Saying Goodbye

My 81 year old sweet mother, Jeannie Sparks, passed away this week and I wanted to take a moment to reflect on just how amazing she was. She started life when cars were still novelties and yet was the generation that powered the moon shot.

During the depression, she lived in a cabin where my grandfather fed his children by trapping fox in the Massachusetts backwoods and selling their pelts. Throughout her life, my mother took a practical “whatever it takes” attitude toward any challenge she faced, even when she had to stay up hours on end teaching her dense son to read.

Mom lived through the greatest technological revolution in history (from the radio to the internet) and nothing phased her. Even as she laid in intensive care, she smiled as she flipped through family pictures on the iPad. My mother was an amazing woman who taught me, not by lectures and scoldings, but instead by example and she will always live in my heart.

108 Comments Saying Goodbye

  1. nashdamji@hotmail.com

    Sorry to hear about your loss. May her soul rest in eternal peace. She had a full life and saw many changes in this world.

    Her love lives on in your memory…..

    Reply
  2. nashdamji@hotmail.com

    Sorry to hear about your loss. May her soul rest in eternal peace. She had a full life and saw many changes in this world.

    Her love lives on in your memory…..

    Reply
  3. nashdamji@hotmail.com

    Sorry to hear about your loss. May her soul rest in eternal peace. She had a full life and saw many changes in this world.

    Her love lives on in your memory…..

    Reply
  4. nashdamji@hotmail.com

    Sorry to hear about your loss. May her soul rest in eternal peace. She had a full life and saw many changes in this world.

    Her love lives on in your memory…..

    Reply
  5. nashdamji@hotmail.com

    Sorry to hear about your loss. May her soul rest in eternal peace. She had a full life and saw many changes in this world.

    Her love lives on in your memory…..

    Reply
  6. scheever@insightbb.com

    I'm so sorry about your loss, but what a loving and touching tribute you have made in her honor today. Just remember, that she will never truly be gone from you. She'll be with you every day as long as you remember what she taught you . . . that's her legacy.

    Reply
  7. scheever@insightbb.com

    I'm so sorry about your loss, but what a loving and touching tribute you have made in her honor today. Just remember, that she will never truly be gone from you. She'll be with you every day as long as you remember what she taught you . . . that's her legacy.

    Reply
  8. scheever@insightbb.com

    I'm so sorry about your loss, but what a loving and touching tribute you have made in her honor today. Just remember, that she will never truly be gone from you. She'll be with you every day as long as you remember what she taught you . . . that's her legacy.

    Reply
  9. scheever@insightbb.com

    I'm so sorry about your loss, but what a loving and touching tribute you have made in her honor today. Just remember, that she will never truly be gone from you. She'll be with you every day as long as you remember what she taught you . . . that's her legacy.

    Reply
  10. scheever@insightbb.com

    I'm so sorry about your loss, but what a loving and touching tribute you have made in her honor today. Just remember, that she will never truly be gone from you. She'll be with you every day as long as you remember what she taught you . . . that's her legacy.

    Reply
  11. bart

    My condolences. It's always tough to lose a loved one, but it helps to remember that connection. Best to you and your family at this difficult time.

    Reply
  12. ronproto@gmail.com

    David,

    Please accept my condolences. It sounds like your mother was an amazing women. I'm sure, where ever she is, she is looking down and smiling on you. Mothers are like that.

    Ron

    Reply
  13. ronproto@gmail.com

    David,

    Please accept my condolences. It sounds like your mother was an amazing women. I'm sure, where ever she is, she is looking down and smiling on you. Mothers are like that.

    Ron

    Reply
  14. ronproto@gmail.com

    David,

    Please accept my condolences. It sounds like your mother was an amazing women. I'm sure, where ever she is, she is looking down and smiling on you. Mothers are like that.

    Ron

    Reply
  15. ronproto@gmail.com

    David,

    Please accept my condolences. It sounds like your mother was an amazing women. I'm sure, where ever she is, she is looking down and smiling on you. Mothers are like that.

    Ron

    Reply
  16. ronproto@gmail.com

    David,

    Please accept my condolences. It sounds like your mother was an amazing women. I'm sure, where ever she is, she is looking down and smiling on you. Mothers are like that.

    Ron

    Reply
  17. luvmechanic@gmail.com

    My Condolences on the Lost of your Mother. Our family will keep you and your in our thoughts and prayers.

