Mom: Codeword LOVE


Some phone calls are fun.

I embarrassed my kids, yet again (I think I’m on an embarrassing rampage) by calling in to 98.7 KLUV’s morning show on the way to school to play Rebekah’s College of Hollywood Knowledge. Lo and behold, I was the lucky caller that got to try her luck answering 5 pop culture questions to beat Rebekah and not only graduate from her college but win $100. Let’s just say, it’s easier to win when you’re playing along rather than being the player.

Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 7.45.59 AM(click HERE to listen – if you’re bored and have nothing better to do … but only after reading the rest of this post, for goodness sake :)

I legitimately deserved the eyerolls on this one!

But later that day, I got a not so fun phone call from my brother.

“Mom has fallen. She’s at Mayo… she can’t remember how it happened.”

Mom did fall. Dad found her on the floor in a pool of blood by the front door of their home in Arizona. To say he rose to the occasion is an understatement. Somehow he not only got her up, but changed her out of the blood-splattered pajamas into her clothes, got her in the car, made it to the ER and into the hands of the exceedingly wonderful staff at Mayo. (Did I mention he will be 80 this summer?) From the looks of it, she was making her way to the kitchen when something (the doctors are pointing to dehydration) happened that caused her to lose consciousness.

This is my mom, Sue – or Susu to pretty much everyone.

me & mom

Selfie at the movies.

This is what she looked like after the fall. (Dad took a picture, but I’ll save her and you from the gruesome image.)


She actually looked worse!

I was the lucky sibling that could hop a plane to be with Mom & Dad while every test under the sun was run to try and figure out what had happened. And it was on this trip that I got to relish in the truly greatest aspect of life on this earth – loving others. Not only did I get to sink into the pleasure of loving my folks – and hopefully all the staff with whom we had contact. But, I got to be loved. Because even though my mom was in the hospital, she was loving me by all the ways she serves – even when she’s not present.

I saw it all throughout her house. Come take a quick tour with me.


I was greeted by a robe in my closet.

So simple, yet so thoughtful. She’s treating me nicer than I treat myself. I felt like I was at a luxury hotel. Susu treats everyone like they are guests at the Ritz. Because they should be treated like royalty.

She pays attention to every detail. She genuinely wants everyone to feel special. Even (probably especially) when the guests are family.


A napkin ring on a washcloth (so cute),


flower by the sink (fake, but who would know?!),


shampoo, conditioner and soap (I’m sure she picked up the container at Bed, Bath & Beyond with a 20% coupon).

She went so far as to cut the labels from the bottles and glue them to the containers like a professional. Just so you know, she doesn’t do this for show. She does it to love and care for the people who will use the soaps. How do I know that to be true?


Chai Tea

“What is chai-tea?” Dad asked while making a cup of coffee after when we got home.

“That’s for Chris,” my mom replied, still a little groggy.

Mom is thinking about Chris, being sure Chris’ favorite is available and on hand, even though Chris only comes out to Arizona once or twice a year. I wonder if Mom prays for Chris when she spies the tea amidst the coffee pods.


or if she prays for the grandkids when she sees the goggles ready and waiting in another closet next to pile of towels for swimming.

When I got to their house to sleep after the first day at the hospital, I saw this in the kitchen. It was probably what she was on her way to do when she passed out. These are  from the brunch she had hosted earlier that day.


Mom is an amazing hostess – and she has trained us to do the same thing. She never worries about fancy or what people are thinking about her (her home, her decor, her centerpieces or even the food), but she always has in mind how to love the folks that are coming.


She even used cloth napkins for this group – her favorite – Pierre Dieux.

And the love was returned.


How appropriate that these gifts and special notes were next to her “give thanks” little sign.

Thankful for friends …


and for family,

Susu loves well. And through her love, she inspires love.


Notes from her granddaughters

The very first thing my kids did when we got the call was pray. Then they made these beautiful notes and told me to give them to her when I got there. Because, even though we had multiple heavy things on all of our plates, they wanted someone to be with her. They wanted Susu to be loved the way she loves them.


This time it was my turn. My sister and brothers, who desperately wanted to be by her side, will get another chance. And when they do, they will most certainly be overwhelmed, as I was, by the way she loves us, even though I thought I was the one sent to love her.

I guess that’s the way it is with moms – codeword LOVE.

Thanks for walking the road with me.


For all moms … a song that says it all by Garth Brooks.

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