Ruth's Genealogy

“I don't know who my grandfather was; I am much more concerned to know what his grandson will be.” -Abraham Lincoln

I have been going through some of my Mom’s photo albums for pix to add to my RootsMagic database. These are wonderful resources! One in particular is an old red album that she apparently started when she and my Dad first got married. There are a bunch of images of both my parents as young adults and as children, plus oodles of pictures of my grandparents & great-grandparents, aunts & uncles, family friends, school friends, people that my grandmother doesn’t recognize ( and she remembers everyone from her own childhood up ’till today!)…all these people who were important to my Mom.

But as this is a hunt for Mom pix, that’s what I’m concentrating on. It looks like just about every period in her life was photographed! Which is really wonderful from a genealogy standpoint, but kinda hard to look at…

My Mom died at age 63 from pancreatic cancer. A few months prior to her death, she was healthy, active and full of life! Mom was a Registered Nurse and the Medical Officer of the Colorado Dept of Corrections Special Operations Response Team (SORT), their version of the SWAT team. In that capacity she was responsible for the safety and well-being of the other SORT members (who were all half her age!). As a member of the SORT, she was required to be certified just like the other team members in weapons, special tactics, hostage negotiations, all that. The works. Let me tell you, you didn’t argue with my Mom!

Every summer she participated in the extended training held at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. She would come home back & blue, but gloriously happy! She loved her work! At first it bothered my Dad, as he was concerned for her safety. But after talking with other SORT members and seeing how happy she was, he was happy, too.

When my Mom was suddenly diagnosed with cancer on Christmas Eve, 1998, it was a bombshell, as you can imagine. She was in the process of retiring from the Colorado Dept of Correctons, and she and my Dad had plans all in place to travel around the country in their motorhome. As she was in pretty severe pain, the doctor prescribed a narcotic patch to be worn aound the clock. It controlled her pain really well, thank goodness, but the drug also made her a bit goofy. So in the last days and weeks of her life, conversation wasn’t easy. Some of the things you might want to talk about in a situation like that couldn’t be discussed.

Mom died on Feb 18, 1999, just about 7 weeks after she was diagnosed. She was alert up until about 3 days before she died, enough time to see all her family down here in Texas. About 10 days before she died, I went to Colorado and helped my Dad bring her down here in their motorhome so she could see everyone.

It was very hard for my Dad. 47 years of marriage is a long time! To this day, he can’t talk about her without crying, as I am doing now…

Anyway, I guess what I’m trying to say here is obviously to safeguard those precious family photos, but also never take your loved ones for granted.

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