in has an id badge with an employee number of 10 - 10- 10456....and there is no roulette at this casino.... so grandma couldn't win me the money but she was nice enough to direct me to the one employee out of the 7 checking people in with the number. Im not normally a signs kind of guy, but thank you grandma, I miss you like crazy, but I know your still with me, and I would venture to guess your doing well. All my love David
Wept How often I’ve pled “Mommy!” in my childhood, And thought it in my adult pain. Spoken to her, a little girl whose identity was lost to me and others, Others who relentlessly beg to be her first thought. How much it must have hurt you, Only one right each thought and 5 wrong And unable to keep count of the pain A large task for this simple girl turned mother And now she sleeps Her endless living wearyness ended Unable to see if it was enough How often she has tried to tell me she was unworthy But by those very words is proven wrong. She has given all to her own and theirs and theirs. I wept today when a young boy called after his mother, “Mommy!” he wept also “She will return,” I said “or you will go to her.” Today was the first time I cryed alone. I hope all is well. I love you still. Your Stephen
I think about you never calling to see how things are. Made a reservation for Orlando in October of 2012. I wish you could go with and see the smiles on your grandsons face. He is a joy to behold. I wish I could ask if I was the same way. I'll just asume I was when I was 5. Miss you, love you. I hope you were wrong about the afterlife. Let's face it, you were wrong about so many things the odds are in everyone elses favor. :)
Took your youngest grandson to the auto show today. A great dad day. Thanks for bringing me here. You were in my thoughts and walking with us. Love you Mom.
How strange that this will be a detatched Christmas. I am not seeing anyone of my siblings. Happenstance. I'm looking forward to next year when things have calmed down and we can all get together and remmeber you properly. I sent out boxes of your things to everyone. Still have to sent something to Jane. I'm waiting for her address. I sent Jim some things I hope he will enjoy. I sent the stuff I thought people would be suprized that you kept. So far feedback is positive. I love you and miss you.
Hi mom, I dreamt you walked in a room and I asked how you got there and pretended nothing was odd about it. When I got you alone you talked about coming via Mexico, and I asked why Aunt Susie brought you back. Don't remember the answer. Just a visit it seemed. I hope you are happy wherever you are. Come back and visit anytime. Love Judy and Brock
I am constantly thinking of Grandma Donna now. Every time i see CSI on the TV I think of her because she would always say to me, "I love the tattooed girl because even tough she has all of her tattoos, she's still is one of the smartest people on the show." Every time I see a can of Pepsi I think of her and how I would always have a can of Pepsi before noon.Sometimes I will be watching TV and a commercial for the famous new movie "A Girl With a Dragon Tattoo"(one of grandma's favorites) I think of her. Especially when I read a book, a really good book (or not) I deeply think of her because of her love of books and how she made me love them to. Truly miss you Grandma, love you, Bye!
It's December 1st and I have no one to ask about the family. I forgot how often I would ask about Dad or Grandma Downstairs or whoever. And though your answers were always tainted with personel opinion, that was why I loved them. My 1st Christmas without my mother. Thank God I have children. Missing you big time, wish you were still here. Love you, Stephen.
Donna was a devoted and wonderful volunteer with the Volunteers of America Foster Grandparent Program in Colorado Springs. She was also a great supporter of the program. She began volunteering with at risk kids in 2005 and served in a youth correctional center and two elementary schools. She was the strongest of advocates for kids, and always amazed at what they could accomplish. She was also a firecracker when she didn't agree with why or how things were done. When she told me in September that she would need to resign as a Foster Grandparent after her diagnosis of lung cancer, my heart broke. I knew that we were losing a powerful voice for at risk kids, as well as important experience and belief in the purpose of the program. I also felt a deep personal loss at the prospect of not seeing her at her volunteer site, in-services and when she would stop by my office. Since finding out yesterday about her death, I feel an even greater sense of loss for myself and the friends she made through the FGP. I know that there are people in the Foster Grandparent Program who will want to send cards to Donna's family. Is there an address where cards can be sent? A mailing address can be emailed to email@example.com. My thoughts and prayers are with Donna's family and friends as you grieve and adjust to her absence.
