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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings All!

Think I've finally made it through one of the roughest weeks of my life. My mother, who had been in the hospital since May 9th, passed away 1:10 AM Wednesday morning August 20th. My mother had contracted rhuematic fever at the age of 17, although it was not diagnosed nor treated at the time. She went on to marry and bear four children, in addition to working ten years in the laundry room of the local nursing home while we kids attended school.

My mother was often tired, and the tiredness became weakness, and the weakness became illness. In 1972 she was diagnosed with a diseased heart valve, the result of the rhuematic fever she contracted 25 years before. Because she had waited so long for the necessary open heart surgery to replace the faulty valve, she was given a 50-50 chance of surviving the operation. She was in the ICU for two weeks, with another three in the coronary care unit, but she lived. Her heart was in such bad shape that the doctors never told her the valve would need replacement within seven to ten years -- she wasn't expected to live that long.

Mom lived with that valve for 13 years before the obsolete replacement began throwing off blood clots that caused a series of strokes. My mother underwent a second open heart procedure to receive a newer model valve. Unfortunately, one or more of the nine units of blood she received was contaminated with a virus that would later become known as Hepatitis 'C'. After 14 years she became very ill, was hospitalized and received the bad news. She was overdue for a third replacement, but the newly discovered Hepatitis C had made her a poor candidate for surgery. She was sent home to die.

Since my mother could no longer live by herself, she moved in with her older sister by two years, my Aunt Doris. My aunt managed to nurse my mother back to health, and they shared the household for three years. But the combination of end stage heart failure and end stage liver failure eventually proved too much.

So here's to my mother, the woman who's stories of catching bullheads and sunfish as a little girl on simple bread bait planted the seed that would become a lifelong passion for me. Today we buried her earthly body. Rest in peace, mom -- I'll remember you always.
 

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Jake you are the bravest man I have ever met in my life. I know she is looking down on you right now from heaven just smiling. My prayers are with you and your family. I still can't believe you went on that charter with us on the 21st. I know it kept your mind off of things temporarily. I can't wait to fish next to you again. You are a very strong caring man. Just remember she is in a better place now. Rest in Peace....................................
 

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You have my deepest condolences. Jason said it all. If you need anything, you know that we are all here to help you out.
-Anthony
 

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Sounds like a brave and wonderful mom,Jake.Sorry for your loss. Your family here shares your sorrow.....the R
 

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Memories such as those you have shared with us

will stay with you for a lifetime. In those memories is where you will forever find strength. My best to you and the Mrs.
 

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A moment of silence for "all" the Loved ones we have lost...

Thanks for sharing.......just that, shows how proud you were of her, and how much she was Loved. I still have my Mom, but have lost my Dad and both younger brothers, and I'm 49. I had the long time issue with operations/ treatments with my Dad, and was living in Florida at the time, it was very hard to deal with. But I remember all three with great fondness, and Love, and more often than not, it's a smile, not a tear that appears on my face, they are a part of me, and that can never change.
 

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Many condolences to you and your family. Not that it really helps, and though there is now pain in your hearts, remeber that now after all these years, she is out of her pain and suffering, and in a better place. When the pain hits your hearts think of memories like the fishing and others of her that bought you happiness, and through the pain, tears of joy might just still find the corner of your eyes.

My prayers go out to you and your family for your loss.

GBAK
 

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A moment of silence............

and a life time of memories! Peace be with you bro.
 

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I am very sorry for your earthly loss and pray the Holy Spirit wraps His arms around you with the comfort only He can provide and makes those precious memories as clear as clear can possibly be.

Soapfish
 

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I grieve your loss. My mother also had rhuematic fever as a child and we almost lost her 25 years ago but we have been fortunate. She goes but she is slow.
 

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My deepest condolences Jake in your lost I wish I could say the words to ease you pain, but know that she will always be with you.
 

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Sorry to hear of your loss, Jake.

I hadn't seen a post from you in a while and when I saw your name, I clicked on it thinking "This will be a good one." But, Man!
I wasn't expecting that.......Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Jake.
 

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My prayers are with you....

Be at peace my brother,

To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. It is a beautiful place, heaven........
 

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Sorry man, But I hear the fish are bigger in Heaven. Maybe your mom and my mom are fishing right now.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Greetings All!

Thanks for the kind words. Mom was sick for a long time, and as many of you have stated, she doesn't have to deal with the burden anymore. I think the thing that hurt mom most was not being able to travel to the casinos or attend the other myriad senior functions provided by the church group. Lying in bed was not mom's style.

To set the record straight, I never got to fish with mom. She spent a lot of time fishing while growing up during the depression. Mom and her friends often sold their catch for pennies to folk even less fortunate. Back in those days most folks didn't realize how poor they were -- it doesn't mean much when everyone else in the neighborhood is going through the same tough times.

It was my maternal grandmother who bought us our first rods and reels (a step up from the sticks mom would have used.) And it was my grandmother who would march us to the banks of the Wissahickon Creek on Saturdays (mom always had a baby or two to take care of.)

Mom and my grandmother are together now, laying side by side in Westminster Cemetery. I have both to thank for setting me on the path to a lifetime of fun, sport, and memories. Ours was a truly matriarchal upbringing, and the two old girls did fine by me.

Thanks again for your kind thoughts and prayers. Many people have said this before, and I can surely attest to it: Pier & Surf is not just a bulletin board, its a family! Can't wait until the next reunion....
 
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