    Reply
  18. luvmechanic@gmail.com

    My Condolences on the Lost of your Mother. Our family will keep you and your in our thoughts and prayers.

    Reply
  19. luvmechanic@gmail.com

    My Condolences on the Lost of your Mother. Our family will keep you and your in our thoughts and prayers.

    Reply
  20. luvmechanic@gmail.com

    My Condolences on the Lost of your Mother. Our family will keep you and your in our thoughts and prayers.

    Reply
  21. luvmechanic@gmail.com

    My Condolences on the Lost of your Mother. Our family will keep you and your in our thoughts and prayers.

    Reply
  22. ocroland@gmail.com

    David

    I know you celebrate her life more than you dwell on her passing.
    Best wishes to you and your family.

    Roland

    Reply
  23. ocroland@gmail.com

    David

    I know you celebrate her life more than you dwell on her passing.
    Best wishes to you and your family.

    Roland

    Reply
  24. ocroland@gmail.com

    David

    I know you celebrate her life more than you dwell on her passing.
    Best wishes to you and your family.

    Roland

    Reply
  25. ocroland@gmail.com

    David

    I know you celebrate her life more than you dwell on her passing.
    Best wishes to you and your family.

    Roland

    Reply
  26. ocroland@gmail.com

    David

    I know you celebrate her life more than you dwell on her passing.
    Best wishes to you and your family.

    Roland

    Reply
  27. Andrew@andrewcanion.com

    My condolences for your loss. While no doubt this is a difficult time, it is great to read what a positive impact your mother has had on your life.

    Reply
  28. Andrew@andrewcanion.com

    My condolences for your loss. While no doubt this is a difficult time, it is great to read what a positive impact your mother has had on your life.

    Reply
  29. Andrew@andrewcanion.com

    My condolences for your loss. While no doubt this is a difficult time, it is great to read what a positive impact your mother has had on your life.

    Reply
  30. Andrew@andrewcanion.com

    My condolences for your loss. While no doubt this is a difficult time, it is great to read what a positive impact your mother has had on your life.

    Reply
  31. Andrew@andrewcanion.com

    My condolences for your loss. While no doubt this is a difficult time, it is great to read what a positive impact your mother has had on your life.

    Reply
  32. Russ.Harlan@gmail.com

    I listened to the latest MPU this weekend and heard the sadness in your voice when you sad you had been spending time in hospital room. My heart goes out to you and your family. I can appreciate your sorrow bit also your gratitude for all the happiness and wisdom she imparted.

    Reply
  33. Russ.Harlan@gmail.com

    I listened to the latest MPU this weekend and heard the sadness in your voice when you sad you had been spending time in hospital room. My heart goes out to you and your family. I can appreciate your sorrow bit also your gratitude for all the happiness and wisdom she imparted.

    Reply
  34. Russ.Harlan@gmail.com

    I listened to the latest MPU this weekend and heard the sadness in your voice when you sad you had been spending time in hospital room. My heart goes out to you and your family. I can appreciate your sorrow bit also your gratitude for all the happiness and wisdom she imparted.

    Reply
  35. Russ.Harlan@gmail.com

    I listened to the latest MPU this weekend and heard the sadness in your voice when you sad you had been spending time in hospital room. My heart goes out to you and your family. I can appreciate your sorrow bit also your gratitude for all the happiness and wisdom she imparted.

    Reply
  36. Russ.Harlan@gmail.com

    I listened to the latest MPU this weekend and heard the sadness in your voice when you sad you had been spending time in hospital room. My heart goes out to you and your family. I can appreciate your sorrow bit also your gratitude for all the happiness and wisdom she imparted.

    Reply
  37. Chris

    David,

    You don't know me and I don't know you (beyond your blogs, that is). Just in those three paragraphs your mother sounds like an amazing women, who I'm sure had a story or two to tell having lived through most of the last century. I'm sorry for your loss, although nothing will take away all the times you enjoyed with her, which sound too numerous to ever imagine.

