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Mother's Day looms with sadness


Kathleen's mother, Pat Kline.

She exuded a less than a subtle essences of elegance with her perfectly painted long manicured fingernails (she had them painted red most often for decades), and her professional colored and styled hair that classically mimicked her younger years. Then there was her never inexpensive clothing, accented by the 1-carate diamond stud earrings she sported. I don't think she had taken them off since my father said, "It's not much of an insurance policy, so purchase something to remember your father by." That was 25 years ago. Add to that subterfuge of burning strength and my mother really wasn't as frail as she sometimes looked.

She often seemed to nearly froth at the mouth, which was always accompanied by the rolling of her eyes when any of us girls would show up wearing perfume. Her Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma first taking root in her sinuses and stomach assured me, most often, to hear, "When are you going to stop wearing that perfume?"

But, I have to admit, I used to wander around wearing the same "Tabu" I have worn since my early 20s, because, in part it was one of the first things she could actually smell again after the docs helped her to be victorious in battle number one.

Shortly after her first treatments began to work, I remember how marvelous it was to make her temporarily sick to her stomach with the amount of garlic she could smell me cooking with. It wasn't that I was adding spices to torment her, I was cooking the same way as I did before she took ill; the way she raised me to cook. But, you see, it had been so long since she had been able to smell anything, let alone her all-time favorite, garlic.

I would smile, as it was great that she could smell things again.

Eventually, by the third battle with cancer, things became difficult on my dad mostly, as the menu had to be streamlined and much of all seasonings had to be removed from anything we cooked for her. Oh, the changes cancer did to this lady over the last 15 years and the family.

My mother lucked out and was only subjected to a minimally invasive operation on her eye when, for her third battle, the cancer came back in her tear duct.

Yet, success would not be her's this time around, as she bravely lost her battle on January 22 of this year.

With two daughters at her bedside; the other only feet away; her husband of 56 years sleeping in the recliner that last week, so he too could be close to her in the hospital bed Hospice had brought into their living room. The dogs, two of her's and my one, sitting either beside the hospital bed or on my feet in those last hours, trying to bring their comfort into the mix.

This will be my first Mother's Day in which I cannot pick up the phone to say thanks for being my mum, for showing me the ropes, for inspiring me, for being there for me when I needed you or have her over for dinner. I, like many of you, will look up to sky and hope she hears me anyways.

I love you and miss you mom aka Patrice "Pat" (Wright) Kline, Nov. 20, 1937 – Jan. 22, 2015.


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