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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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13 Years Ago Today (Prose)
by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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Just as the title implies. Thirteen years ago today, my mother died. She was only 59 1/2 when she died. This is a letter to her.

March 17, 2003, St. Patrick's Day


This is your youngest daughter, Karen Lynn, writing. I still can't believe you are gone; it seems like only yesterday when you died so soon. You would have been 73 on May 5 of this year. You don't know how badly I miss you still after all these years; and no matter how much time goes by, I still miss you each and every day; and I miss you as much now as I did back then on the day you died.

I will never forget you, Mom. Your smile or your laughter that sounded like birds singing, or your smelling like soap or L'air Du Temps. Your brown eyes that clearly showed how you felt, or your soft, light-brown hair that you usually wore in a cute little perm. Your class in clothes or appearance; you always went out of your way to make sure you looked your best, even though I am sure there were days where you probably felt like hell. I will always remember the great meals you painstakingly made, to ensure that we kids (and your husband) got fed enough; and I will always remember how you would sing to us and always said that you hated the way you sang (but I thought you sounded like an angel). I will also remember the fun times we had: the times we'd go to Cedar Point and we'd sucker you onto the Shoot The Rapids, only to have you get sopping wet (including the contents of your purse), and how we'd laugh when you would emerge from the ride, looking like a little drownded rat; the times you'd take us to the store or out to eat; or to Cleveland to see our relatives. Those were special times; and they will always live on in my heart.

I will also remember how you disciplined us; and how you taught us right from wrong, and how angry you would get whenever one of us kids did something to displease you. You were only trying your best to raise us right, and I think it was because of your strictness and caring that made me a better person today. But what I don't understand is this: why didn't you stop Kathy or Kitty from treating us so badly? They put us through much in the way of emotional and mental hell; but we were too scared to tell you how they were treating us because of your being so sick. Instead of coming to you for help, we chickened out at the last minute because we were afraid how you would take it, and we didn't want to make you sicker than you already were! (Was it because we had been born so early and that you always felt that we would never amount to anything? Were you ashamed of us because we weren't "normal"?) Was it because that our two older sisters were so much smarter than us, and that because they were gifted like you, you shared a special kinship with them??) No, I am NOT perfect (I still make mistakes even now, and I probably always will), but you CARED for me, and you showed it in many ways. I am sorry if I have ever said or done anything to displease you, and I hope, before you died, that you found it in your heart to forgive me. I am sure you worried a lot about what was going to happen to me, but mom, let me tell you this: I am now living on my own, with Karla, in Texas, and next month will mark 4 years since I have moved there. Karla and I still fight on occasion, but we work hard to try to get along; and we get along better now than we ever have (and you know we have both always been very close). I am also working; I work at Golden Corral, and I have been there for nearly 3 years and 1 month now. I roll silverware and check the restroom (women's, primarily) from time to time; and I love my job (excepting for the fact that I work each and every weekend, which can be a pain!). I get along well with my bosses and co-workers; and I am, for the most part, happy. I also go to church usually every Sunday; I go to a small Pentecostal church with a co-worker. I get a lot out of church; and I look forward to going each and every week. If I can't go (like yesterday; Anita had to work later than usual), then I really miss it.

I am sometimes struggling financially and AM struggling physically, but I know with the Lord's help I will make it just fine. I have been suffering with osteoarthritis the last several years, and I now walk with crutches (though I usually use just one; using both has proved to be a giant pain in the rear!). I walk on the crutches because my balance isn't as good anymore; and I am not that steady on my feet. But I still get around, and I still do my job to the best of my ability. Karla has been struggling physically too, with her back and stuff; and now she's been having problems with bunions on her feet and also heel spurs. She walks on a cane, and she is often in a lot of pain, too, like me (though she has it a lot worse). We both live in government housing, and our apartment IS nice, as far as "government apartments" go; but we'd like to do better. But our job doesn't pay great, but we are both grateful to be working and to be able to pay MOST of our bills. If Karla needs help, I try to help her in any way I can. After all, we ARE sisters, and we should be there for one another when that time comes!

