Bucket of Memories

This is my memory bucket for my mom. I remember so much, but a lot of it is shaped by what we all went through in the first 4 months of 2010.Those memories are precious, but so much more happened in the 50 years before she was diagnosed. Please share what you have, and maybe together, we can help each other remember everything. The wonder of the last weeks of her life, as well as the adventure of everything that came before.

Feel free to share any memory, but note that I reserve the right to remove anything as well. This is our safe place to come and remember. This is purposefully not on the main page of my blog, because you can’t force memories on someone. They have to be ready.

And you want to read more about the last months of her life, please read my earlier blogs. Now… will you add to my memories?


5 thoughts on “Bucket of Memories

  1. What can I write in this tiny space? I remember you asked for memories shortly after she was diagnosed…and I just couldn’t bring myself to write what felt like an obituary while she was still with us…I apologize, Katie.

    I didn’t know your Mom before I started to work with her. In fact, I didn’t really know her even after I started, because back then, they were really bad about introducing the newbies. Redding is so small, people forget that not EVERYone knows everyone. So my first memories were of this beautiful woman with the sweet voice, who would come into the secretarial pool and say, “I’m going home to feed my baby.” She ALWAYS said it with joy, Michaela…she LOVED going home to be with you. Oh, how she loved her girls!

    Not long after, I’d had a minor apartment disaster, and I don’t know why, but I stopped by the office, and Dawn and Gene were both there. I told them my dilemma, and Dawn immediately “loaned” me Gene, who knew someone who had what I needed, and thus began the crossover from coworkers to friendship.

    Dawn was first and foremost a daughter of the King, and then a wife (I always loved watching her and your Dad interact), and then, to her utter delight, a mother. And to think, she still had so much to give to the rest of us! She helped me through one of the most difficult times of my life–I could go to her office and whine, cry, rant, whatever…and she always said the right thing, and she was never afraid to tell me if what I was feeling wasn’t rational, but she would do it gently. I loved crossing paths with her in the hallway, because she always acted glad to see me, and would greet me with, “How’s my Howie Girl?” and give me a hug. I used to love it when we would crack each other up-she had a wonderful sense of humor, and she never minded my weirdness, so there were lots of laughs to be had.

    I’ve had the privilege of going on many missions trips with Dawn. On missions trips, you’re confronted with so much, and that is where people’s true colors show. Well, let me tell you, your Mom’s colors remained beautiful, and I can honestly say that in the 12-plus years that I had the honor of knowing her, not ONCE did I ever see her be a jerk. I mean, who does that?? I’m a jerk on a regular basis, but no matter what the situation, Dawn wouldn’t lose her cool, get impatient, or any of the other things us “normal” people do. I won’t go so far as to say she was perfect, because she wouldn’t want me to, but I think she came pretty darn close!

    My last time with her was beautiful, because of her. I can’t remember exactly why I’d gone over, I think I was bringing your Dad his mail. My intent was to just drop it off and go, because I knew the family was being overwhelmed with visitors. Well, your Dad told me to go see her. She was mostly sleeping at that point. Her skin felt dry, so I started to put lotion on her. While I was doing this, your Grandma Barbara was adjusting her pillow, your Dad came in, and I think we were talking about the temperature of the room or something…at one point I said, “Dawn, don’t you hate it when people talk like you’re not even in the room?” She opened her eyes and looked right at me, and said SO much in that moment. I wound up alone with her, so I continued with the “spa treatment”, with the lotion, and making sure her lips weren’t chapped. At one point I asked if she was thirsty, and she barely whispered “water”, so I gave her some by dropping straw-fuls into her mouth. She choked a little bit, and I felt terrible. I started to pray over her then, just resting my head against hers, and holding her hand. I was really starting to lose it (as I am now, remembering this), and I felt like it would upset her, so I knew I needed to wrap it up. Plus, I didn’t want to steal time with her away from your Dad. I didn’t know then that it would be the last time that I would see her…but I finished praying, gave her a kiss, and said, “I love you, Dawn.” She opened her eyes a little and whispered, “Iloveyoutoo”, rushed like that, so that she could get it out…yep, she was her sweet, caring self, right up to the end, wanting me to make sure I knew that she loved me too. What an honor to be loved by one such as her.

    That’s only a drop in the bucket. I could go on and on, but through tears I will stop for now. I love her so much. I miss her so. With much love to the Burroughs and Ristow Families, Howie

  2. This is from my gmpa:

    Don (Grandpa)Mann

    I havn’t kept up with much on this sight but this morning I am looking at and reading. When you were growing up I wanted so much for you to get some experience from a job at Safeway but to your parents reluctance they said for me not ot worry about it and I see here that this was true. I believe you have matured into a fine young mother that will raise your children as you were raised. Anyone that knows how you were raised knows that you were always pointed towards heaven at all times. She was adament about that. Did you know that I have lot’s of precious memory’s of “Dawnie” as I used to call her when she was a small child. An then I used to call her “baby doll” too. She was always a precious little girl. She was full of laughs and wanted my attention all the time. Of course I was a very busy person in those days, but I wished with all my heart I would have stopped and given her my all. When she was around 6 or so, she grew a love for horses. One was named Smokey, a Pony of Americans. He was taller than a Shetland but much smaller than a big horse. He was perfect for her. On the ranch in Oak Run she graduated to big horses and she loved to ride. Your Mother never gave me any trouble as teens do their parents, she never smoked or drank (much) and was not afraid to speak up at school when someone was picking on another kid. In highschool she was known as a goat roaper (kids that were raised on a ranch type setting and she used to laugh at that) as those kids were known by the elet side of the so called cool kids. She bought her first car with the money she made from her first FFA steer, that would be in the 12 grade. It was a 1970 Chevrolet cool car. She gave that car to brother Chuck when she bought herself a new car. She was only 21 or 22. Your Mom was the perfect child, one that I’m missing a lot but what can I do about it? I would give anything to have been with her that last night. She was so important to me and always has been. I everyone followed her way of raising children the world would be a much better place. The decisions of today prove out to be right or wrong in the future. Donald W Mann

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