Shirley Palugyay

This is my Mother at 16 years of age. She was so beautiful and always kept up on the latest trends, especially through the 60's with her Vidal Sassoon haircuts, gorgeous lashes and Jackie O. Wardrobe. I always admired my Mother's taste in clothes and her mind was so sharp, interests many and although some might have found those interests strange, she showed passion and fire. My Mother had a fascination with UFO's, government conspiracies, quantum physics, meditation, crystals and Angels. Through online communities, she became the guru of sorts in sharing information and moderating conversations of said topics. While it made me happy that she had interests, they kept her inside her apartment, away from family, introverted from the real world and built this incredible facade of a persona to the online community that just did not exist. We believe that my Mother was very depressed over many years of severe debt after having many successful professional years in Real Estate. In August of 2011, my Mother was diagnosed with stage 4 Cervical Cancer, which subsequently spread to her brain and took her life in July of 2012. In the years after her Depression began, our relationship took on a tumultuous life form. Little by little, I lost a lot of admiration and respect for a woman who I only addressed as my Mother. She on many occasions made it very clear to me that I was not planned after my sister was born, that she really never wanted to be a Mother and after my brother was born...her frustration in Motherhood in turn frustrated us and our Father. Over the years, there were many tears, many moments of heartache and heartbreak. If I didn't love my Mother, it wouldn't still hurt. Before my Mother died, I made sure to tell my Mother that I loved her, that I forgave her and I do, but I will never be able to forget. This situation has made me a better Mother to my daughter and I know that if in my final days she has to be my caregiver, that she can look at her relationship with me and know that I longed to be her Mother years before she was born and that she felt love and knows what it feels to be cherished. 

Adrienne Conner-