You probably don't know this, but Kenny's Margaret died last October shortly after his birthday from health woes related to her having jra for so long. Her body just couldn't handle all the problems anymore; and I think she was tired of struggling; so she, more or less, gave up. She would have been 53 in November. She was even younger than you. Kenny was, understandably, brokenhearted over his loss (after all, they had been married for 25 years, and despite her demanding special needs, they were both devoted to one another), but he is now remarried to a fine woman named Shawna; he met her when she came to help him care for Margaret before she had been placed into the nursing home because her care got to be too overwhelming for him. Now they are married and seem to be very happy.

And Helen has a new baby, another little girl, named Gabriella Katerina; she joins big sister, Briana Josefina; and I hear she and Eddie are doing well. I don't know much about Kathy or Kitty because I don't hear from them; and the only time I ever find out anything new about them is whenever we talk to daddy back in Ohio. We talk to him every week or two, depending how busy we are at work or how we are feeling physically. We TRY to call every week; if we don't we are indeed sorry, but we DO try. And that is all that matters, right, Mom?

Mom, Daddy is very happy, and so is Maman Janice. They have been married for 7 years now, since March 6, 1996. I have since gotten used to having her as a stepmother; but she will NEVER, EVER replace you. For a while, I was very angry at Daddy because I felt like he was forgetting about you, and I was jealous. But now I realize that he needed someone new into his life because he was lonesome for you, and there had been a few times where I had heard him crying (although he would never admit it; you know how proud and stubborn he was!). It broke my heart when he cried, and I am so glad he found Maman! She has brought the sparkle back to his life; and they are still both very happy and very much in love. They do a lot together, and they are like a pair of young newlyweds (spelling? I know you were a genius; is that the right way to spell that word, Mom?? :) )! And even though we had our problems in the past, we have seemed to work them out, and we (Karla and I) plan to go up to Ohio in late June or early July to pay them a visit! It will be so good to see them again; we miss them both so much (but not like I am missing you right at the moment, which is why I am writing this "novel" to you!).

Mom, I will write to you again; but this was something I felt that needed to be done. I still miss you more than you will ever know (or anyone else, for that matter!), and for a long time I was very angry at you for leaving us; but now I know that it is probably for the best; and that you are with Jesus in Heaven. That is probably the best place to be, especially with the way this world is right now. Things have gone CRAZY!! And I DON'T like it ONE bit!! :(

So until I write to you again, take care of yourself, Mom, and say hello to Grandma and grandpa Vidra,Grandma and Grandpa Srdjak, and Uncle George and Uncle Yass for me; tell them all that I love them still, and that I miss each and every one of them! Also say hi to Uncles Duke, Toots, Bernie, and Aunt Bernie! Also say a special hello to Auntie Katie and Aunt Viginia, the twin aunts! Tell them I love them, too! Also say a special hi to Grandma Romyak, and give her a big hug from me! I miss her special hugs and kisses!

With MUCH love, and with MANY ((((BIG HUGS)))), your youngest daughter, Karen Lynn. >tears<

*~*~*~*I MISS YOU SO MUCH, MOM!!*~*~*~*

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Reviewed by Jeanette Cooper
Karen, your letter to your mother speaks so much of the way I feel about my own mother. Your heartfelt words are certainly a wonderful posthumous tribute to your loving mother. Blessings.
Reviewed by Dawn Anderson
In reading this, I can feel the sadness and heartbreak. And I know that I don't have to tell you this, but you know that she's always with you in spirit, and one day, you'll be together again.
Reviewed by Chris Wright
I definitely feel your loss, but your writing is full of life and when I read this I said to myself your gaurdian angels and love one's will always live on through your words. Continue to keep the faith and write on Sista!
Reviewed by Spirit Warrior
Well Karen, the loss of a loved one can hang on for years, I hope this letter helped you release some of your pain. :)

God Bless -Spirit Warrior
Reviewed by Joyce Hale
Ah, Karen, one can hear the love, sadness, heartbreak, regret, and hope in your beautiful words. Thirteen years! The missing them never goes away, does it? My Mom went to be with God in 2000, and my Dad in 2003, but my Mom is the one I miss every day. I thank God every day that I grew up in my family. Hold onto the love, Karen; your Mom hears you.

