That said, I have mentioned a few times in previous blogs the sudden loss of my father to a heart attack just a few months after my accident, which is still painful for me after nearly 18 years. Now, the loss I feel pales in comparison to the hole in my mother’s heart that was created when her husband of 47 years left her side. My parents not only married in 1948 and raised six children together, but they grew up just a few blocks apart and my mother’s brother was my father’s best friend. It is safe to say that my father was the “rock” in their relationship and quite frankly my mother’s heart has been broken since February 1, 1995.
Following the death of my father, my mother went from living with my amazing sister Claudine to living with Joe and me over the next nearly 10 years. Joe and I made major life decisions based on the needs of my mother and though we do not have children, we understand the meaning and importance of family.
Just a few years ago, it was my sister who pointed out to me that the arrangement was maybe not the best situation, and we should as a family consider options that would allow our mother the social interaction and care on a daily basis that I was not able to provide when working full-time with travel commitments conflicting with her needs. Ultimately, she agreed to a change and she now lives in a wonderful place called St. Andrews.
When my mom asked me to join her for their holiday party and to bring my crown, I couldn’t refuse! My mother gave all that she had to her children, and I have spent a lifetime hoping to make her smile. Here is a photo of my mom, Betty Lou Wojtowicz and the best sister in the world, Claudine Goodrich! Also, with my brother Nick and his lovely wife Wendy.
Betty Lou, me, and Claudine
Wendy, me, and Nick
With love and appreciation,
Mrs. International 2012