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Mom had a tough life from the very start. Her mother was totally blind from the age of 19 and by the time my mom was born, her mother had lost 3 babies to diptheria. My mom learned very early in life to take care of herself, as well as her own mother. Her parents separated, and her father who she loved dearly, passed away when she was 7 months pregnant with me, her only child. Her mom (Nanny as I knew her) lived to be one month short of 103 years old!) Before marrying my father, she had been engaged to a sailor from the UK and he was killed during the war. She kept in touch with his family throughout the years forward. Mickey, as she was known to her friends, was a leader. She was the captain of the softball team in school, and at Western Electric. She was a singer for the Western Electric Band, and recorded some great records. Friends of mine listen to them now and can't believe how beautiful a voice she had. I wish she knew now how proud I am of her when I listen to them too. She was a sexy, beautiful young woman with lots of boyfriends that treated her with much respect, as she deserved. She met a handsome, skinny teenager named Bob at the Olympic Park pool in Irvington, NJ. She married him after the war was over, and he became a Newark detective. They were married for 61 years and had one daughter - me. Mom was very involved in my activities (sometimes more than I wanted) but looking back, thank God she was there for me. We had the typical mother-daughter relationship, butting heads alot of the times. But I didn't tell her how much I loved her for so many years, and I should have. Mom and I shared a common bond - we both loved animals. She and I started spaying/neutering the strays that we were feeding when I was a young teenager. Years later, because of her influence, I became a co-founder of my own rescue group, Angel PAWS. She was very proud of my accomplishments. She dearly loved her grandson, Scott. After dad's retirement, he suffered a massive stroke. Mom and I spent almost a year of daily hospital visits, and miraculously he lived, although the doctors had said he couldn't survive, with the care that mom gave him. She once again became a caregiver for her remaining years, until she herself needed 24/7 care due to the horrendous disease called Alzheimer's. During the days before her diagnosis, there were some terrible times - unless you have dealt with Alzheimers disease - you can't imagine the ordeal of those who have it, and those loved ones who deal with it. It is a terrifying ordeal, and the thought of my mom, who was always so strong, now not remembering that she was even married to "Bob" for all those years, not being able to walk, thinking the people who loved her were plotting against her......the thought of what the end stages of the disease would do to her was unimaginable. I became the "mom" and she became the child. During that last year of mom's life, there was a special bond - different from before - there was also the start of a grieving process. The mom that I knew was no longer there, and I so missed that strong woman who had made me the person that I was. On April 17th, 2007 both mom and dad were able to get into a wonderful facility for Veterans and their spouses. It was a beautiful place where they would both get great care for their needs. A week later mom was sent to the hospital with pneumonia. She was recovering, and on April 27th she suffered a heart attack while I was with her. Her main artery was totaly blocked and nothing could be done to help her. I sat with her on April 28th and watched her take her last breath, as I told her how much I loved her. My son brought my dad over to be with her also. Before she lapsed into unconsciousness she called out for Mom and Pop, and then Bob. At the end, I'm sure she saw her parents waiting for her, and also remembered who Bob was and called out to him. I know she's in heaven now, singing her songs, dancing, and young and beautiful again. I miss her every day and hope she knows how proud I am of her and that I did and always will love her. Mickey Wehrle was something else - unique - quirky - and loved life! Rest in Peace Mom.
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