I Remember Mom: So Strong Be Thy Determined Spirit

By Richard Mabey Jr.


In early December of 2018, Mom was diagnosed with an Aortic Valve problem. Mom’s cardiologist told her that she would need to have an operation to replace her Aortic Valve. As devastating as this news was, it did not bring Mom down. My Mom had a most strong faith in a loving God.


From whence we first moved to The Villages, during the late Summer of 2008, we had a family tradition of walking along the amazing array of colored lights during the Christmas Season at Silver Springs State Park. My mom and my sister, Patti, would pack a supper picnic for the three of us. We would hop in the car with Foxy, our endearing Shetland Sheepdog, and head off to Silver Springs State Park in Ocala.


We would eat our picnic supper at one of the many picnic tables that were set up just outside the park’s main entrance gate. Even Foxy would eat her supper with us. It was just a wonderful, little fun time.


Well, after Mom received the news of her Aortic Valve not functioning sufficiently, we took the money out of the bank and bought Mom a Mr. Mobility Power Wheelchair. It was worth every penny. It gave Mom the opportunity to get around without putting undue stress upon her heart.


I was hesitant about Mom going to Silver Springs State Park that year. But my mom was not going to let anything stop her. When I suggested to Mom that maybe we should skip going to see the Christmas lights at Silver Springs, she said to me, “what am I supposed to do, watch Gunsmoke and Bonanza reruns all of the time!” It was just so funny the way she said it. It was as clear as the crack in the Liberty Bell, nothing was going to stop Mom from seeing the array of colorful Christmas lights at Silver Springs.


Needless to say, we did attend the big event of traveling along the infamous walkway of Christmas lights at Silver Springs. I think it is well over a mile of Christmas lights that they have on display. Mom had a great time. And, for that evening, she forgot all about the stress of having a damaged Aortic Valve.


At times, we all have times where we fall into a valley of sadness and feeling sorry for ourselves. But, these are the very times, when we simply must pull up our bootstraps and not give into the shadows of oncoming depression. We must keep that British, stiff upper lift and put our best foot forward and be brave and courageous. Even in the light of tough times. For we must stay positive and never give into negative and despairing thoughts.


Richard Mabey Jr. is a freelance writer. He can be reached at richardmabeyjr@hotmail.com. Please put on the subject line: I Remember Mom.

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