Tag Archives: mother

74th Birthday Letter to Mom

Well Mom, it’s your birthday.

Of course, you’re on my mind today, but also every other day. Of course I miss many things about you but mostly just the ability to call and catch you up on my life and have you cheer me along on my challenges and adventures. Your sing- songy voice going “oh son, that sounds fantastic, such fun!” So here’s your update…

Still, I’m trucking away at challenges and having adventures. I get Blue sometimes/often for sure… Missing the “old me” – even though I know its useless thinking and there’s many things about that part of my life that were not sustainable and decisions I could’ve made that would’ve been slightly more sensible – but I miss having energy to get up and  face each day with optimism and enthusiasm. Instead I wake up confused, exhausted, anxious and in pain. However, whenever this happens, I remind myself that I’m off all medications, I’m still out here in the world, making friends and trying to make the lives of strangers a tiny bit better. Just like you taught me.

Continue reading 74th Birthday Letter to Mom

Hi Mom, One Year Gone…


Nov. 27th 2017 Mountain Time – Nov. 28th 2017 in Galle, Sri Lanka

Hi Mom,

Well, the date came around today. Its a foggy number for me as I was so far elsewhere in the “tomorrow” time zone and also took the brothers a couple of days to track me down to deliver the news so I actually had to look at your obituary to know exactly which date was the day.

The date shouldn’t matter and I maybe should be “unattached” according to the Buddhists or doing the whole “she’s in a better place” crap which frankly I don’t believe in – maybe there is an after-life but we have no proof and only folktales augmented by the spectre of “faith” to go on – so to me, whether there is or isn’t makes no difference (also, who’s to say this isn’t the “after-life”). Oh and to the faith of my relations, I don’t want a whole planet to “manage” if it means I must supervise wars and disease and disasters, anyhow I digress… to me, the only salient aspect of memory I feel and care to share is simply “I miss you”. That’s all. And, I want to, aim to, and am keeping your memory alive in a very tangible way.

You have no marker, your body is still at University of Utah Medical Center, used by a little squadron of medical students and there’s maybe an engraving of your name on some associated memorial wall in SLC somewhere – we ordered it, filled out the form but don’t have evidence of actual existence.


Of course, there’s your sons and friends and grandkids still roaming around but your stories will fade if someone doesn’t keep the tradition alive. With this in mind, I post photos of you and about you, on the Internet so folks can click a button of acknowledgement, drop a few words, etc. – but to me, this isn’t all of what’s needed. With your love of genealogy – or rather the research of the stories of ancestors as they are rather than just a list of data points to perform unrequested ceremonies upon – and your interest in findagrave and tending to headstones, I want to put a stone somewhere with your full name, birth place and date and same with death, just for the “Lauralees of the future” who have the same interest as you to dig into the stories of the past.

Continue reading Hi Mom, One Year Gone…

Most fortunate Lads and Pets

++ The most fortunate lads and pets ++

I love this photo of Mom, my brothers and I, and various dogs and cat. I kept this photo clipped to the visor of my beloved VW bus and as I would ramble and roam to parts unknown, I could always get a smile from this ridiculous afternoon of hauling in dogs, choosing outfits which fit our personalities and taking snapshots. The outtakes, if I recall correctly, were absolutely ridiculous.

Love you Forever Mom


5 proud sons converged
Last words in cold room to peaceful Mom
Held soft hand, pet her hair
Now she is for science
We go to her empty home.

P.S. Research shows that intelligence is genetically passed from Mother to Children. As such, this is how/why I’m so smart :-) #MENSAMom

from Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BMLuulshADx/

Things my Mom Taught Me

Things my Mom taught me:

Entrepreneurship: My first biz endeavours were working with Mom doing the “Bright Idea Company” selling handmade decorated candles – we’d stay up late rolling glitter in the rec room late night and loading up the station wagon to craft fairs and markets. I learned to talk, read people, media hack.

Celebrate: There were times (especially after our family split up) we were very poor, but Mom always made sure we went to a big fancy brunch for easter or something at a fancy hotel ballroom from time to time to remember what life can be – ya know, tasty.

Optimism: Through so many challenges, Mom keeps smiling and looking for the best in the situation and in others. Yep, she’s been taken for a ride more than once, but she leads with her heart and trust. She’s not fooled twice for the record.

Risk: Mom has picked up sticks to go elsewhere so may times (gotta be at least 60 addresses) and notably, packed up the Logan Temple house and headed to Japan with beloved brother Andrew Olson and then swung that into a circuit of SouthEast Asia (knocking off a few dozens countries and leaving me in her dust in the meanwhile) finally ending up in Guam — an odd island laden with miscreants — in which she reinvented herself again with a new batch of jobs, stories and yes, addresses.

Love: Mom, I came to your bedside when you were broken because i knew you’d do the same for me. I’ve oddly spent quite of bit of time in hospitals and know you are always there in spirit and/or body and it was a pleasure to be next to you during this rough time. I will admit it is the most miserable place i’ve even visited which is also why i came and didn’t leave.

