Grateful for help on her first Mother’s Day without mom

‘My mom loved all of you so very much’

This is my first Mother’s Day without my mom, Elizabeth, after losing her to pancreatic cancer last July. To say that this Sunday will be hard is an understatement. This year I can’t personally thank her for cooking my family dinner after she had worked a full day multiple times per week, or for holding my son Levi when he was 10 months old for the entire flight to Thailand, or for making me laugh by dying all of my underwear army-green when I was 15 because I had asked for non-white undies (I can still hear her voice “Why do you need colorful underwear? Who’s going to see them?”).

So this year I would like to thank all of the amazing women who helped us take care of her during those last, extremely difficult months. All of them sacrificed time from work or time resting and, most importantly, time with their own families. During a time when most people can’t bear to see someone they love suffer, instead of protecting themselves from hurting they stepped in and showed her how much she meant to them. I know they did it because they loved her, but it was also a huge help to my father and I, as it allowed me to spend time with my own family, and my dad to get some much-needed rest.

So thank you to my aunts, Ania Skalska (from Poland), Michelle Majka (from Chicago), and Barb Goulette (from Arizona). Thank you to her best friend Patricia Stlaske, from Chicago. Thank you to her friends from the Polish community and St. Stephen’s Church, Bronia Obrochta, Barb Hille, Halina Ratajczak, Ola Ratajczak, Bozena Gucwa, and Irena Wisniewska. Thank you to her neighbors Kelly Cullen and Linda Cerise. And thank you to my best friend, Elizabeth Roberts. I am amazed, but not surprised by all of your strength and selflessness. My mom loved all of you so very much.

Sylvia Ringer

New Castle

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