Tag Archives: balloons

Be Leaving a Legacy (5th Anniversary)

December 26th, 2013 7:00am

The lady that will leave the largest legacy in my life left the earth.

Five years ago.

She breathed her last breath.

My dad at her side.

My boys and I sleeping at her house.

December 26th, 2018 7:00am

I set an alarm.

I woke and took a deep breath.

I began to ponder this adventure we have created these last five years and I must admit that I am shocked it has been five years living on this earth without my mama.

Some days, my breath gets taken away with grief and it seems like just moments ago that I was told that my mom had died. Other days, it feels like she has been gone for a hundred years. It truly is like the disciple Peter says: “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. “

On days like today, I am able to look back and see five distinct legacies that my mom created for me and my boys:

  1. My Mama was thoughtful! She was incredibly present with her people and truly saw how she could add value to their everyday life. She used her “spidey sense” to buy the best gifts. She really saw people and what they needed. Most days, she was the gift people needed.
  2. My Mama was a “mover”! She was cycling in Mallorca, Spain eight months before she died, cycling up to 90km per day. If she said that she was going to do something, she did it. Plain and simple. Joanna, “I was to learn Spanish!” Boom, at 65 years old she signed herself up for a Spanish class. My Mama was an athlete her whole entire life from living on the farm, to playing basketball, to being one of the first moms to join a gym and finally her passion for cycling, hiking and cross country skiing. My mama was woman of her word and a mover to boot.
  3. My Mama was creative! Whether it was when she was quilting, creating in the kitchen or working in her garden, my mom always added her own flare to what she was doing. She was never afraid to try new recipes or create something with our boys, even if it involved sparkles. My Mama was a creator.
  4. My Mama was not perfect! She was the person who gave me permission to be perfectly imperfect. I saw her shed tears over the things that her relatives chose to do to her and I saw her unsure at how to respond. I saw her get angry and apologize. I heard her speak about other people and also then apologize. I watched her when I was younger as she moved jobs and share what it was really like to work as a teacher in an antiquated system. My Mama was a human “being”.
  5. My Mama was LOVE! At 7:00am in the morning when the boys wanted to watch cartoons, she would let them crawl into bed with her. Whenever we showed up at her front door, my Mama always gave the very best hugs and made space for us in her life. Every time, I needed to talk with her, she listened. She listened really, really well. Time. Hugs. Listening. And so much more than my simple words can convey. Who could ask for anything more? Pure love!

Today on December 26th, we put on our skinny skis and went down the nordic trails to remember my Mama and my boys’ super Nana. We talked about the legacy that she has left for each of us. We cried. We laughed. We sent a balloon up to heaven. In rememberance. As a symbol of our connectness and the legacy that will never leave each of us.

With gratitude for every moment that I could spend with my Mama here on earth.

For the legacy she left.

With gratitude for the Mama that I now get to be for my boys.

For the legacy I will leave.

Thoughtful.

Mover.

Creative.

Imperfect.

LOVE.

And the greatest of these is love.

Unconditional.

Unwavering.

Unforgettable.

LOVE.

Remembered on the trails today.

And every day as we live out our legacy now!

Leave a beautiful, imperfectly perfect legacy my friends.

Love, Joanna

Be Celebrating Your Mom’s Birthday 

Last year, it was lemon meringue cake, dinner as a family and sending balloons up to Nana in heaven.

This year, it is receiving a beautiful phone call from my mom’s friend’s Donna and Wendy, a morning text from Sexy Neck and a great friend in KCity plus I took an afternoon bike ride.  



It is tears.  

It is joy.  

It is shattering grief and living life all wrapped up in pieces of mom’s birth day.  

I don’t know how to do any of this!  

How does one celebrate a day that they’ve always celebrated with a woman that they love celebrating when that woman is no longer with you? 

So, I bike. 

I sit.  

I cry.  

I look at reminders, especially this one I created one month ago that reminds me of the great roots my parents gave me.  



The waves of grief no longer pushes me underwater until I can’t breathe, but I am still on the boat, rowing in this grief, learning about myself and filled with deep gratitude for how present, wonderful and loving my mom was.  

I wish I could get a piece of that back! 

Be Celebrating Nana’s birthday (with a birth!)

Yesterday was my beautiful mom’s birthday. When we were away, we felt Nana’s presence and spoke about what we could do to celebrate her birthday.

As a family we decided we wanted to bake her a meringue cake. OC helped me.

20140330-193904.jpgHere is the recipe we used:

20140330-193947.jpgOur nana loved biking, so we thought a bike ride would be fun.

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We ate breakfast for dinner. Breakfast was mom’s favourite meal.

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20140331-134234.jpgWe sent balloons to the heavens.

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20140331-134343.jpgLastly, we sang happy birthday and enjoyed Nana’s wonderful cake.

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20140331-134433.jpgHappy birthday mom! I love you so very much. Your presence is felt more and more each day. You continue to be such a gift and a caring mom.

Heavenward.

Flying.

Sweetness.

Life.

Love.

Peace.

And glory, a new baby girl was born on my mom’s birthday. My cousin’s J and M gave birth on March 30th.

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New life.

Gratitude.

Joy.

Anticipation.

Peace.