Wednesday, April 29, 2009


My second mom passed away today.

My friend Annette and I first met in a 7th grade art class - we worked on a mural of Africa together, and she was, even then, an awesome artist. She did all the savanna animals - zebras, giraffes, elephants.

The rest of us colored the ground and the grasses. And I think one other person did the trees.

Annette and I were soon inseparable friends.

And her family completely stunned me. It was the first family I'd ever met that, well, liked each other - wanted to spend time together - did things together.

It was the first time I'd seen this in real life, other than just the facade that some families can put on in public.

But Mom Shurtliff was always the kick. She always had a laugh ready - she never, ever seemed to be completely serious about almost anything.

Which was especially endearing to me.

And no matter how many evenings, nights, days, weeks and MONTHS (and believe me, there were months) I was at her house, she was always happy to see me - always happy to FEED me - always happen to include me.

It was also great to see her relationship with her daughters. My own mother and I had a strained relationship, even at our best of times.

But Mom S. and her girls were... well, like friends. GOOD friends.

When my husband I were married in 1978 in the Provo temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Mom and Dad Shurtliff came up to be at the ceremony, since my own parents were not able to attend.

(Isn't this a pretty picture? We got married on May 6th - and it snowed.)

And I realize now why I have no photographs of Mom S. outside the temple or at the reception - she was dodging the camera.

The one and only photo I could locate was from Annette's graduation from BYU, with Annette, her at-the-time-fiance-and-now-husband, and Mom S... checking the camera for a photo she was taking (this was in the dark ages before digital cameras - you took a photo and didn't see the outcome sometimes for WEEKS).

Through the years, I would call Mom and Dad S. occasionally - once Mom was introduced to the internet, she was great at forwarding silly jokes - but really haven't seen either of them for years. I know Mom had a series of strokes, this last one incapacitating her for the last several months.

I am certain she is now free of her physical limitations, and I am certain I am going to see her again some day.

But today - today I am missing her, and wishing there was some better way to express how much I have loved her than babbling in this blog.


Annette said...

Thank you for that wonderful tribute, Hope. Reading these sweet memories mean so much to me. Mom touched a lot of lives and never did it for praise or attention, it was just who she was. Thanks for being a part of our family, Hope!

Lisa said...

Thanks, Hope! I love reading about your memories of MorMor. She was an absolute genius at dodging the camera, that's for sure! I think I have two pictures of her from the last 10 years. But I'm grateful to have the memories.