by Sandi Austin
Happy Mother’s Day, mommy! You were always “mommy” to us. I can’t believe you’ve been gone for 55 years now. Even though cancer took you from us at such a young age, we have our memories of you to look back on and be thankful for.
Anyone reading this right now has never had the pleasure of meeting her, so let me introduce this amazing woman to you . . . .
Once anyone met my mother, they would not soon forget her. She was a beauty, both inside and out. When she entered a room, her presence was clearly known. She was gracious to everyone – whether they were a friend or a stranger. Everyone remembered Rose, a woman true to her lovely namesake.
One of the things I admired about my mother was how she handled her cancer diagnosis. Her optimism was truly heroic. She actually chose to take a positive attitude about what was happening to her. But as for my father, sister and me … it was harder for us.
My mother was a creator of beautiful things. She had an amazingly artistic mind. Not long before she was diagnosed with cancer, she designed the huge stained-glass windows of our church sanctuary, which was being remodeled. By the time of the dedication Sunday months later, she had begun to lose her sight, and couldn’t see how her masterpiece came to fruition behind the altar. It was heartbreaking to see her struggle to see it. Those stained-glass windows are there to this day.
My mother believed in God and Heaven. She and my father raised my sister and me right, making sure we attended Sunday School, church, and stayed active in our youth groups. I know that her faith was the reason she accepted her illness with such a positive attitude.
Everything about my mother was elegant. As a young, single woman, she was a model for The Denver Dry Goods Co. and Neusteter’s. I always thought it was so cool to have a former model for a mother! She always looked nice and made sure my sister and I did, too. When we vacationed, my mother even looked terrific while fishing in mountain streams. Even while she was ill, and before she became bedridden, she had a glow about her.
My mother radiated love, kindness and beauty to all those around her. I know she wasn’t the only mother in the world to have those qualities that we all treasure, but she was mine … and she was the whole world to us.
Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers reading this, and thank you for letting me share mine with you.