Memories of Mother
Cerise Elaine Campbell was born on May 29, 1934, at her home in Barneveld, WI. She was the third child of Ralph and Violet (Mudica) Campbell. She met and married my father, Thomas Smith in Dubuque, IA on November 18, 1951. They moved to Waterloo, IA and raised a family of four girls and one boy.
The thing that I remember most of my mother during my younger years was the fact that 'all' the neighbor children always seemed to play at our house. I didn't learn the importance of this until I became a mother myself. Mom never really seemed to judge people harshly, at least if she did she kept it to herself.
Mom was a wonderful cook and she was always trying every new thing she could find. Our holiday get togethers, the birthday celebrations, just anytime that the family was together she always had a feast fit for royalty. No one ever went away from her table hungry, on the contrary...it was usually to take a nap! She loved to share her reciepes with her children and loved to have her grandchildren help her out in the kitchen.
I know that it all sounds glorious, but aren't those the memories that we want to keep dearest to our hearts when our loved ones are gone. Oh we had the normal mother-daughter fights and problems of growing up and acceptance. But all of that was forgiven and forgotten during the last two years we shared together.
She was very secretive about her cancer and we were not allowed to talk about it to her. I think that this was the worst part of the experience for the whole family. We were lucky in that she just spent a short time in the hospital in the beginning. The radiation and treatments took their toll on her fragile person, she was just a small woman to begin with. They told her that they had gotten it all...the treatments failed. During a routine checkup it was discovered that the cancer was still there.
It was at this time she told our father not to tell us about it. Of course he had to, he needed someone to share his grief and concern with, and as her children we did deserve to know. For one year we all went along with her wishes and pretended that all was going to be fine, our lives would go on as normal. Yet, we knew that the days with her were numbered.
One would never suspect that she was on her way to earning her angel wings with the way she coped with the everyday strides in life. If I could have just one half of the courage she possessed it would be God sent. While she did spend quite a bit of her time in her bedroom resting, she continued to work and be a part of all family functions. Her last day at work was on a Monday and she went to God on Wednesday. That is determination and dedication!
God took you home to prove to us,
He always takes the best.
Mom is resting in Memorial Park Cemetery in Mason City, IA. From where she sleeps, she can walk to the little pond, sit on the park bench and
feed the swans and other fowl that land in the pond. Or just sit and dream
of all the little things which she held so dear to her heart. It is a
quiet and serene spot, just the perfect spot for her to rest for
This site has recieved its a wonderful award, and what a better day than Mother's Day, 1999. Thank you Debbie, I am quite honored and I am positive that Mom is smiling right now.
Debi's Angel Heaven
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