I found this picture farther back in the files.  It has my mom’s name written on the back, but there is no date.  It is a perfectly timed find as today is her birthday.

I’m guessing this was her commissioning picture.

Based on the ensign insignia, when the WAVES were established, and her saying she was in one of the first classes to receive commissions, this picture was probably taken in late 1942 or early 1943.  She would have been 24 years old.

She received a bachelor of science degree in organic chemistry in 1940 and according to some documents I found on the internet, she was part of the faculty at the US Navy Academy in Annapolis.

My mom, on the faculty of a place she wasn’t allowed to attend as a student, that makes me smile.


Happy Birthday mom.  I’m glad you are now free of the shackles of dementia.  Fair winds and following seas.


The Phone Call, Part 5

I now have all the necessary documents signed and notarized so I can start signing documents on my mom’s behalf.

It will make things easier for me, but I don’t like it.  Over the years, she has had many “jobs” and many roles..and has, in my mind, always been Supermom.

Before World War II, she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Organic Chemistry.  This was a testament to her and to her parents.  Back then, a woman going to college to be other than a teacher or a nurse was unusual.

During World War II she was a Lieutenant in the US Navy, helping to develop synthetic rubber and also working on improving submarine batteries.

After World War II, she met my dad, a US Marine and they were married in 1946.  So she became a wife.  Often times, dad would be sent across country on short notice. He would fly, and mom would drive.  In the early 1950s, a woman driving a car across the country, by herself was, like her college degree, unusual.

She became a mom, twice, when my brother and I were born.  This is the role I most cherish and remember.

When dad retired from the marines, I was 4.  We settled down in one place and mom studied and practiced a lot and became a midwife.  When the role of nurse practitioner was created, mom studied, passed the test and did a lot more work.  She was then a nurse practitioner-midwife.

I just realized this sounds like an obituary, but it’s not.  It’s to tell about my amazing mom and why I call her Supermom.

Dementia has crept into her mind, and my life. Thinking of her, her personality and her skills, capabilities and accomplishments is like looking at a faded photograph.  The image is there to remind me of what was, but the brilliance of the image is gone and that reminds me of what is.