Peace. Joyce
Reviewed by Chanelle Woods
This made me cry!! It was good to finally get what was on your mind to your Mom. I am so blessed, for I still have both of my parents; however, my mother and I don't really have a relationship. Anyway, good job!I hope that I can find the courage to express myself like that to my mom one day.
Reviewed by Tamara Dailey-Keur
This is so beautiful and I know your mom is looking down on you from heaven. She must be so proud... God Bless you and your family.
Reviewed by Joyce Scarbrough
While this is a beautiful tribute to your mother, I get the feeling that YOU are the real tribute to her. Thanks for sharing this with the world.
Reviewed by Michelle Kidwell Power In The Pen
Karen this was such a beautiful letter to the memory of your Mother, I believe she is smiling down from heaven at you right now.
God BLess
Reviewed by Retta (Reindeer) Mckenzie
This was so lovely and wonderful, It was a beautiful tribute to your dear mother.

So lovely,

Reviewed by Paul
There is an old saying as long as you remermber someone and speak of them they are never dead . Your Mom is soi much alive .
Bless you and I will keep you in my prayers .
Reviewed by Sandie Angel
Wonderful write Karen! I just know your mom will see this letter and feel how much she's being missed and how much she's being loved. What a great daughter you are!

Sandie Angel :o)
Reviewed by Christine Morell
I was very moved by your letter Karen. My love to you and to Karla on this day. Your mother sounds very special.
Love Chrissie xx
Reviewed by the phantom pheonix (Reader)
This was so extremly sad I so sorry for your loss it is so hard to miss someone you loved so much i so sorry for you
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner
(((karen))) when mom died 13 years ago today, a part of me died, too...for six months after, i was so angry and bitter...something i saw on the oprah winfrey show helped me tremendously. she said to write a letter to your deceased loved one...i'm like, "yeah, right, they're dead, how's it gonna help??" when i sat down to write that letter, it wound up being 12 pages long...and it opened up my emotions. i hadn't cried in that six months...i was too angry. i cried for three days straight. i still don't cry as much as i'd like, but i have an outlet writing. never forget mom...this is a touching way to remember her. very well written...(((HUGS))) and i'm praying for you...and i love you very very very much. karla. thank you for being my twin...
Reviewed by Tinka Boukes
A beautiful tribute to your mother Karen
Reviewed by Josephine Bohen
Reviewed by Elizabeth Taylor (Reader)
Sweetly done, Karen.
Love to you both.
Reviewed by Joel Raja Kumar J
A beautiful tribute my dear Karen. sorry I did not congratulate you on getting published.

Love from your friend - Joel -
Reviewed by Connie Hinnen Cook
This was a beautiful from-the-heart letter to your beloved mother. I'm keeping you & Karla before The Throne today. You too, Victor. May God bring all of you His peace and comfort.
Reviewed by E T Waldron
A beautiful tribute to your mother Karen...that was some write! I believe our spirits intermingle, so stay tuned you may hear her saying thank you for this
Reviewed by E T Waldron
I can relate as so many of the writers here know, my mother is dying slowly in hospital. It's been six monhs now. Which is why my visits to you all is slightly erratic.
Reviewed by Jill Eisnaugle
So beautiful and may God continue to bless you! My thoughts are prayers are with you and Karla both on this day.......
Reviewed by Paul Berube
Karen, beautiful letter. Know how you feel. I still have my mom but my dad is gone. I also have osteoarthritis in my right hip. The medication helps but there are days when it doesn't help. I might be looking at hip replacements later down the road but I'll face that when it comes. Really loved your letter and I enjoy all the wonderful people here at Authors Den. They really help with their encouragement and inspiration. ((( HUGS ))) PAUL
Reviewed by Bhuwan Thapaliya
Very very touching...BHUWAN
Reviewed by Floria Kelderhouse (Reader)
Karen....I had a hard time getting throught wonderful to write this letter to you mom...I am sure she "sees" it and feels the love in your heart...God bless you and your twin and your entire family on this day...and I am happy your dad has a new partner...that is good and healthy for you all..Love...Floria

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