Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Lyn Cote's Fun Mom

My mother "imprinted" herself on me. If you had met us together, it would have been obvious that I was her daughter. My voice, my word choices, my inflection, my mannerisms matched my mom's. My mother's last days were heartbreaking. Dementia changed my mother into a hostile stranger. When she passed away, I had a feeling of relief, not only for myself but for my mother. She would not have liked herself as she was. She passed away in August of 2007. I have mourned her in fits and starts.

Trying to change my sorrow to joy, I began remembering all the remarkable things about her. And especially what a fun mom she was when my late brother Bobby and I were kids. I grew up in Waukegan, IL, which is on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan, halfway between Chicago and Milwaukee. Waukegan had the most wonderful beaches! These were the days before pollution took its toll on water quality. Waukegan's North Beach had beautiful white sand, a WPA built bath house, a lovely shady picnic area and miles and miles of shoreline.

The highlight of summer were the days when the usual westerly wind would shift to an east wind. An east wind drove the warmer waters back to the shore in HUGE waves that gave us hours of fun. My mother was running the family business (May's Floors), kept a spotless house, cooked fantastic meals and still took time for afternoons at the beach. And she didn't even like to wade! So it was just for me and Bobby. Whenever I hear the call of a seagull, it takes me back to those wonderful times, dancing in the waves, shouting and laughing and splashing and making friends with every other child lucky enough to be at the beach. This is how I choose to remember my mother.

Did you have a fun mom too? What is your best childhood memory that your mom made possible?


  1. It's not one memory so much as the knowledge my mother was always there for me. My mother passed away almost ten years ago and she's still with me in my memories of her warmth and love.

  2. My mom is still living. But when I think back to childhood, I usually think of all the things she did like be my Girlscout leader, throw big birthday parties, make costumes for Halloween or plays, let me have sleepovers with all the girls in my class and make homemade doughnuts in the morning. So much extra to make childhood fun!


  3. Every summer we would go camping at Timothy Lake in Oregon. I have wonderful memories of exploring trails around the lake with my Mom finding wild strawberries, wildflowers, unusual rocks and little (and sometimes big) creatures. She's been gone 11 years and I still miss her sweet smile and abundant kindness.


  4. My mother was a single mother raising 2 children. She passed away when I was 10 years old. Thinking back on it I would say the knowledge that I gained from her and knowing that she did everything in her power to make sure we had what we needed gets me through the grief. She was a wonderful woman and would not want my brother and I to be sad over her. She made sure that she had time for sporting events or whatever we wanted to do even though she had to work long hours to support us. I live everyday of my life doing things the way that I would want her to be proud of.

  5. My mom had a stroke 2 years ago and is currently suffering dementia in a nursing home. Thanks for the reminder to recall the days she was there for me. Though we haven't been really close for years, I'm thankful that she loved the Lord and did her best to live for him.

  6. All these memories have been lovely.
    Happy Mother's Day!


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