Monday, April 11, 2011

learning to cope

Well, this last week has been nothing short of heartwrenching. I never thought that I would be 25 years old and saying goodbye to my Mom. She was always the strong one, always taking care of everyone else and never taking time for herself. Over the last week we wanted to do the things that she loved and just honor her memory.

Sunday, we headed out to the drag races to spend the time together as a family. To re-live all the amazing memories that we made there as a family. We know that she would have loved every second.

Monday, we headed to a local casino, Sam's Town. My mom loved to play nickel video poker and eat at TGI Fridays. So we all had dinner there and then spent the next few hours playing in the same spot she did. Man, I felt that she was there and it made me miss her all the more.

We enjoyed time together as a family and told great stories of what an amazing woman she was. We didn't have a funeral for her because that was her wish, but we will be doing a celebration of life at some point in the future.

Here are a few pictures of me and my family:

Lisa, Dad, Mike and Me

I love them!

I will never forget what an amazing woman and mom she was. I will love and miss her every single day of my life. I know she is looking down on all of us and guiding us. Thank you, Mom, for your love, guidance, and unending support. I love you so very much!!

Here is her obituary that was printed in the Las Vegas Review Journal:

Kathy Niswonger

KATHY NISWONGER Kathy Kay Niswonger, 54, of Las Vegas, passed away March 31, 2011. She was born May 17, 1956, in Upland, Calif., and was a 41-year resident of Nevada. She loved spending her weekends at the drag strip with her race family. Her biggest accomplishment was being an amazing wife, mother and grandmother and was loved dearly by those she took care of. Kathy was a strong and beautiful woman that was a huge influence to those around her. Kathy was preceded in death by her brother-in-law, Phillip Niswonger. Kathy is survived by the love of her life, her husband, of 30 years, Joe; daughter, Lisa Glass and her husband, Chris; granddaughter, Kylie; grandson, Grayson; daughter, Jennifer Smith and her husband, Kyle; son, Micheal Niswonger and his wife, Rachel; grandson, Micheal; granddaughter, Taylor; son, Anthony Niswonger and his wife, Jodi; granddaughter, Katelyn; and grandson, Jacob. A celebration of life will be held at a later date by invitation only. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Cancer Treatment Centers of America who lovingly took care of Kathy until the end.

I love you, Mom!! Rest in Peace my beautiful Guardian Angel.

My last picture with my mom.

I have been having a hard time the last few days, especially since I left Vegas. I contacted Military One Source today and they have set me up with a grief counselor. I am waiting for the to call me to set up my first appointment. I am really hoping it will help.

I hope you all are having a good Monday!


  1. Jen - I'm really, REALLY late with this, but I haven't really been keeping up on things lately.

    I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. I know you loved her more than words can say. She's in a better, pain-free place now, and you have definitely gained one of the best guardian angels ever possible. ♥

  2. Jen, I am so sorry for your loss, but like you said at the end of this post; your mom is your guardian angel and watching over you and your family. I can feel from your post how much you really love your mom and that is simply beautiful.

  3. Oh Jen. This sounds like the perfect way to honor your mom and celebrate her life. I'm sure she got a kick out of watching you guys being happy and loving on one another.

  4. I think it's great what y'all did in remembrance of her... I know she loves it. I hope that you get that call soon so you get the help that you need during this hard time *hugs*

  5. You have been so strong during all this Jen, I'm glad you are going to get counseling so you don't have to hold this all on your shoulders. So sorry about your mom, hang in there <3

  6. Oh my I am so so incredibly sorry she's gone. Your wavering love and support for her has been so incredibly moving. I will say a prayer that peace surrounds your heart and lifts it during your time of pain.

  7. What a great way to honor your mom, you know she was smiling down from above. You have an angel on your shoulder everyday forever!

  8. Im sorry for your loss! Sending thoughts and prayers you way!

  9. That was a beautiful tribute you had for her with your family. You and your sister look so much alike!! I guess you likely hear that a lot. :)


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