    -Chris

    Reply
  38. matthew.hillyer@me.com

    What a touching story, sorry for your loss, but all good things must come to an end, no matter how much we don't want them to. I love how you mention she took technology in stride and even was using the iPad to look at family photos.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    Reply
  39. matthew.hillyer@me.com

    What a touching story, sorry for your loss, but all good things must come to an end, no matter how much we don't want them to. I love how you mention she took technology in stride and even was using the iPad to look at family photos.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    Reply
  40. matthew.hillyer@me.com

    What a touching story, sorry for your loss, but all good things must come to an end, no matter how much we don't want them to. I love how you mention she took technology in stride and even was using the iPad to look at family photos.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    Reply
  41. matthew.hillyer@me.com

    What a touching story, sorry for your loss, but all good things must come to an end, no matter how much we don't want them to. I love how you mention she took technology in stride and even was using the iPad to look at family photos.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    Reply
  42. matthew.hillyer@me.com

    What a touching story, sorry for your loss, but all good things must come to an end, no matter how much we don't want them to. I love how you mention she took technology in stride and even was using the iPad to look at family photos.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    Reply
  43. capnttom@mac.com

    David – the warmth of her smile says it all. I am deeply touched by your blog and offer sincere condolences.

    Tom

    Reply
  44. capnttom@mac.com

    David – the warmth of her smile says it all. I am deeply touched by your blog and offer sincere condolences.

    Tom

    Reply
  45. capnttom@mac.com

    David – the warmth of her smile says it all. I am deeply touched by your blog and offer sincere condolences.

    Tom

    Reply
  46. capnttom@mac.com

    David – the warmth of her smile says it all. I am deeply touched by your blog and offer sincere condolences.

    Tom

    Reply
  47. capnttom@mac.com

    David – the warmth of her smile says it all. I am deeply touched by your blog and offer sincere condolences.

    Tom

    Reply
  48. JF

    Dear friend,

    Sending you much love and offering my deepest condolences. Thank you for sharing some of you mother's memories with us.

    JF

    Reply
  49. yaphet100@me.com

    I just joined MacPower Users this year. You guys (you and Katie) were my first Mac Podcast as I am not new to Mac, but new to Power Using. As I look for ways to introduce my Mother (age 74) to the world of computing, I often listen to you guys as my education in bringing the previous generation online. All I can think of is protecting her and her life, and sharing my life with her. I know you loved your mother deeply, and I wish you every comfort in your time of sorrow. Just know, she was a major part in making you who you are and part of that has touched me in what you do in here. My deepest condolences, to you and your family. and thank you for doing this.

    Reply
  50. yaphet100@me.com

    I just joined MacPower Users this year. You guys (you and Katie) were my first Mac Podcast as I am not new to Mac, but new to Power Using. As I look for ways to introduce my Mother (age 74) to the world of computing, I often listen to you guys as my education in bringing the previous generation online. All I can think of is protecting her and her life, and sharing my life with her. I know you loved your mother deeply, and I wish you every comfort in your time of sorrow. Just know, she was a major part in making you who you are and part of that has touched me in what you do in here. My deepest condolences, to you and your family. and thank you for doing this.

    Reply
  51. yaphet100@me.com

    I just joined MacPower Users this year. You guys (you and Katie) were my first Mac Podcast as I am not new to Mac, but new to Power Using. As I look for ways to introduce my Mother (age 74) to the world of computing, I often listen to you guys as my education in bringing the previous generation online. All I can think of is protecting her and her life, and sharing my life with her. I know you loved your mother deeply, and I wish you every comfort in your time of sorrow. Just know, she was a major part in making you who you are and part of that has touched me in what you do in here. My deepest condolences, to you and your family. and thank you for doing this.

    Reply
  52. yaphet100@me.com

    I just joined MacPower Users this year. You guys (you and Katie) were my first Mac Podcast as I am not new to Mac, but new to Power Using. As I look for ways to introduce my Mother (age 74) to the world of computing, I often listen to you guys as my education in bringing the previous generation online. All I can think of is protecting her and her life, and sharing my life with her. I know you loved your mother deeply, and I wish you every comfort in your time of sorrow. Just know, she was a major part in making you who you are and part of that has touched me in what you do in here. My deepest condolences, to you and your family. and thank you for doing this.

    Reply
  53. yaphet100@me.com

    I just joined MacPower Users this year. You guys (you and Katie) were my first Mac Podcast as I am not new to Mac, but new to Power Using. As I look for ways to introduce my Mother (age 74) to the world of computing, I often listen to you guys as my education in bringing the previous generation online. All I can think of is protecting her and her life, and sharing my life with her. I know you loved your mother deeply, and I wish you every comfort in your time of sorrow. Just know, she was a major part in making you who you are and part of that has touched me in what you do in here. My deepest condolences, to you and your family. and thank you for doing this.

