A Tribute to My Mom

I have been absent from the blog for a while now. Visiting and caring for my mom has taken up a good bit of my free time over the last two years and she relinquished her battle to her Lord and Savior last Friday, February 12, 2016. I rarely post about my personal life, so please indulge me here.

Ginny_No FL Retirement Village

My mom, Virginia (Ginny) Carol Damon Nordbusch was born in 1931, she was almost 85 years old when she passed. She grew up in Mayville, New York. My mom was very artistic and musically inclined. She was a band member in high school, playing clarinet and percussion instruments, her favorite being the Tympani drums. She graduated from Cassadaga Valley Central School in Sinclairville, New York where she served as art editor of the yearbook staff. Here is one of her illustrations from the 1949 yearbook. Her dream was to work for Walt Disney.

Illustration from Moms HS Yearbook


While working as a waitress in a Swedish restaurant in Jamestown, New York, she met a “nice Swedish boy,” Jack Nordbusch and they were married in 1951. She never realized her dream to work for Walt Disney.

Wedding Photo












Jack accepted a job in San Diego, California and Jack and Ginny set off on an adventure and drove from Jamestown, New York to San Diego in this Dodge pick-up truck with an Airstream trailer in tow. Notice the handmade topper on the pickup truck – my Dad was ahead of his time!

Dodge Truck 1953

In 1953, my Dad was offered a job in Florida at Patrick Air Force Base. They picked up and moved from San Diego to Melbourne, Florida with the Airstream Trailer in tow again. This was the ultimate “tiny” house and where I lived for the first three years of my life.

Airstream Trailer 1953

Tamie and LoraIn 1954 Ginny gave birth to a daughter, Lora Lee Nordbusch, and in 1959, another daughter, Tamie Lee Nordbusch. Yes, we both have the same middle name. Not sure what was up with that. My nickname was “Lolee.” In fact I was named Lora Lee, just because my mom liked the nickname.

My mom loved music, especially opera. She has a collection of more CD’s than I want to count. She instilled in me her love of music and the performing arts and we attended many performances together in her later years. Ginny was very active in church activities, including teaching Sunday School and serving on the altar guild. She also sang in the choir for many years. She loved to study The Bible and has many different published version of The Bible to prove it.

Probably the biggest gift my mom gave me was teaching me to sew. In high school I made much of my wardrobe and sewed for others in the summer to make spending money. Of course, I probably spent the money on fabric! Some things never change. My mom was an excellent seamstress and she wanted me to learn the correct way to do things. I became familiar with the seam ripper at an early age. I think that is were I got perfectionism tendencies.

After my Dad passed away in 2002, I convinced my mom to move to Gainesville, FL to live closer to me so I could look after her. She became a Type I diabetic when she was pregnant with me and had it for 61 years. She was very diligent at managing her diabetes, but it was a struggle, as she was a very brittle diabetic with blood glucose levels that were difficult to control. Doctors loved her, as she was a very compliant patient, but she still had this condition that impacted every aspect of her adult life.

My mom was very sick the last few years of her life and I am forever changed by the experience. It taught me qualities I was not much accustomed to like flexibility, patience, compassion and unselfishness. I never have had children of my own and this role reversal of me becoming the parent of my parent was a difficult one for me. My heart is still heavy with the loss, but I am happy to know that she is no longer suffering. I am hoping that time will heal my pain.


32 thoughts on “A Tribute to My Mom

  1. What a wonderful tribute to a very special woman. So many of us come to realise in later life how important and life shaping our parents were. And how often we are so similar! May you find peace in your loss.

    1. Thank you Fran. Wish I could have seen you at QuiltCon. Looks like from Instagram that you were having a good time. It just wasn’t meant to be for me this year. Thanks for your kind thoughts.

  2. Hi my friend, I know what you have gone thru taking care of your Momma-rest assured she appreciated and loved you to the end. You were a devoted and loving daughter even on the darkess and trying days and I know there were many. Never doubt you could have done more, because that was impossible, you did it all… The grief you feel now will lighten and you will begin to remember the crazy fun times you had with your mother and laugh and feel blessed you had her as your Mom. Remember you are loved by many many friends that are here for you.

    1. My dear friend Claudine, you were my role model through this whole thing. The years you and Jim spent caring for your mother was just above and beyond. Remember when I brought my tiny fragile mother to the movies with us? She was a fighter for sure. Never giving up. I look forward to the time when my sadness subsides. Thank you for all your kind words.

