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Opinion: My blessed mother, QuoVada

May is an auspicious month. It begins with May Day, then the running of the Kentucky Derby, followed by Star Wars day, “May the 4th be with you,” then Cinco de Mayo, according to Every day has a commemorative component attached to it. One of the most important ones is this weekend’s Mother’s Day.

I envy those of you who still have your mothers living close by. The opportunity to go home to Mommy is on my wish list for time travel excursions.

On Social Media I see my friends’ postings about taking their moms for a meal, to church or just enjoying their company.

My mother, QuoVada Louise “Kirk,” Hill was born, June 12, 1930 and died March 23, 1990, more than 30 years ago. Soon I will have lived longer without her than I had years with her.

It would be super easy to rant about the many things my mom did through the years that drove me crazy. But that big Ol’ pan of lumpy Gravy would be far more about me than her.

My preference is to remember all the amazing ways she made me feel special and her talents and gifts she shared with me. My mother spent her life being kind, thoughtful, studious and hardworking.

Her primary occupation, nursing, employed all of these traits. She had a hunger for knowledge about medicine and so many other topics.

Before her final illness, my mother lived next door to us in a cottage on the five acres we inherited from Fred’s parents.

Her decision to marry my father on July 3, 1948, the summer between her junior and senior year at Madera Union High School, changed her life’s path in a lot of ways.

Women married earlier in life during the most of the 20th century. On her wedding day she had just celebrated her 18th birthday.

She attended her senior year at MUHS with her husband in a house two blocks from the school. The 12th grade included being pregnant with my eldest brother Rocky Hill, born May 15, 1949.

She did an amazing job juggling school, work, taking care of her parents and being married.

After graduation she pursued her passion for nursing, working at local hospitals. She adored the work and the doctors. She and Dad ultimately raised three children, my brothers, Rocky and Brian Hill and me.

She mothered so many other kids throughout her life. Her nieces and nephews all considered her a favorite auntie. All our friends loved her and she adored it when we had friends in the house, the more the merrier to be cliché.

After she became a grandmother, she adopted the moniker Granny, in honor of her own grandmother she loved so dearly.

In addition to nursing, she enjoyed politics and maintained a life-long membership in the Democratic Party. She considered Lucille Desmond her mentor.

Always a voracious reader I have so many memories of our mommy and me trips to the library. She loved to write and she was an accomplished astrologer.

She discussed this passion with the members of the Church of Christ.

Her father, Joseph William Berry Kirk joined the other men in the congregation to build the Church of Christ building at Central and B streets. Her mother spent many hours keeping the church clean and the flower bed flourishing.

Mom maintained that astrology and other paranormal subjects are sciences to be studied. She found many religious people viewed them as religions, blasphemous ones at that.

Not to be deterred she cast astrological charts for people and wrote and starred in her own radio show titles “Astro-Analysis by Quo Vada.”

The show played weekends on Madera’s own K-Hot 1250 AM in the 1970s.

Disc Jockey and later insurance titan Ross Thornton of Madera produced the show and still has fond memories of the experience.

I miss my mom so very much. When she died, she donated her body to science! She finally got to go to medical school at UCLA.

She talked about the way she hoped her contribution could explore the correlation between Rh-negative blood type, diabetes and bi-polar disease.

While there isn’t a spot at Arbor Vitae to take flowers but when I visit my dad and his sister’s grave she is in my thoughts and prayers, always.

I miss you a lot Granny QuoVada.

Long days and pleasant nights and have a blessed Mother’s Day weekend.

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Readers may contact Tami Jo Nix by emailing or following @TamiJoNix on Twitter.


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