loving broken at nautilus teachings

she was love
she was love

July 20, 1983

my mom has a heart attack
and is the third person in the U.S.
to have angioplasty.

August 20, 1983
my mom is dancing
at my first wedding.

January 1984
my mom is diagnosed
with a rare Leukemia
given 6 months to live
she lives over 3 years

July 20, 1987
my mom passes away
from Leukemia

IMG_6162 IMG_6161

Dec. 1, 1990
my beautiful annie is born
at the exact time of day of
my mothers death


my emily is the same age i was
when my mother was diagnosed
my annie is the same age i was
when she died

this is my deepest pain…

July 19, 1987

the memory is clearer today
than it was then
my mom was in Swedish American Hospital
in Rockford, IL
it was hot and my 3 brothers, my father and i
were vigilantly standing watch
as mom lay dying…
the night before this my father said,
“you all go home to your families,
i want to be alone with your mother…
this was day 6 of her being unconscious…
nurses would come and clear out her lungs
her tongue was swelling
she still had movement
and kept trying to climb out of the bed
she would moan, “no, no, no…”
her body was shutting down
and i honestly
was in denial…

mom, dad and baby nick
mom, dad and baby nick

morning had broken,
my son nick was fed and with the babysitter
i strolled into moms room early
my dad was sitting in a chair next to her bed
he looked exhausted yet at the same
time at peace and full of light
“Morning dad, how’s mom?”
“Hi Sher….
i have to tell you what happened to me last night…
I was talking to your mom
and praying to God
when He lifted me up off my chair
and filled me with peace
assuring me that she was
going home…”
he then started to cry
and i held my father
for the first time…
soon my three brothers arrived
and my father said,
“God told me, we need to release her
so let’s gather around your mom
and all tell her it’s ok to die…
screeeeeeeching like a pulled needle across record,
tell her it’s ok to die?
is he kidding?
we all looked at one another
and then my father said a prayer
as we held hands encircling our mother
with love and faith
as we dropped our hands
our mother, who had not opened her eyes for a week
looked at all of us
and reached up her arms
as one by one we hugged her
and told her we loved her
and that
it was ok to go home to God
she was crying silently
the whole time.
last to hug mom was my father-
he said to her,
“Dory, i love you so much
it’s time to go home to God,”
as they wept together
we all cried
and my mother closed her eyes
dropped her hands
and went into a deep sleep.
the 4 of of us left our father
at his request
and a few hours later
my mother met God
and my life

mom and me
mom and me

i tell you this story because
there is no going back to
forgive your parents or
love your parents.
my father and i had
never been close…
we have had 28 years
of pain and separation
yes, i have included him in my life
but it was my mother who made him soft
my mother who showed us all
unconditional love and forgiveness…
without her in his life
he became what he was a product of
cold, judgmental, harsh
broken and incapable of showing
real love because he forgot what it was
on July 20, 1987.
i have forgiven my father.
he is 86,
but we have no relationship
because he just cannot understand
why we all do not do what he wants
and become what he wants
he sees us a failures
not living up to his expectations…
but i still love him
because he’s my dad
so, mom
if you are listening
and i know you are,
i miss and love you always
thank you for teaching me
faith, kindness, gratitude, love, forgiveness
and strength,
for teaching me the lesson
that “even broken people deserve love, sheri.”

i love you mom
i love you mom


  1. Esther

    Sheri, thank you so much for sharing your truth and beautiful pictures both literally and figuratively. I love how you write. E x

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