A Reunion on Mother’s Day

A Wonderful Mother

In Loving Memory of Barbara Doerfler
June 8th, 1933 – May 8th, 2022

Hit the jump to learn more about the most wonderful Mother a family could ever have

My apologies, but I have been a bit aloof for the last couple of months while my family and I have been dealing with some sad news. In late March we learned that my Mother’s cancer had returned. After consultations with numerous doctors Mother came to terms with her condition and made the decision to let God’s plan play out.

A Wonderful Mother

Over seven years ago Mom was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. The medical community consensus gave her months to live. Clearly those experts didn’t realize what a fighter she was. Undeterred, she fought back, never letting it dampen her spirits and never letting us feel sorry for her.

A Wonderful Mother

Ever since my Father passed away in Sept 2019 (link here), Mom has lived independent until the final weeks. Although my brothers and I were always just a phone call away, she always took it upon herself to complete whatever task was awaiting or address any situation on her own. I don’t know how many times we had to tell her to stay off the ladder, not to mention the shock when we found out she went and got a chainsaw to deal with some limbs that were annoying her. Our attempts to get her to slow down were always done knowing full well the minute we were not looking she was going to “take care” of it.

A Wonderful Mother

She was a product of the times. Strong, free-willed and loved life to the fullest. Just like her husband, my Father, she was always there for us and fully committed to her family. There was nothing she wouldn’t do for my brothers and I – always putting her children first, insuring we had everything we needed and, as my brothers like to say, everything I ever wanted.

A Wonderful Mother

Both my parents committed to making sure we were ready for whatever life would throw at us. Dad made sure we were tough enough to take on any challenge, street smart to get through any situation and sure as hell wasn’t going to let any of us fall short of being the very best we could.

A Wonderful Mother

There wasn’t any crying or feeling sorry for ourselves when we were growing up. I am certain Dad was assured that Mom was always there to step in, secretly help us hide our tears, comfort us, get us back on our feet and ready for the next lesson.

A Wonderful Mother

Most important, she was always there on the spot to apply the band-aid, soothe the scrapes and ice the bruises. Dad instilled in us that you play to win, compete with your teammates to achieve an objective and always test yourself so you know what barriers you need to overcome. I could never imagine any other way and regret never taking the opportunity to tell him just how much I appreciate him for doing that.

A Wonderful Mother

However, that was only successful because we had such a strong Mother. She knew when to let us fall and she knew when we needed help getting back up. Never too early and never too late. She believed in us and loved us with every fiber of her being. I can still remember the expertly applied bandages, deftly keeping us oblivious to the degree of blood loss (how do I miss that these days ha) and standing firm when the doctors gave her crap because she let me have a skateboard or brushing off unwelcome judgements with “they’re just being boys”.

A Wonderful Mother

l am sure Mom would have loved to have a daughter to help tip the scales in her favor, but she was up to the task with what she had and understood true love is having the strength to let us learn from our mistakes.

A Wonderful Mother

We are not a family that openly expresses our feelings toward each other. This was not representative of a lack of love or commitment – rather just the opposite. It was so evident in our parent’s actions, the way they treated each other, the manner in which they cared for my brothers and I was the concrete proof – no words were ever needed and honestly, could never adequately express how we really felt.

A Wonderful Mother

As a bit of background, my two brothers are 9 and 10 years older than I am. Note, I used to think that was a huge gap until I met my wife who is 17 and 20 years younger than her two brothers. I think there is some kind of warning that’s given when two babies of the families marry – in our case that is definitely amplified by our lengthy age gaps ha. What this meant for me is that I benefit from the best of both worlds. Older brothers who were (make that are always) there to help me out, accelerate my learning and introducing me to classic rock at an incredibly early age.

A Wonderful Mother

Couple that with a bit of “only child” experience. I will secretly admit that Mom and Dad probably gave me more wants than they got. Clearly a sign of how much more they loved me (can’t wait until one of them reads that line hehehe). Truth is, I’m sure I was more trouble than my two brothers put together. I look at the picture above and immediately think it sums up how Mom must have felt raising me. With me came 26 hours in a day. “Mommy, can I have this, or that, oh wait, definitely that, can we play, how about now, can you look at this booboo, Dan’s picking on me, Ron’s picking on me, they told me to do that, who me?, I don’t remember that, are you sure, where’s the matches,….”

A Wonderful Mother

Yet there Mom was every time I needed her. Except for the matches part, she wasn’t down with that until she was sure I wasn’t going to set the neighbor’s cat on fire. To my Mom’s credit, as well as my Dad’s, I think we turned out pretty good (overlooking that whole cat thing of course). They kept us happy, safe, knew the importance of education, pushed us to be the best we could and made sure we each grew up with a moral compass to guide our decisions.

