Monday, October 3, 2011

In Memory of Thelma Randall -- My Mom

Sadly, my mom, Thelma Randall, passed away on September 18.

It’s been a hard year for us as her health started decline the beginning of this year until she went into hospice care this past July. All I can say about the Visiting Nurse Association is that they were fantastic and I can’t thank them enough for all they did for Mom.

Even with her health problems, Mom was a great friend to all, ‘Mom’ to my friends, and interested in what goes on.

Her service was last Friday where family and friends gathered to share their memories.

There were tears, there was laughter, and I know Mom would have enjoyed it all. Sad thing is, because I couldn’t find her discharge papers from the Marine Corps I couldn’t have an honor guard for her. The funeral home did their part and Facebook friends offered up wonderful suggestions. The home gave us a flag and I asked my FB friends to shout out ‘Semper Fi’ during the time of her service. And they did.

Below is what I spoke at her service.

Mom was a great cheerleader for authors.

When I was a brand spanking new author and told the world (okay not literally) what I did Mom smiled and suggested I not sound like I was bragging.

A few years later we were out having lunch. Mom looked across the restaurant and saw a woman reading one of my books. She hustled over there, told the woman her daughter had written that book, and motioned me over to introduce us and even asked the woman if she wanted me to sign the book.

I guess I didn’t need to brag. Mom did it for me. :}

I’ll miss Mom, but I know she’s always with me. And that I kept my promise to her. She didn't go into the hospital or a nursing home. She was at home where she belonged.

Memories of Mom

When I thought about writing something I realized what popped into my head was what I call snapshot memories. Bits and pieces of things that happened over the years.

One thing was Mom’s love for the marines. She might have only been in the womens reserve for a year during WWII but it impacted her life. She made lifelong friends as a result. She was a charter member of the womens military memorial and the women marines association. And yes, I’ll say what always embarrassed her. She dated Tyrone Powers’s crew chief.

She was first rejected when she went to join up. The doctor was going to say no because she had mild scoliosis. She told him her dad had been in the navy, had three daughters and she considered herself her father’s son. She made it in. If she hadn’t married Dad, she would have made it her career. Personally, I’m glad she married Dad.

Pride in her mother and grandmother who were driving forces in making Mom the woman she was.

My memories of Mom are a combination of laughter and tears.

I remember Mom making me sit in the car’s back seat because our shepherd mix, Skipper, insisted on the front passenger seat.

Mom horrified when a rattlesnake almost bit me but Skipper got to it first. Maybe that’s why Skipper insisted on the front seat.

Mom wearing her favorite lavender print halter dress and lavender leather high heels slides that I liked to try on and always fell over in.

Sitting nearby with a book in her hands while Dad and I fished for rainbow trout.

During same fishing trips going out to the outhouse in the late night and hoping that bear nearby wouldn’t decide we might make a nice snack.

Mom insisting a Toni home perm was good for me. It wasn’t.

Understanding that her daughter is a dreamer and indulging her love of books.

Laid up in bed and insisting ten year old me go outside to find out the source of the loud crash in the garage where Dad was working on his 1957 Bel Air and find out why Dad was swearing up a storm. The car was soon gone and Dad mumbled a lot every time he saw a blue Bel Air.

Explaining to me that I probably wouldn’t wear glasses all my life. Yeah Mom.

Introduced me to See’s chocolates. Thanks Mom!

Going to the drive in on Friday nights when Dad was away on business trips.

Our girls only Thanksgiving dinner at Knotts Berry Farm when Dad was snowed in in Montana.

Handling things after an earthquake, mopping up water when water flooded one of the bedrooms, and evacuating during a forest fire.

Patiently explaining to me that yes, I was having a Christmas wedding, but no, I shouldn’t wear red or green.

Mom going out with me when I was learning to master driving stick shift after Dad and I returned home yelling at each other. Don’t even ask.

Her adopting all my friends as her girls. Always asking about them, interested in what they were doing. Sending them love and virtual hugs if they needed them.

I miss Mom’s teasing when I forget to set up my coffee and whimper when I see the empty pot in the morning.

Even with all her health problems, Mom never faltered. She was an inspiration to many.

Mom was love, strength, faith and my best friend.

I’ll miss you Mom, but I understand why you had to leave me.


  1. Linda...that was wonderful! I'm sure your Mom was was very proud of you and that you were very close.

    It was the same with my mom who passed away this past January. The pain is slowly replaced by all the good memories and I don't think of her as she was in the end but as she was when I was a kid and she was even younger than I am now...:>

    Bless you, Linda, and know you were a great daughter to your mom and that she loved you with all her heart.

    --Cecilia Huddleston

    p.s. You know...I had one of those Toni perms myself! What were our moms thinking...:>

  2. Thanks Cecilia.

    I'm grateful there's a lot of good memories.

    And the smell of those perms too!

  3. Linda, so sorry for your loss. This was a beautiful tribute to your mom. She sounds like she was an amazing lady and passed those qualities on to you. Sending hugs, love and prayers.

    Thoughts in Progress
    Freelance Editing By Mason

  4. What a beautiful tribute! I never met Mom but feel like I have known her for years. My prayers are with you.

  5. Linda, I'm so sorry to hear this news. It's so wonderful that she left a great legacy that will live on through your love for her. :)

  6. Thank you Mason. She was very special.

    Thank you Dale! You have heard a lot about her, haven't you.

    Thank you, Chris. Mom was my hero. Still is.

  7. Linda - sorry for your loss, and I know she will remain in your heart forever. Mothers are so special. They surround us in love.


  8. Hi Linda -

    I'm sorry for your loss, but I think you're right, she's still with you and live in all these great memories of her!

    You're an amazing lady, and it sounds like your Mom had a little something to do with that... :)

    You're a wonderful daughter, Linda!



  9. Wonderful memories of a wonderful mom! (((HUGS)))

  10. How lovely, Linda. It brought tears to my eyes. Your mother has left a wonderful legacy in you.

  11. Linda, my thoughts are with you. What a moving tribute to your mom, she sounds like she was truly amazing! Ugh, I had so many of those perms!

  12. Linda -- You're right, moms are special.

    Thank you Lisa!

    Thank you Cheryl!

    Thank you, Anita. I hope I'm worthy of it.

    Rae -- The smell never left, did it?

  13. Linda, that was moving and a wonderful tribute to your mom. I think you have every reason to "brag" about such a special person. She sounds like a remarkable lady.


  14. that was a beautiful sentiment to your mother!
    thank you for sharing your memories with us!

  15. Now that I've cleared my years a bit so I can see...Your tribute was absolutely exquisite. That is perfectly Mom (Thelma), she really was a Mother figure to many. There is a hollow spot in my heart right now. I hope to fill it with memories of the happy times and move out the feelings of sadness and loss. They will never go away, but the love will over ride the sadness. She is amazingly special.

  16. Thank you! What a beautiful tribute to your Mom. She sounds wonderful! I'm sure she's with you in spirit, always.