2016 – I lost my Queen

Someone posted this on Facebook yesterday and I was thinking to myself, I hope it doesn’t take our Queen. My Queen has always been my mother.


My mother had a heart attack the night before last, and went to the hospital at 11pm.

She spent all of yesterday waiting to be transported to another hospital an hour away,  in Sacramento.

She was transported at 5:45pm to Sutter Hospital and underwent more testing.

They said she had bad heart disease and they would do surgery in the morning.

This morning they did a quadruple bypass, removed a blockage from her neck and put in a stent.

We were told she had a 97% chance of survival after the recovery period.

My Mother died at about 6:30pm (California, USA) and my heart is breaking; not only for my own loss, but for my siblings, children, nieces, nephews, aunties and all our family and her many people she accepted the mothering role for over her lifetime -and there were many.

My Mother had one hell of a life. She gave birth to eight children all before she was 30, and adopted many along the way whose parents had deserted or disowned them. She had many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was beloved, respected and cherished by us all, and many others.

She breastfed and used cloth nappies for all eight of her kids, grew and pickled our food, made bread and noodles from scratch, did our laundry with a washing board, hung our clothes to dry and made those clothes last through several kids.

She survived the murder of her mother and a year later the passing of her father due to heartbreak, the death of her older brother Jimmy, baby brother Johnny, her sister Joyce and Joyce’s son (her nephew Michael -who she loved as much as her own children), two husbands Greg and Victor J (whom she nursed after his double bypass in 1985 – and she held his hand as he passed 20 years after they had separated because he was still her best friend) and countless friends and other relatives.

She was an extremely talented artist, she was a homeless advocate (where she earned the name ‘Jail-time Judith’ from her many arrests for feeding and sleeping next to the homeless), she started a restaurant run by homeless teens, so they had a place to sleep, eat and shower.

When we were younger, due to circumstances beyond our control, we were homeless, we were penniless, we were hungry, but we never felt a lack of love and she always pulled us through.

She was a natural learner and never stopped learning new things, she got her driver’s license at 50 years old.

She was never afraid to speak her mind- but always with compassion and dignity. She was a go go-dancer (to feed her kids), a college student, a business owner, a mentor and a friend to many and she even went to a grateful dead concert.

She would give the shirt off her back to someone in need, and she did many times.

She lived with with Multiple Sclerosis for over 20 years and rarely complained, and still got up to dance every chance she got- and man could she dance!

Most of all she was the biggest fan of every one of her kids, encouraging us in whatever we decided we wanted to do. She was crazy, she was fun, and she was unique – just like each of her kids, grand kids and great grand kids -and we are lucky to have been blessed by having her in our lives.

My life will never be the same – I know this, and even though I know she is with her previous husbands, her brothers and sister and parents and all of our ancestors it still hurts to say goodbye.

I called and spoke with her while she was in the hospital and I am so grateful I got to tell her that I love her.

My birthday will never be the same, as I was born on her birthday.

Being in New Zealand with no possible way to afford being with my family is very hard, but I still feel a peace within it all because I know they all have each other.

Please, call your Mother right now and tell her how much you love her -and if your mother has already passed; I am so sorry for the loss of your Queen.

2016 can go away now.


My Step-father Victor J and us kids with Mom and my niece Crystal 1980/81?


Mom with some of the grand kids Sept 2016


One of Mom’s Paintings – a Self Portrait
Resurrection 2001 (Detail)
20 x 16
Mixed Medium
Private Collector





Christmas Eve Rock hiding and the park

Today for lunch Daddy was making sandwiches.

While he was slicing the ham, he said to Sophia; “Sophia, can you please put the mustard on your bread?”

When he turned around, this is what he found…


Later, we took the kids and hid these rocks we painted for #whanganuirocks at Glen Logie Rose Gardens.

There were a couple little cuties who showed up and found some, but I don’t think they found them all.

We didn’t find any, but the smiles on those wee boy’s faces was a wonderful thing.

Great Family fun. I love how this is something we can do as a family and also be a part of the community.


When we finished there we headed over to Peat Park and looked there.

We did not find any rocks, but we did have a lot of fun.

I love how relaxed this holiday season has been.

We are really looking forward to tomorrow and spending time with the family.

Many of our gifts we made ourselves, we will post about those after Christmas, so we don’t ruin the surprise. 😉