A big sister is so special! Donna was a rock while I was growing up. She even fought Carroll's and my battles when we were little and harrassed by bullies. Nobody messed with Donna Westbrook's brothers!! I first realized how smart she was when she helped me with my homework. Donna could have been anything she wanted top be! Instead of pursuing a high-level career, she chose to marry and bring the wonderful Brockmans into our lives. Thanks Sis - for Michael, Stephen, Wayne, Judy, Lou, and John - and, their wonderful partners - and, all their children!!! Donna amazed us all when she chalked up that remarkable record at Colorado College - when she was already in her fifties!! I recall talking with her from Saudi Arabia about the exciting subjects she was studying. I'm especially going to miss our conversations about a wide range of topics - above all politics! I'm deeply grateful to Donna for nursing Mom/Grandma Vivien through her last years - when I was in Mexico! She surely gained a great deal of Merit for her efforts and sacrifices. She did a 16 year old Viviana a great service by taking her for the summer and imbuing her with her unique brand of humanity. Donna also took pains to straighten out Carroll's affairs - so he could enjoy a secure retirement. She was there for him during his last days. Donna said that she didn't believe in God - but, paraphrasing the oft quoted words of St. Augustine: "He has always believed in her." I'm sure that she's in His Presence - and quite comfortable to be there. But, just to be sure - I urge everyone to remember her in their prayers. We all have special memories of Donna and should recall them to one another - hopefully, in many family gatherings like the one I was just privileged to enjoy!! Stories are the best way to keep our reminiscences alive. Donna is reunited with those she loved in her lifetime - who preceded her in passing over. The many good deeds she did in her long lifetrime are being rewarded. Bask in the sublime Love of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - Donna!!! I miss you, Sis. I'll see you soon - but, God-willing, not just yet. Your loving Brother - James.
I am sitting here with Wayne reminiscing about the first couple of times we were all together. I remember the very first time Wayne took me to meet Donna. She shared something with me that has stayed with me all these years. I remember all the times I stayed in her apartment, the times she put me up in the guest house, all the times she encouraged me and Wayne to be together. She became my dear friend. I will never forget the love she showed to my Mom when she was sick while we were in Colorado and Donna stayed my Mom so Wayne and I could have a night out. The thing I remembered the most is how much she loved her children and her love for reading. I watched her give Wayne wisdom during good and bad times and be a loving mother. I remember Wayne sharing stories of his childhood and what a positive impact she had on his life. I watched her share her love of books with her grandchildren and teach them what is really important in life. She was a wonderful women and will be deeply missed.
Her 80th Birthday party in pictures.
Through the years you have loved the Asian buttered and garlic peanuts but got tired of this. I never did get to ask you which vacation you enjoyed with us the Vegas, disney, Jamaica, Casino visit here or the yearly visit at our house. We were glad you experienced hitting the jackpot . These things came and went but the love for butter, pepsi and crusty Caraway bread from Jewel never fade away. Now you do not have to worry about flat hair or cholesterol. We will miss your bear hug. Love and kisses from Shirley, Steve, Jeek, Gabs and Lucky.
I want to write so much, and I will, just hurts to much right now. Give me a day or two grandma, and maybe I'll find the words however inadequate they may be. Just had to come on and post how much I love you. And you'd be proud how much I've kept it together, way better than I thought it would be.
My grandmother was my inspiration and my mentor. She always shared her ideas and thought the best of everyone. A couple memories that I can never forget are eating her toast, being measured on her wall, receiving special boxes filled with activities that she gave me, and her little bird singing " eat a bird, eat a bird.". I loved visiting her. She was a very kind, smart woman. When I would go sleep over at her house with my niece and nephew and instead of putting us on the floor or couch she would give us her bed and she'd take the couch. She always welcomed everyone to her home and made them food and told them the most recent news in town. She was high spirited and positive. she loved learning and doing her amazing job. I love her and can't wait to see her as a cat... I love you grandma. :)
I loved my mother and can only appreciate how much now that she is gone. I love her for what she gave to me daily. I love her for what she gave my kids. She told me I was perfect and that took me a long way in life and in my confidence. She was an inspiration for what she endured and what she accomplished. Rest in peace or as a cat. I love you mom.
The ride to Florida in the Winebago (once it was just mom and the six of us) when Mike and Steve made up the long story of Dot in the pantry peeling peanuts. You'd have to have been there.
A month ago I asked her if she still dreamed of a different path she might have taken. She said yes, but she wouldn't have been happy. When I asked why, she said, because she wouldn't have had her kids. It was a nice thing to hear and know.
She warned me that any diccisions I make would be my own to live with for the rest of my life. I never forgot those words and to this day I have never been drunk enough to get a Tatoo.