Once upon a time…


…there was a princess who lived with her mother, the queen. 

But the queen died and I so miss my mom.  I have been thinking about her a lot lately – Falling back to crystal clear childhood memories of a beautiful smiling face with straight black hair that fell down her back like smooth satin.  Her hair wasn’t like mine at all….. my hair is dark brown and fizzy if I’m not careful.  Her hair was smooth and shiny – like a river of black flowing down her back.  I remember how everyone asked her if she was greek and she would laugh.  My mom was part Seminole indian and had this charitable heart of gold.  The thing she loved most about receiving gifts was to give them again to someone who was down. 

She died on Feb 16th, 2008 and the events of that day play over and over in my head like a movie I can’t stop.  My mom was sick with colitis and we were all worried about her….. but people don’t die from colitis.  My sister was driving to see her and talking to me on the phone (headset).  My oldest brother was already there.   My sister had just talked to him and had called me after and I remember that something she said made me suddenly worry.  She told me I should just call and talk to them but I decided to wait till later.  Not long after we hung up she called me back and I can still hear her voice yelling “Donna, mama died!”  and next thing I knew I was crying uncontrollably into the kitchen linoleum.   My husband picked me up and took me to bed and arranged everything…..   He was a Godsend during that time. 

Well, for some reason I’ve been thinking of her a lot these last few weeks.  I actually dyed my hair black to see if I would look more like she did in my memories.  I used a dye that washes out in 28 washes just in case I looked more like Elvira.  Of course I don’t have the boobs for that though.  I determined that it didn’t make much difference since I can still see my dad’s side of the family in me but for some reason my husband has been wanting me to wash my hair more often. 

Last night I made myself some tomato soup with rice in it.  My mom used to make that for me when I was not feeling well only she didn’t use Campbell’s soup and minute rice.  It wasn’t the same but it was close.  It made me cry and wish she were here so I could tell her I miss her. 


My husband I went out to run some errands today and I got cold again.  It was pretty out though and the sky was mostly clear and the sun was bright!  The frozen black branches of the birches glittered like they were coated in sugar.  I love it when my husband drives and I can take pictures through the car window… sometimes I use them for paintings later and just omit things like telephone poles and taco bells banners. 

I went by the library and picked up a book I’ve been wanting to read called Forgotten Household Crafts.  It must be a good book because every time I  tried to find it, it was already checked out.  Or it was in North Pole.  Maybe Mrs. Claus was reading it?  There actually is a small town about 30 minutes from here called North Pole and it is decorated like Christmas all year around.  Anyway, this time I wised up and put the book on hold and now it’s here waiting for me to read!  For now I need to paint though…  my brushes are calling me. 

*Edit: My face painting is pretty much as finished as it’s going to get.  I think it’s okay for a first painted face but I’m hoping to get better.  I can’t wait to see what my watercolor teacher thinks of this one. 

Finished face


This is later in the day when the sun was heading to bed

13 responses »

  1. How does somebody die from colitis?! What a shock for all of you! She sounds like a beautiful woman–inside and out. I know it sounds weird, but it is actually a blessing to have somebody that you miss that much. Not all mothers are a missable. 😉
    Funny that the hubby wants you to wash your hair more often–LOL! You must not look like you.
    I want to hear about that book. Now we will know the mystery as to why it was always checked out, right? 😉
    Lovely pics! Have fun painting!! I am not moving much today. Maybe more tomorrow–if I get more sleep–LOL!

  2. Rita, my mom also had diabetes which was made unstable by the steroids the doctor gave her for the colitis. It was ulcerative colitis. That strained her heart and they said she most likely had a heart attack. The doctor that was treating her in the little town where they lived wasn’t the best by far. He never even checked her heart knowing she had diabetes which became brittle after the steroids and she was 72. Even when he started giving her the stronger and stronger steroids he never checked her heart – never in the whole time he treated her. The doctors I was working with here said they would have knowing that history. When we were all there for the funeral we made an appointment to talk the doctor and ask questions. The family filled the room and most of my family are TALL! I’m sure he was intimidated. Everyone asked their questions and he explained the best be could but he had a pretty poor excuse for not monitoring her heart. He said she never complained of heart trouble but women commonly don’t experience the typical symptoms. But oh well, nothing to do about it now.

