August 2003
Edited by: Jill Nuciolo



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In Loving Memory


     At first I was going to skip this months newsletter due to the passing of my Mom, but within the last few weeks I found myself compelled to write & thank you for the tremendous out-pouring of concern, friendship & kindness from so many of you. All of your cards & letters & gifts have touched my heart in ways I cannot find the words to express. So many of you telling me about the grief you experienced when you lost your Moms has helped console my pains. I am finding myself smiling through the sadness so many times because I am so blessed to have an extended family of terrifically fantastic friends. I am surrounded by such caring people, which I refer to as friends & not customers because you have shown me that I am more to you than that, just as you have always been more of my family than acquaintances.
     I am also blessed because even tho my Mom had to leave earlier than I expected I was raised by a superb lady who filled my soul with double lifetimes of love. My dad walked out on us 30 yrs ago & fell off the face of the planet. My Mom, left with 4 kids went to a 10 week trade school to learn keypunching & went back to work to support her children. Now I am the first to admit my Mom & I went thru a heck of a time for a few years. I was a daddy's girl & was 16 when he left so it was very tough on me too. My Mom & I had some pretty good battles over the years. But then I married & built my house & had an in-law set up for Mom & she lived with me for 22 years. She always used to tell all her friends she probably saw less of me than anyone but we had a relationship that didn't need us to talk every day. She knew to call me if she needed anything & I knew she was there for me to bring anything to. The past 7 months she was between the St.Mary's Living Center & Park Ridge hospital & I was with her every day. Some days longer than others depending on how many visits I had that day, but I always showed up to help her & fight for her. During those visits we had a lot of good talks. The past, present, future, our dreams, our failures, & we said all that had to be said. And what especially occured to me was that all these things were said when neither one of us ever believed that she would die! We said these things thinking we would be together another 10 years. When the call came on that Saturday for me to get to the hospital immediately, I found myself driving there thinking only of how I would care for my Mom & make the decisions she needed me to make. There was no need for final words because everything had been said. My Mom told everyone I was her rock, but in reality she was mine. She was the one person who unequivocally supported all my choices even when she thought I was off my rocker! My Mom who was not an animal lover even supported my decision to start this business & all the care & time I devoted to my own pets. She didn't understand it, but she told me to go for it & not to listen to what anyone else said-to follow my heart. & she admitted later she was terrified for me but she never once let me know that. My Mom was a special lady, & of course there are lots of hindsights are 20/20 issues that I wish hadn't been a factor in her illness, not just for these past 7 months but the years she struggled. It was the one thing I couldn't fix for her & for that I will forever be sad. But I live my life with the values of honesty, intergrity, respect & hard work that only Mom instilled in me & I live as a monument to what Mom was, however deeply buried inside her. I live as a testament to what Mom believed people should be. I often look at the stack of well wishes I have here & think my Mom would be so proud of me that I have lived so that people can care about me the way real friends should. I'm glad my Mom & had these months & had such a deep, understanding relationship that was felt as well as said. I am at Peace in knowing there was nothing left unknown between us. I am a reflection a truly amazing woman and for that I am eternally blessed. My Mom will forever be alive inside of me & in my heart & she will be truly missed.
     Before I end I do have to express mine & my Mom's true felt appreciation to Angela & Laura--again! My Mom loved these ladies who have come into my life, even tho she never got the chance to actually meet them face to face. They again took over my visits & ran all kinds of errands for me that helped me & my Mom get thru this difficult time. A lot of what they did was for my Mom also to make her last few days peaceful. Again I dumped a bunch of keys & contracts in their laps & off they went to care for so many animals who were needing visits. I cannot begin to tell you the comfort that brought me to have no worries because of these 2 terrific people. So many decisions I made at the last second by what was happening at the hospital & as soon as I called they were there, like magic, like my very own true Angels! My Mom told me straight out how much she loved them just from what I told her happened thru out any ordinary day that they are a part of. Then, when in times of crisis how they rose beyond what would be considered actions already beyond the expected. When they stood by me in April when I went to the hospital has my Mom's never-ending gratitude in itself, but as they continued that same dedication to our friendship they endeared themselves more to my Mom. She was right when she told me I am so very lucky have these ladies in my life. Thank you Angela & Laura, for your work, your help, your support & for allowing me to be included in your list of special friends. You certainly are my special friends! I also know I can speak for those whose pets you cared for, that they too are grateful for the caring you showed them & their pets that you've never even met & rose to the difficult task of finding & caring for their "children". You have my everlasting "lub" & I am so very grateful for you! You are without a doubt the best-of-the best! Thank-you.
     Our regular newsletter will resume in September. Thank you for allowing me this tribute to my Mom.



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Last Updated 8/08/03