  3. Well spoken, with Love. It is nice to witness this remembering. I enjoyed meeting your Mom when she came to visit Tamie. Love n Light ~ Marty

  4. Gran, this was a beautiful tribute to Grandma Ginny! So much history you told that I never knew! She was such a sweet and kind lady! I am sorry for your loss but so very happy for her gain….to be with her Lord and Savior and no more suffering! I know you miss her dearly and feel the pain of that! Please know that I am praying for you, that God would comfort you down this difficult path of sorrow! We love you!

  5. What a Wonderful Tribute to a wonderful woman….Such a beautiful soul…May she Rest in Peace…Love and Light to you and your family Lora…May your heavy Heart be short and your Memories Long ….Blessed Be <3

  6. Lora, this is beautifully written with honest, thoughtful insight. The contribution your Mother made to who you are is precious, and to be treasured. She was so very blessed to have you as a daughter. It is now time for you to grieve, heal, and restore. You may do so knowing that your Mom is free ….to be herself again, and no longer bound by the physical body that limited her. She is enjoying all the unimaginable color and wonders of heaven …. a whole new design wall for her! Embrace the memories, and push on to enjoy the life she would want you to live.

  7. Interesting read Lora and wonderful tribute. I relate, as many of us do. First off, my name is Ann and my sister is Ann-Marie. Weird but true. We too had nicknames. Mine is Prisy. My sister is Boo. 2nd tho, was the experience of looking out for, taking care of and making decisions for my parents in their last years. I’m blessed by the experience and i hope a better person because of it too. Peace be with you Lora. My heart is very much with you.

  8. This is a beautiful post, Lora. I only “knew” your mother through you, and that time wasn’t always pretty. But this picture – the whole story – is a lovely tribute to a beautiful lady. She sounds like someone I would like to know, and who I would have liked. Certainly, you are a reflection of her, and I know what a beautiful person YOU are. Thank you for sharing what must have been a difficult post to write. You are stronger than you know. Have peace as you grieve. Many blessings from God, and prayers from me. Linda

    1. Thanks Linda! You would have liked my mom. You remind me of her with your faith and devotion to God. I had to work up the courage to write this and had been thinking about if for a week. It has been difficult for me, but I hope I will have me some peace now.

  9. Dearest Lora, What a wonderful tribute to your Mom. I know she would have loved to read it. You have been such a devoted daughter — especially these last years when you took full care of your Mom. Every night you called her and every need she had — you took care of with love and devotion. You are a role model for any daughter and how to take care of a Mom. I know she loved you and appreciated all you did for her to the very end. Know we are all here for you and love you.

  10. Oh Lora, this is such a very beautiful tribute to your lovely mother. She sounds such a special lady, and I can just tell you have inherited many of her endearing traits. She must have been so proud of you, especially the way you cared for her in her last few years. Love and prayers for the Lord’s healing, in his time. Be gentle on yourself. Love, Di J xx

    1. Di J, Thanks for reading my post and leaving a comment. I have been gentle on myself. I still have my moments, but I am doing much better now, emotionally.

  11. So sorry for you loss…but as you’ve shared in this post, you have great memories of your mom!!! And she has raised such a wonderful woman! Didn’t know you were in Gainesville! We winter in Ocala, FL!

    1. Thank you Robbie for taking the time to comment. Caring for my mom has made me a better person. I pass through Ocala all the time on my way to The Villages, Florida, where I am active in the Central Florida Modern Quilt Guild. Don’t know if you are in to modern quilting, but if you are, we would love for you to join us. We have many members that winter in Florida and go north for the summer.

  12. What a wonderful tribute to your mom. I am sorry for your loss. Sounds like my mom and yours had many of the same experiences in life. I’ve seen a picture of the small air stream that my parents took to Pasadena California. They did return to Ohio and started their family. I often wonder what I would have been like as a Cali Girl. My mom is 92 now and I too have taken over her personal care. We take it one day at a time. God bless you for the care of your mom.

    1. Joyce, Bless you! I know what you are going through. I have a sign over my kitchen sink that says “One Day at a Time!” When I get stressed, I remember that line. Good luck to you, you won’t regret the time you are spending with your mom.

  13. Lora, I just now found and read your tribute to your mother. So touching. And yes, your experiences with the seam ripper did indeed form you as a meticulous sewer. At the retreat my backing fabric binding came out perfectly. Just recently I tried again and without watching you – er – not so perfect! I pray for your comfort.

    1. Wanda, Thank you for your sweet comments. I hope to have a pattern with step by step instructions on that project very soon. I will send you a copy. I hope you are coming to one of the fall retreats. If so, I will show you again in person.

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