Happy heavenly 90th birthday Mom. I miss you being here on earth.
My mom, Mary Alice Johnson Shank was born on February 6, 1932.
Because of errors in her thyroid medications, Mom left us a bit early. She was too weak to receive her bladder cancer treatments to keep the cancer contained inside of her bladder.
Within the two month delay, the cancer spread to her lungs and her bones.
However, I am doing my best not to focus on these errors. Since I have faith in God and believe in heaven, I know Mom isn’t far away. I know she’s youthful, happy and moving like the Energizer bunny she was before she became so ill. Even when she was 87, her energy was higher than most people.
As I feel her presence often, the feelings of missing her are not constant, throughout my day. Although, when I do feel them, it’s hard. There are moments it just hits me, & my tears begin to flow.
I think about you each & every day, Mom.
On this heavenly birthday, your first there and 90 years since your birth, I will be in Florida with Dad, Abby, James and your 30th, 4 month old, great grandchild, Elianah.
I’m not quite sure how we will celebrate your first heavenly birthday, Mom, I know it will be special. Some of our family back in Toledo, will be gathering at your grave to honor you
Since it’s a Sunday, I think we will all attend Abby and James’s church. Being in a physical church has always meant so much to you and Dad. We will honor you there and go out for lunch at a special restaurant.
Furthermore, when we return home, I’ll light a candle in your memory. I’ve heard souls on the other side of this thin veil, enjoy candle light.
As a result of me taking stock of things in my life on a regular basis, I’ve wondered what I didn’t find out about you while you were here to ask.
Abby has said she wishes she would have asked you more about what it was like to have 5 kids, 4 of us close in age. How did you do it?
I did ask you questions about how painful it was to lose your first baby, my big brother, Johnny, while far away from home.
You endured this pain with the help of your mom coming to be with you and Dad, while he was stationed in Virginia.
Then after having your second baby, my big sister, Kathie, while living with your parents, your mom died when you were only 21, suddenly in her sleep.
You often told me how much you missed having your mom to talk to and help you.
As I look at who you were, I see a very beautiful woman, who grew very strong throughout the years.
Also, the love and attention you gave your 5 children and how you took care of us, came from your heart.
I especially enjoyed watching you and Dad kiss each day after he came home from a hard day at work being a carpenter.
Me and my siblings would giggle as you two embraced and kissed. You both taught us that love in a marriage needs to be nurtured and attended to.
How very awesome you and Dad, were married for 70 1/2 years.
Me and my siblings were the lucky ones to have you and Dad for so long.
Dad is doing pretty well. The best he can after losing the love of his life after all of these years. You married an amazing man. I know you know that.
His faith and mindset are strong and positive and he does a good job to guard them, from anything that doesn’t serve his life and others.
Mom, your love of music and singing were passed on to me.
You also had the amazing gift of reading extremely fast. Like reading an over 300 page book after dinner and finishing it before you went to bed!
That gift I did not get. You did share reading and stories with us when we were young.
One thing you always said, and especially in the last few years, was how very blessed you and Dad were to have our family. You also traveled a lot after Dad retired. You saw more of this world than I have.
Your energy and love you had for life showed to everyone who knew you. Your faith was strong. I was blessed with a few of your daily devotional books, which I read each morning. Our mornings together in your breakfast nook, reading our devotionals, will long live on in my heart.
Even though I know you aren’t far away, Mom, I am not able to see you and hug you. I miss that more than I can express. On your first heavenly birthday, I celebrate the woman and mother you were to me and my siblings and the wife you were to Dad.
Thank you doesn’t do what I feel justice. Only I do know you know how much each of us loved you. There will remain the missing piece of your physical presence for each of us, as long as we live. Until we meet again, Mom.
With so much love and appreciation for the parents and family I have,
PS. Here is a link to read beautiful quotes after losing a loved one:
PSS. Below are the last two family photos taken in 2021, with you Mom, Dad, me and your 5 kids. The bottom photo was just a month before you passed away. I cherish all of you always. Look at the love and the fun we had.