Today is a special day of remembrance – it’s my Mom’s birthday. Our first without her. We lost this amazing woman at the end of last year. She was quite simply, the most important woman in my life. Smart, beautiful, strong, determined, independent, generous…and the list goes on. Life without her is harder than I could have ever imagined. She was such a force in my life. We spoke almost everyday. We laughed, cried, dreamed and played together. There’s just no one who knows and loves you like your Mom and I’m having a very difficult time with the loss of that very special relationship. Everyday, I work at remembering her in happier ways; all she gave me and the many memories she left with me. So today, I’d like to share my wonderful Mom as a way to honor her birthday, celebrate her life and reflect on a few of those memories.
Mom and my Dad at Prom.
Mom’s High School graduation photo.
Mom with my Grandmother at her wedding.
Family photo: Mom, Dad, Chris, me and Tony.
Mom with Chris (and Skipper), me and Tony at the family cabin in Franklin, NC
My first horse! A dream come true for my 15th birthday. I don’t know how Mom kept that secret, but it was the best birthday present ever! She had a way of making birthdays and holidays very special.
Beautiful, beautiful Mom.
My high school graduation.
Helping Mom get ready.
Mom riding my wonderful boy Stormy.
At Tom and I’s wedding.
Mom with granddaughter Tai’s sugar glider.
Mom in her garden. She LOVED her flowers and her garden was quite a showcase.
Mom, Tom and I at my first Artist Reception. She always supported me and my photography.
She also supported my love of the wild horses. Here we are at a peaceful rally in Boulder, CO
L-R: me, my niece Ariel, Michael Blake and Mom at Michael’s ranch in Arizona on one of our trips to visit El Mariachi and Hope. Mom so loved El Mariachi. (Michael’s dogs Scout and Diana)
Mom went to the Pryor Mountains 3 times with us. Here we are on one of our wild horse trips in front of Penn’s cabin. She was game for anything and was always fun to travel with.
Mom and I in Yellowstone.
Tom and Mom at the McCullough Peaks HMA in Wyoming.
Mom with my gelding Gold.
Mom and Tom hiking to see the wild horses – Pryor Mountain, MT HMA
Mom and Tom – Bighorn Canyon area of the Pryor’s.
Hanging out watching some of the wild horses in the trees. Pryor Mtns, MT
L-R: My brother Chris, Mom, brother Tony and me.
L-R: We took several family fall color rides through the years. This photo was taken on one of those trips. L-R: Chris, me, Mom and Tony.
Mom and I on a trip we took to Canada, 2012. Another awesome adventure. There were just so many.
Mom on her 81st birthday.
Mom and I goofing around in Tony’s hangar while everyone took turns going up in his plane.
Mom’s turn in the plane!
Mom with her cute little dog, Jamie.
Mom and Tom meet a sweet little mini therapy horse.
Mom with El Corazon (Cory), my Mustang. Mom was instrumental in helping get Cory to Colorado. Such a gift. She knew just how special he was to me. That was always Mom’s way.
Mom and I with Mom’s first great grandchild (my great niece), Ilyana Allene Gerstner. Born at the beginning of October, she was 3 weeks early so Mom was able to spend more time with her. It was Mom’s goal to meet little “Lanie.” What a blessing that she was able to do that.
Taken just about a month before we lost Mom. There’s no doubt how happy Mom is in this photo. She was so in love with this little girl. And having Ilyana named after her meant the world to Mom.
Happy Birthday Mom…
Having you for a Mom was a wonderful gift in my life, one I’ll always cherish. The gifts that meant the most were the ones that no one else but you could give. All the time you spent with me, the life lessons you shared, the strength you had and all the love I felt. You always believed in and supported me. Be at peace and know that I will always carry you in my heart. You meant so very, very much to me – I love you and will miss you forever Mom.
Online obituary: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/dailycamera/obituary.aspx?pid=173804676
This song always makes me think of Mom – Carrie Underwood’s, “See You Again” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTnWFT3DvVA
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