Sunday, March 28, 2010

My Mom

My Mother, Jacqueline Lucille (Jones) Schroeder, was born on February 6, 1930 to Marian & Kenneth Jones. She grew up in Milwaukee & SW IA. She graduated from Mt Sinai School of Nursing in Milwaukee in January 1952 and was in SW IA for a visit when she went to a dance & my Dad, a 6'8" gentleman named Bud, asked her if she could dance. "A little" she replied. I've hear my Dad repeat that story many times over the past 10 days. They married in February 1953 in Virginia Beach, where Dad was stationed in the Army. 
They returned to SW IA to live & farm. I was adopted in 1957. My brother, Jason, in 1960. Then in 1969, years after being told they could not have children, Tim was born! We lived in SW IA until I was 15, then lived in Western NB until I was 18. Then to MS where Dad took a new job. Then to Dumas, the year before I graduated Pharmacy School. They retired in 1992 and moved to the Hill Country of TX. 

Mom & Dad traveled extensively, mostly via RV, but did take a couple of cruises. One to Alaska and one to Europe. They made many, many friends along the way. That has been evident in the past 2 weeks. More friends than my Dad can even thank. Many he doesn't know. Mom played in 2 or 3 Bridge clubs, painted china, and recently took on learning My Juong (sp?). I have made many phone calls to these people these past few days and the response was always the same. Shock at her sudden illness & then stories of how Mom had impacted their life. 
Mom left this world on March 17, 2010, at home, with her family by her side. Mom wanted to be cremated and have no funeral. So, Dad decided the heck with the funeral, so we held a celebration of life. It was a wonderful service. The church was full. My brother, Tim, is in law enforcement and there were 20+ officers in attendance, all in full uniform. My dad was in awe of all the well wishers. People he had never met, but told him stories of how Jacquie had impacted their life. 
We have heard stories from Dad, too. Stories we hadn't heard before. It has been a great time of getting to know each other again. We kids & our families. Time apart has made the bond even more strong. We haven't always gotten along, as kids or adults, but we pulled together these past 2 weeks. Helping dad sort through papers, pictures, and memories. Trying not to change too much too soon. I am glad my brothers live close by and their wives are beyond words! 
Jacqueline Lucille Schroeder leaves behind, her husband of 57 years, Bud, her 3 children, Shellie & husband Ted, Jason & wife Kim, and Tim & wife Pam. A plethora of grandchildren, Amanda, Colette, & Heather, Nicole & Ashley, and Raine, Ashley, Garrett, Maegan, & Sydney. And great-grandchildren, Kate, Marissa, Michael, Cassandra, Stephen, & Matthew, and Cooper, who has a sister on the way!
Jacquie enjoyed every minute of her life and her friends. She was always on the go. We may not have been close the past 2 years, but the love has always been there. I felt it when she saw me in her hospital room 2 weeks ago yesterday. All the unsaid words in her eyes. I will treasure her last 3 days. I love you, Mom!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


This picture is kind of old (think back almost 24 years). But, remember we moved & I'm tired & I don't know where more current pictures are! This was in a wedding day scrapbook. My mom is sitting, my brother, Tim, is behind her. My other brother, Jason, is behind Tim. Dad is the only guy still wearing his tux. Tim & Jason are such slackers. 
As many of you know, my parents & I are estranged. For over a year now. Although my Dad did call on Christmas day this past year. Haven't spoken with my mother in over a year. Today is not a day to discuss details, for those resentments have been gone for a long time & it serves no purpose now anyway. In February my Mom turned 80 and they celebrated 57 years of marriage. In May my Dad will turn 80. Both are in fair health. Both my mom's parents died of stroke/cardiac problems. My uncle (her brother) died young of a heart attack. Not a good history.
Last night during dinner, my mother suffered a massive stroke. So bad, the volunteer ambulance people called in the Medivac. She told my sister-in-law that her fingers felt tingly & my SIL said give the phone back to my brother (who was at my parents). She was slurring her words & my brother called 911. She was flown to a heart hospital in Austin. Didn't meet criteria for clot buster. 

She had regained some of her motor skills before the helicopter ever took off, but her BP was not coming down. At the hospital her right side became immobile & her speech was not understandable. Amanda met my Dad & brother at the hospital. She was there until 2:30 this morning & back up there at 11 this morning. She said G'ma was startled she was there. If you are estranged, then so are the children. My other brother has also been estranged, but for more like 3 years. They were all there today. I will be there Saturday.
I am flying out in the morning, but it will be 10:45 before I get to Austin, so it will be Saturday before I get to the hospital. 
My grandmother had a stroke & my mother cared for her at home for just over a year. It took a toll on her & my dad. From then on, we knew she wanted no heroic measures. No feeding tube, no vent. Been there, done that. She is not swallowing or speaking. Amanda did say there was a small response of foot movement. She is extremely ticklish on the bottom of her feet & she responded to that. She is awake & aware of her surroundings. Amanda said they finally had to turn the monitor away because she was craning her neck to see if her BP was coming down. That's a retired RN for you! There is talk of hospice care at home. My sweet RN SIL is staying with her tonight & my other SIL is finally leaving for first time in over 24 hours. 
Will update as I can....