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Thank you for teaching me how to read things when I was three. You knew the value of an education, while I could not even pronounce it. Maybe you knew I would be a teacher, I understand now.
Thank you for supporting me in all of my activities. You knew I would need it, and now I give it; Did you know I would be a coach? I understand now.
I am sorry when I did not realize how much I hurt you without even knowing it. I did not realize that you could not help me with my homework or drive me to the gym. I understand now.
I am sorry that I was not there for you when you needed, me especially at the end. I was afraid of what was happening to you. I did not know what to do, but I understand now.
I am sorry that I was not aware of all of the things that I did not do for you, also for the things that I have done that may have disappointed you. I did not realize what I was doing, but I understand now.
Thank you for all of the little things that I never mentioned, but most of all, thank you for being my mother.
I did not realize how significant you were before, but I understand now.
I love you, Mom.
Judy was diagnosed with cancer August 1983 and passed away July 5, 1984. Her legacy lives on as we share with our children the love and knowledge she gave to us: Nina Elizabeth Summers, Anthony Paul Ristvedt, Erica Ann Ristvedt, Joshua Paul Beebe, Will Ryan Summers, and Cody Alan Clark.
It can happen on a Sunday drive, the sky above a shade of blue.
Heading down some lonesome highway, then you come into view.
Mile after mile goes by but, you're all I see
When the thought of you catches up with me.
-Words by David Ball
Judith Ann Whitmore was born to Gerald and Iola Whitmore on November 27, 1940 in Waterloo, Iowa. She was an older sister to Pamela Jane (Whitmore) Koch. Judy helped with the family trucking business, she played clarinet in marching band, and she also played piano. She met Roger (Hess) Summers in school and they were married on November 1, 1959 in Dysart, Iowa. Roger worked as a farm hand and Judy worked at New York Fashions, a clothing store in Waterloo. Roger and Judy had four children: Jane Elizabeth, May 11, 1961; Kimberly Ann, January 20, 1963; Nancy Eileen, March 6, 1964; and Alan Charles, October 16, 1969. In 1965 the family moved to Marshalltown, Iowa. When their children grew older, Judy worked as a Home Health Aide and volunteered as a payee. She also attended the community college to pursue a degree in Community Services. Judy enjoyed playing the piano, embroidery, and genealogy. Her maternal grandmother, Laura Morris, came to Iowa from New York City on the Orphan Trains and Judy was investigating her ancestry prior to Laura coming to Iowa.
Jane, like her sisters and brother, depended on her mother for guidance throughout her life, from being a little girl and a teenager, to becoming a new mother herself. Many people felt that Jane looked just like Judy at a young age. They both shared a love for reading. Judy found great joy in her first grandchild, Nina, though they had two short years together. Jane's memories of her mother were that she helped many people.
There are many things in life that I, like most daughters, expect to share with their mother. Things like: The first day of kindergarten; having her as a PTA room mother and Girl Scout leader; having her there to teach me to cook and sew and being there when I earned that blue ribbon at the fair (never mind that she was as exhausted as I because she stayed up with me until 2:00 a.m. the night before); a mother to be there to see my first band concert and my first school play, so what if I only had two lines (!); and to share my confirmation day; a mother to help teach me to be compassionate towards others by using my talents and gifts; and a mother who was there the moment that I first learned of my diabetes and taught me to never use it as a crutch; a mother to see me off on my first date as well as my junior and senior prom; the mother that was brave enough to ride with me the first few times I drove "my car" and a mother who was always an advocate for her children and family.
There are also many events in life that I, like other daughters, expected to share with my mother, but never will: a mother that never shared in my college graduation and saw me land that first "real job"; planning my wedding (without my mother's guidance) and having her there as I walked down the aisle; going through a pregnancy and sharing in the birth of a new grandson and all the daily joy he brings. These events l will never share with my mother. But the memories of my younger years with her and the values and practical things she taught me about being a responsible adult, spouse, parent, and citizen, will guide me daily.
Mom and Me (1964-1984)- Not telling the big kids I was hiding in the camper with you while playing hide- and seek; letting me crawl in bed with you and Dad during thunderstorms; letting me stay when I would sneak down the steps to watch “As the World Turns” after lunch when I was supposed to be napping; watching Johnny Carson when it was my turn to stay up late; marble cake with chocolate frosting every March 6th; stopping at the Maid-Rite after my appointments at the Wolfe Clinic when I was hit in the eye with a baseball; playing gin rummy; following me with the car when I collected for my paper route on cold winter nights, then having hot chocolate or cauliflower with cheese; being a Girl Scout leader for Kim’s and my troop from Brownies through Seniors; telling me if I don’t like the guy who gave me the dozen roses that I should send them back or he would think I liked him (you were right); making Kim and me plan the monthly budget when we complained about not getting something (I can’t remember what we wanted); insisting you ride with me when I take my first car (’67 Mustang) out for a drive because I was taking pain pills after getting my wisdom teeth pulled; comforting me at midnight while I cried the night my fiancé left for basic training; you crying when you ripped the collar on the dress I was wearing for college graduation; asking to see my engagement ring 20 times the day I got it; planning your own funeral so your family wouldn’t have the burden; you crying when asking me to help you bathe because you didn’t have the strength anymore; laughing together about that ugly wig, and crying together because you lost your hair.
Mom, you had the ability to say profound things in a simple way, and then leave me alone to think. I was so lucky to know you as a mother in the first twenty years of my life, and I am heartsick that I could not know you longer as a friend.
To My Mom
Thank you for all of the wonderful things you did for me in the fourteen years that I knew you. I did not fully understand some of the things you did then, and I didn’t have the chance to tell you how much I appreciated what you did for me. I wish I had understood and realized how much you meant to me before you were gone.
Thank you for being a good mother, and teaching me how to cool, clean, and do my laundry. You knew I would need these skills before most fourteen year old boys would. I am sorry I did not know why you were doing this. I understand now.
Honored by: Jane, Kimberly, Nancy, and Alan