Mom, we shared a challenging year but by sticking together, we are coming out the other end, stronger and smarter.

SO much Love

Happy 71st Birthday Tribute to My Mom

This picture of Lauralee Stevenson Olson Elliott while at Rick’s College in Idaho (i suspect) looks so much like 17 year old me. Smile and siwash sweater included.

What follows are photos which document Mom’s life and otherwise make me smile as they bring evocative memories fun with Mom and brothers.

The accompanying narrative explains much about the context but, … for now, i am doing what Mom would want me to: enjoy a tasty sandwich with poached eggs and cottage cheese on side, mail some postcards to nephew/niece, and go for a nice walk.

Love ya Mom, hope these pics and my soliloquy brings a smile to ya. XO

Today is my beloved Mom’s 71st birthday

Over the past year, Mom and I were able to spend a good amount of time together and supporting each other after and during hospital visits. We made checklists, ran errands, wrote postcards, looked at art, watched documentaries, and visited my throngs of lovely relatives in Logan, Utah.

Annotation: To learn more about Logan, consider watching Napoleon Dynamite.

My Mom is an intrepid traveler, a strong woman, a lover of life, and a true friend to all who come into her world.

Here are a few factoids and supporting evidence about Lauralee Stevenson Olson Elliott.

* Born in Belfast, Ulster (Northern Ireland) during WW2 to a Scottish (Aberdeen) Mother and an American/Internationale Father, and left shortly thereafter – crossing the Atlantic aboard a ship to USA/CANADA.

* Has visited 50+ countries, backpacker style. Throughout her life. An extra special trip to me is when Mom with me, my lady and bonus son tripped around Europe from Amsterdam > Brussels > Paris > Barcelona.

* Mom was our (Canadian) Cub Scout Akela (for Americans, Akela is the Wolf from Rudyard Kipling’s classic “Jungle Book” tale which is the basis for scouting-folk/lore in much of the world – translation: Den Mother). She rallied up camping trips, activities and gained the affection of a generation of Surrey kids, many of whom still call her Akela. Also wrote a chapbook about techniques for building fires.

* Working with my Mom was my first experience in small business and entrepreneurship. Her company, “The Bright Idea Company” made deocrative candles which i helped her make and then take to craft markets, fairs, events, and anywhere else where we could set up a banquet table with a bobbled tablecloth. Also the reason for my first newspaper article.

* Actually, this newspaper article might pre-date the above. Mom took me (both here in the photo, i’m the grumpy one) along with some other church ladies to entertain some old folks for St. Patrick’s Day. Now that i know the “real” reason behind St. Paddy’s (having drinks & forgetting), i’ve forgiven her for putting me in that leprechaun outfit.

* Mom is a MENSA member. This is a club for folks with a “genius” level IQ. I am not a member (for the record, i’ve never taken an IQ test).

* Mom worked as a Driver Education instructor on Island of Guam. I got a ride with her and a student ONE time and never again. Mom is particularly excellent at parallel parking.

* Mom used to participate in (now considered sexist and inane) beauty contests an was crowed Miss Southwestern Ontario… or something along those lines.

* Speaking of scouting above, Mom is also a Gilwell Woodbadge scouter which requires several weekends away, doing scout leadership stuff.

* Mom proudly displays 2 of my paintings in her front room. Both are views of an alley in Barcelona, looking out from a balcony at Pension Dali near Los Ramblas, one at night with acrylics and one at day with water colours and pastels.

* Mom appeared on the game show Let’s Make a Deal. She won a few hundred bucks which may have purchased a new fireplace mantle.

* Fostered a fondness for lounge wear, costumes (Halloween and otherwise), science fair projects, and rallying communities of like-minded people for a common adventure or cause.

* Is an exceptional typist, proofreader, and formatter and organizer of things.

My Mom’s Top 5 are (no particular order):

* Going to the Postoffice
* Heading out on a trip to a new country
* Visiting with friends and grandkids
* Making big meals for her boys
* Digging into genealogy, a good book or program

Love you Mom! I’ll keep adding to this thread as there are few more pictures to add.

What follows are photos which document Mom’s life and otherwise make me smile as they bring evocative memories fun with Mom and brothers.

Dear Friends in Utah

Mom and Me in some stupid post-hospital “care” facility

To all my dear friends in Utah:

Alas I wasn’t able to visit and socialize with my beloved (many long-lost) friends.

I spent every day, save one, by mom’s side in the rehab hospital.

But was buoyed by all the kind comments, old photos, reminiscences, and delightful banter. It gave me strength knowing that so many people had my back and, one day we’ll all be floating down the river together laughing, drinking, storytelling and gazing at beauty.

You know who you are and of course if I can do anything to make your life more awesome, just ask. Aside from lifting heavy objects that is.

Still, dave
in Logan, Ut

Olsonboys Collage for Mom

Some years ago i made a photo collage for my Mom of pics of her sons and so on. Today, i took it out of the frame and took a bunch of quick, poorly lit and loosely cropped photos.

Each one of these snaps (as tiny as they are) brings back so many memories of adventures with my brothers and the love of our Mom.