Doris’s Birthday

by Lois Etienne on September 12, 2011

in Senior Health and Safety


My mom with my daughter.

Today is my mom’s birthday. She would have been 83 years old. She battled leukemia for about 3 years before she left us. My mom, Doris, was a strong woman. She was opinionated, giving, mechanically inclined, loved to sing, down to earth, a great Bid Eucher player, had common sense, good at math, loved the same man for over 50 years, and looked forward to heaven with Christ.

It’s amazing how few and sometimes how many words can be used to describe a person. We have so much technology available to us these days but during her lifetime, videotaping her life was basically impossible. I have a few home videos somewhere but one of my most prized possessions is a cassette tape I have where I asked my mom and my dad questions while we were on a long drive. They were kind of a captive audience so I asked them questions about when they were dating and early marriage. Every now and then I can now push a button and listen to mom’s voice talking about her first job!

But maybe the most amazing feat of technology allowed a miracle. Several weeks before my mom passed, my sister was able to fly out and spend time with her while she was in the hospital. The three of us were alone in her hospital room and we decided to sing. Mom’s favorite song was, “Haven of Rest.” She could barely sing but this one time, not only was she able to get one whole verse and chorus out, with my sister and I singing harmony, BUT I was also able to record it on my cellphone. Then through more miraculous technology, we figured out how to get that recording off of my cellphone and was able to play it at her funeral….she sang at her own funeral…she would have loved that.

I always encourage families to talk and tape conversations with the elders in their lives before it’s too late. You can never replace folks but it does help with the healing to be able to connect through sight and sound. It’s a different world we live in today and senior’s stories are our lifeline to days gone by. I love but recording their lives is the only real way our great-great grandchildren will ever hear or know about their wonderful lineage.

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