Remembering Mom

May 7, 2015


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.

001Mom 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

DSCN3210b1L-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)

P1030213-sMom 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.

P1030575-s2Mom and I in Yellowstone.

_DSC0190Tom and Mom at the McCullough Peaks HMA in Wyoming.

DSC_0100Mom with my gelding Gold.

DSC_0541Mom and Tom hiking to see the wild horses – Pryor Mountain, MT HMA

DSC_1367-sMom and Tom – Bighorn Canyon area of the Pryor’s.

DSC_1915-sHanging out watching some of the wild horses in the trees. Pryor Mtns, MT

DSC_2724L-R: My brother Chris, Mom, brother Tony and me.

DSC_6101bL-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.

DSC_7138Mom and I on a trip we took to Canada, 2012. Another awesome adventure. There were just so many.

DSC_4015aMom on her 81st birthday.

DSC_3954aMom and I goofing around in Tony’s hangar while everyone took turns going up in his plane.

DSC_8015Mom’s turn in the plane!

DSC_6685Mom with her cute little dog, Jamie.

DSC_6905aMom 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.

DSC_3911a copyMom 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.

DSC_5145-sTaken 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:

This song always makes me think of Mom – Carrie Underwood’s, “See You Again”

Photos are for viewing purposes only. Images by Pam Nickoles Photography, along with all site content are copyright protected and owned solely by Pam Nickoles Photography. Photos and/or text may not be used, downloaded or reproduced in any form without express written permission from Pam Nickoles Photography.

21 Responses to “Remembering Mom”

  1. Katrine Pett Says:

    Bless her…❤️

  2. Tootie Says:

    When I turned my planner over to this week on Monday, I saw that I had her birthday written on today. Tough week. This time 14 years ago, we were losing Mama. Mother’s Day will be bittersweet for both of us from now on. Love you, cuz.

  3. Sarah B Says:

    Thank you for sharing this lovely memorial to your mother. I read every word, enjoyed every picture. Your mom must have been an extraordinary woman, with deep physical & spiritual beauty. Your own life and work—your devotion to your calling & to all you are called to love—are a lasting tribute to the love she poured into you.

  4. Celeste_in_TX Says:

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful memories and photos of your mom in such a very touching expression of love.

  5. Wiley P. Says:

    Pam, it seems like your Mom left a love message to us all, in the form of her daughter sending us these pictures and stories about her! You occupy a very special place in her heart and you should be proud. Thanks for sharing with friends and family on her behalf.

  6. Varada Veum Says:

    Such a touching tribute and just before Mother’s Day. You were blessed to have had her. And clearly, though her body has departed, you still have her in your life, in your genes, in your heart. Thank you for sharing her with us.

  7. MA Patch Says:

    So sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing. Take Care, Marianne Patch Date: Thu, 7 May 2015 10:49:47 +0000 To:

  8. This is a beautiful collection of photos of you all. There are so many lovely memories. Your mom was a remarkable woman.

  9. Maggie Frazier Says:

    Pam, so glad to see your blog once again! Your mom obviously was a great gal & she certainly passed on so many traits to you (& to your brothers). How lucky you were to have been able to spend so much time doing what you both love.

  10. chris1055 Says:

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful pictures of your even more wonderful mother. She will always be in your heart and soul. It is so good she shared your enthusiasm for photography, nature and of course, wild horses.

  11. Margaret Says:

    Hi Pam
    I’m so sorry that you lost your mom. I think this journal entry you wrote and shared about your mom is just beautiful. How lucky for you that your mom was able to help you at the most important times.

    She looks like a very approachable woman and very kind to all. How very lucky and blessed you are.

  12. Leslie Says:

    Pam and Family, I think of Allene often. Even though she and Abi met only briefly, Abi still talks about her quite fondly. Allene will always be remembered as a remarkable woman. The photos are beautiful. What a wonderful tribute to Allene on her birthday and for Mother’s Day.

  13. Cathy Buchanan Says:

    Dear Pam, Chris and Tony,

    Seems so appropriate that Allene had a spring birthday…this is the time when so many things are blooming, and as you know, she loved the flowers. This was the time of season when we filled all the planters and added begonias and other very colorful things to the beds. She always joked with me if I suggested anything dainty. “Don’t want anything small or pale!” Things for the garden needed to be bold, large and bright. Soon the peonies and irises will be blooming, and I will think of her.

    Love you all,

    Cathy Buchanan

  14. TJ Says:

    What a wonderful tribute to your mom on her birthday, Pam. Long may her memory live on.

  15. What a wonderful tribute to your mother, Pam. She was a wonderful woman and obviously, a wonderful mother. I know how hard it is to lose your mother and my thoughts are with you. Hugs! Barbara Wheeler

  16. Fine tribute to a fine lady — your dear mother. Hard to believe Michael Blake just joined here. Thanks for sharing, Pam, and keep taking those great pictures.

  17. Lynn and Kathy Says:

    A loss like this is so incredibly difficult. Your tribute was beautifully done! She’ll live on in every moment you pause to remember this remarkable woman.

  18. JoAnne Foster Says:

    Sorry, I didn’t respond earlier. I loved your Mom. A treasure in my life. Love to you. JoAnne

  19. Pam M. Says:

    You have done it again…your photographs and shared thoughts bring tears to my eyes….she was a special lady!Thanks for sharing. Give my love to your brothers also!

  20. lethie2012 Says:

    What a wonderful collection of photos and great tribute to your mom.

  21. pnickoles Says:

    Thank you all for your kind and heartfelt messages. I appreciate them very much. My Mom was special and I miss her every single day – sharing her helps keep her memory alive. Thanks for letting me share her with you all.

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