Beautiful, but humble. Strong, but kind. Fun, but spiritual. Adventurous, but nurturing. These are words that describe my mother.
Enjoy Time With Your Loved Ones While You Can
A few weeks ago, I held my mother’s her hand as we drove with my brother and sister-in-law to my hometown in Southeastern Utah for my uncle’s graveside service. While we talk a lot, I do not see her often. She lives a few hours away from me and COVID-19 cancelled any plans to visit soon. It was wonderful to be with her although the occasion was sad. We carpooled with my two beautiful nieces and my niece’s two adorable babies.
We played a game called “Flower Power” on the way. It is a Gutke family favorite we played on road trips. A person thinks of two rhyming words and then gives clues to for others to guess. If your rhyming words were “Silly Willie” then a clue could be a “Funny Bill” or if they were “Happy Pappy” then your clues could be a “Content Grandfather.” My clue was a “Forward Tent” and so my brother guessed “Flirty Yurty” and we all laughed. My answer was a “Creepy Teepee” but I liked my brother’s idea better. My mother gave a clue and I do not remember what it was, but I do remember she laughed so hard at my brother’s guess of “Dull Bull” that she had tears streaming down her face. She kept saying, “those words don’t rhyme.” It was fun to hear her laugh and laugh.
We stayed a cabin near the Abajo Mountain Range. The locals call it “Blue Mountain” and we burst into song as soon as you can see it on the road from Moab. I loved hearing the wind rustle the tall pines and the babble of the small creek down nearby.
"Blue Mountain, your azure deep. Blue Mountain with sides so steep. Blue Mountain with Horsehead on your side. You have won our love to keep."
You Never Know When A Person’s Time Will Come
We attended the graveside service of my mother’s older brother, Jack Duane Palmer. You can read more about him here. My mother and her brother were close. He was a big tease, hardworking, and devoted to his family.
It was good to be with his widow, cousins, and extended family at the graveside service. His children and grandchildren shared stories and memories. My favorite story came from his granddaughter. She said he would enter her house without knocking, raid the pantry for a treat, and then leave without talking to anyone.
My uncle had stage-four pancreatic cancer, but he had a bad fall, and was gone within a matter of hours from complications. It taught me how precious life is and we should enjoy each moment as it comes and stop living in the past or worry too much about the future.
I don’t know how long I will have my parents. They are some of my best friends. I love to be with my them and I want to make sure they know I love them before my time is gone with them. My mom is fun and always doing silly things. She dances when she walks and splashes her bare feet in cold mountain streams. She is fun to play games with and is very enthusiastic. She has always cared about my children and my husband and constantly asks after their welfare. She consistently sends birthday cards, anniversary cards, and is doing kind things for others. I hope I can be like her one day.