|Monica J. Getchel|
4/17/1929 - 9/27/2010
|Patti's Visit 2009|
In 1980, after a divorce, Mom moved to Cameron Park, California. She worked as a cashier for Good Chevrolet in Sacramento and later became one of the first employees at Intel in Folsom. Soon her children and their families began moving to the area. We moved to El Dorado Hills in 1989 when our son, Nur, was seven.
|Mom's Children with Spouses and Grandkids|
Cameron Park Lake, 1989
When Mom's father died in 1990, she found out her Aunt Connie was actually her older sister born to her mother out of wedlock. Instantly the Kelly siblings grew from five to six and we gained five more first-cousins.
By 1997 the last of Mom's children moved to the area. She proudly declared five of her children and their families now lived in El Dorado County within 12 miles of one another.
As a family we seized any occasion to hold a BBQ or dinner, enjoying lively conversations while the kids played. We enacted our own version of Pictionary, and evening games became legendary among friends who may have experienced a game or two. As soon as the kids could read and draw, they played Pictionary with the adults. Now we play us against our adult children. Guess who usually wins that match?
Meeting for coffee every Saturday became another family tradition that put a few coffee shops in the area "on the map." Unless we are out of town or at some function, we are at coffee on Saturday. In addition to family matters, we often discuss the condition and direction of our country and how it affects our lives. Six of Mom's nine grandchildren are now married—four have children—but all who can, are at Saturday coffee.
Mom occupied the center of all these family gatherings. Following her diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, we sold her car and moved her into assisted living. That action tore at our very beings and broke our hearts. Did we do the right thing? Should we have let her stay in her own place longer? Time assured us we did the right thing. Mom got picked up for coffee every Saturday until she could no longer walk and became confined to a wheelchair.
|Family Reunion Cruise|
Mom's legacy not only includes a happy, close-knit family that loves being together and doing fun things, but friends who wanted to be her child and even called her "Mom." To which she replied, "Greg (or other name inserted here), my favorite son!" No one could resist my mom's infectious love, warmth and wit. Indeed Mom left a legacy that few could duplicate.
|Coffee at Gold Country Health Center with Mom|
|Mark and grandson Bean at Great-Grandma's|
Over a month ago a glimpse of genius inspired us to have a BBQ at my brother's and arrange for a wheelchair transport to take Mom out of the nursing home for one last time. The past year Mom endured two trips to emergency and another two illnesses. Noting that her heart showed a marked slowing, her doctor placed her in hospice care. We felt her struggle with the disease that stole her life away would soon be over. That Saturday with Mom—family surrounding her—will remain a sweet remembrance.
Goodbye for now, sweet Mom! You live on in the legacy you left behind.