A Wonderful Mother

Not an easy task I’m sure .. especially with me. We could never thank Mom and Dad enough for being such wonderful parents. What we could do is make sure we were there for Mom until the end and that is exactly what we did. At least one of us was with her every day and night while the higher plan played out over the 6 or so weeks.

A Wonderful Mother

On Mother’s Day morning my mother transitioned to the other side. Although a sad note for our families on what has always been a joyful song in celebration of our incredible Mother, it was a fitting day for her to be reunited with her husband. I can only imagine how happy the two of them are now.

Mother was the last of the parents. From this point on some would say we are officially “on our own”. Honestly, I think just the opposite. They will assuredly be looking down on us and willing to help whenever we need some coaching, some mending, some encouragement or maybe just a moment for a chat. Until I get a chance to meet them again, I’d just like to say a heartfelt Thank You.

27 thoughts on “A Reunion on Mother’s Day”

    1. Thank you John, We had a wonderful service yesterday and know she would have been happy with all the family and friends that turned out to say goodbye. I it was hard to let her go, but she is in a better place now and I’m sure she is enjoying being with Father again.

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  1. We are very sorry about your family’s
    loss Brian. A fantastic tribute to your mom (and dad).
    I have to reread when the tears clear a bit later.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Brad. We and my family really appreciated you and Jan taking the time to attend the ceremonies. I can admit, my Father would not have been pleased with the outward emotions that it took to get through this post. She was an incredible Mother, always put her kids before herself, never shied away from any challenges (chainsaws ha) and, as you probably gathered by the many comments, an incredibly sweet lady. We will definitely miss her.

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  2. What an amazing woman your mom was. This is a wonderful tribute. It’s always sad to lose our loved ones, but it’s especially hard to lose our moms. Sorry for your loss.

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    1. Thank you Tim. I know you recently lost your mother as well and I’m sure experienced the same sadness we dealing with . She did everything she possibly could for my brothers and I and she still to the very end never wanted to burden us with whatever she happened to be going through at the time. So glad we could be there with her during this last phase.

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    1. Thank you CJ, my entire family appreciates the support. It was an absolute struggle to find the right words to sum up all the care and love she bestowed on us over the years. Then when I found the words I wanted I had to get myself under control to get them down on paper so to speak. As the pictures show, she was always smiling and that is how I will always remember her.

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    1. Glad I was able to give everyone a small glimpse into what a great woman my Mother was and how she complimented my Father so well. Together they managed to keep me on the straight and narrow and believe me, that was quite an accomplishment with the tornado I was growing up. I can’t imagine what my brothers would write if they had to characterize me hehehehe. In the end, I like to think all three of us continue to represent everything they believed in and accomplished everything they wished for us.

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  3. Completely beautiful remembrance. We wish you and your families the peace of knowing her battle is over, and the joy of seeing her influence continue in your lives. Take care of each other.

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    1. Thank you Sam. As I mentioned above, this was probably the most difficult post I’ve written. Dad’s was slightly easier in the sense boys tend to have a special bond with their Fathers and he would never have wanted us to express are true feelings beyond sports analogies and other similar bonding experiences …especially in such a public forum – we knew he dearly loved us, you didn’t need to waste words to prove it. This one felt different. Mom’s the one who knew just when to break the stoic facade and comfort us, when to choose the heart drenched words and when to assure us it will heal, stick the band-aid on and send us back out onto the field. Together they made the perfect role-models and you might see our Father’s influence on the outside, but there’s an equal part inside that Mother molded and nourished.

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    1. Thank you Cheryl. I alluded to it in my comment on your recent post about Mothers, but your first poem really hit home for me and can’t express how much it meant to read that while we were in the midst of Mom’s final days. I even printed it out. I didn’t want to go into at the time here on the blog knowing how difficult it was to deal with all the emotions etc. surrounding the situation. Glad I was able to give a small glimpse into what it was like growing up with such a remarkable woman.

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  4. Thank you Lisa. This has been a hard one to take for my brothers and I, but Mom was ready by the end. Her embrace/acceptance of the situation and knowing she has been reunited with our Father is definitely helping us cope with loss. I am so glad that at least one of us was able to be with her night and day for the duration of her hospital and then hospice care. I do smile every time I read one of your posts on “colorful” foods – Mom would always try to get us to expand our palates beyond Dad’s narrow menu – probably her biggest failure with me ha!

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    1. Thank you Sharon. This one was hard for me to write and each line I just missed her that much more. We take comfort knowing she is in a better place free from the earthly pains that comes with the struggles against cancer.

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    1. Thank you Kally. It is hard to sum up such a wonderful person’s life in a relatively short post, but hopefully I was able to convey how blessed we were to call her Mother.

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