    I just uploaded my picture right as you finished posting LOL I too have been running slow today. I did finally try taking some Claritin and it helped my sinuses. Why didn’t I think of that before?

    • Now it makes sense…well, in a sad way. I’m glad you all piled into his office and intimidated him. Dagan’s severe heart defects were missed by an old GP who delivered him and the GP who had seen him three times AND I watched listen to Dagan’s heart. He barely survived against all odds. Every doctor since then couldn’t believe any doctor could have missed Dagan’s basically three chambered heart, bad valves, etc. I always think–there had to be some C and D students in medical school, right?

      Anyways, lovely lady! Ethereal! :):)

  3. Oh, Donna, I’m so very sorry for the death of your mom and how much you are missing her. Just sending supportive vibes and thanks for sharing your memories with us. I have a creamy tomato soup comfort food memory from childhood, too… Also, I wanted to just say that your finished face is just beautiful! I’m soaking in the way you did the shading and shadows on the face to give her dimension. Just wonderful! And my nose got incredibly cold just looking at that weather forecast 🙂 But wow it is beautiful in those photos… Art on!

  4. Awww… Donna… I wonder if your Mom has been checking in on you and you can feel that on some level. It does make one miss that person even more. I bet she got the biggest chuckle out of you dyeing your hair! (((hugs))) to you.

    Your face painting is beautiful!

    Warmly, Tracy

  5. sometimes doing things that remind you of your mom helps a lot. my mom has been gone for 26 years and one of my sisters recently had to get her chili recipe to make because she was missing her. my mother was also native american but her hair was completely red! good thing about that, i got dad’s black hair with mom’s red highlights! (he was also native american)

    i think your face painting is very nice!

  6. Such a touching post…it’s so hard to have lost such a rock in your life…for sure a Queen. Remember and hold dear in your heart all the joys that you shared with your Mother…she is for sure still here in spirit and will always be your guiding light! Beautiful painting and only your first…awesome!

  7. My heart aches for you! Just remember she is always with you in your heart..there to hold you and love you. Your painting is very good….can’t believe it’s your first face…keep up the great work.

  8. I can only imagine the longing you must be feeling for your Mum. Her passing must have come as such a shock to the whole family. It’s very unfortunate that the doctor didn’t check her heart…sometimes, it pays to get a second opinion. My brother had been suffering with pain in the back for 1½ years and his regular doctor kept putting it down to overwork and giving him pain pills. Just a couple of weeks ago, my bro’s back pain was so bad, they went back to see the doctor but his regular doctor wasn’t on and my bro saw a female doctor who was filling in. After reading the history, she immediately ordered an ultrasound, thinking that my bro may have a heart problem. However, the ultrasound showed a tennis-ball sized cancer on his kidney and surgery to remove the kidney was performed within days. To think, if he’d seed his regular doctor, he would have been given more pain pills and sent home. I’m so grateful to that female doctor. My brother is now cancer-free and can lead a relatively normal life.

    I think it’s really sweet that you dyed your hair to be like your Mum although you are beautiful just as you are….you are your Mother’s daughter and you will have a piece of her with you always. She sounded like a beautiful and caring person, inside and out, and I’m sure she is looking down and feeling very proud of you.

    The portrait is GORGEOUS! I love the sparkle in her eyes. Great job, Donna!

  9. Forgot to say that I miss my mom terribly sometimes. It’s funny… she won’t be on my mind for quite a stretch and then all of a sudden this sadness washes over me. I have to stop and let it have it’s moment. I find it’s bittersweet, and lately it’s all the good memories that come to me and it’s almost a comfort. HuGGs from a friend who feels the same thing sometimes.

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