    Reply
  54. lamike@mac.com

    David -I think this great lady produced a great guy. I am so very sorry about her passing and your loss

    Reply
  55. lamike@mac.com

    David -I think this great lady produced a great guy. I am so very sorry about her passing and your loss

    Reply
  56. lamike@mac.com

    David -I think this great lady produced a great guy. I am so very sorry about her passing and your loss

    Reply
  57. lamike@mac.com

    David -I think this great lady produced a great guy. I am so very sorry about her passing and your loss

    Reply
  58. lamike@mac.com

    David -I think this great lady produced a great guy. I am so very sorry about her passing and your loss

    Reply
  59. Sam D

    Sorry to hear David. Even though I've never met your mother, the fact that you mention her often in yourself and Katie's podcast, which I wait for eagerly every few weeks, means in some way there's a connection.

    All the best.

    Reply
  60. tagandme@aol.com

    David……I had met your mother several times through her next door neighbors, Ned and Debbie. Debbie is my cousin. When I visited your mother in her home, she was always so gracious and welcoming. I saw her amazing Christmas Village and the giant Christmas tree. I heard from her about your family traditions of setting up the village and Christmas tree and about what the holidays meant to her and to all of you. She was very proud of her children. Your mother made wonderful memories for her family. You were blessed to have her as your mother.

    My sincere condolences to you and the family
    Loma George

    Reply
  61. tagandme@aol.com

    David……I had met your mother several times through her next door neighbors, Ned and Debbie. Debbie is my cousin. When I visited your mother in her home, she was always so gracious and welcoming. I saw her amazing Christmas Village and the giant Christmas tree. I heard from her about your family traditions of setting up the village and Christmas tree and about what the holidays meant to her and to all of you. She was very proud of her children. Your mother made wonderful memories for her family. You were blessed to have her as your mother.

    My sincere condolences to you and the family
    Loma George

    Reply
  62. tagandme@aol.com

    David……I had met your mother several times through her next door neighbors, Ned and Debbie. Debbie is my cousin. When I visited your mother in her home, she was always so gracious and welcoming. I saw her amazing Christmas Village and the giant Christmas tree. I heard from her about your family traditions of setting up the village and Christmas tree and about what the holidays meant to her and to all of you. She was very proud of her children. Your mother made wonderful memories for her family. You were blessed to have her as your mother.

    My sincere condolences to you and the family
    Loma George

    Reply
  63. tagandme@aol.com

    David……I had met your mother several times through her next door neighbors, Ned and Debbie. Debbie is my cousin. When I visited your mother in her home, she was always so gracious and welcoming. I saw her amazing Christmas Village and the giant Christmas tree. I heard from her about your family traditions of setting up the village and Christmas tree and about what the holidays meant to her and to all of you. She was very proud of her children. Your mother made wonderful memories for her family. You were blessed to have her as your mother.

    My sincere condolences to you and the family
    Loma George

    Reply
  64. tagandme@aol.com

    David……I had met your mother several times through her next door neighbors, Ned and Debbie. Debbie is my cousin. When I visited your mother in her home, she was always so gracious and welcoming. I saw her amazing Christmas Village and the giant Christmas tree. I heard from her about your family traditions of setting up the village and Christmas tree and about what the holidays meant to her and to all of you. She was very proud of her children. Your mother made wonderful memories for her family. You were blessed to have her as your mother.

    My sincere condolences to you and the family
    Loma George

    Reply
  65. val.pace@alaskaair.com

    SPARKS FAMILY:
    I AM SO SORRY TO HEAR THE LOSS OF YOUR MOTHER, SHE WILL TRUELY BE MISSED. SHE WAS ALWAYS A GOOD FRIEND AND NEIGHBOR TO MY PARENTS. MY PRAYERS GO OUT TO ALL OF YOU DURING THIS DIFFICULT TIME.
    HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL SOMETIME IN THE FUTURE THERE AT THE HOUSE WHEN I AM DOWN TO VISIT.
    LOVE AND PRAYERS TO EACH OF YOU, VALERIE

    Reply
  66. val.pace@alaskaair.com

    SPARKS FAMILY:
    I AM SO SORRY TO HEAR THE LOSS OF YOUR MOTHER, SHE WILL TRUELY BE MISSED. SHE WAS ALWAYS A GOOD FRIEND AND NEIGHBOR TO MY PARENTS. MY PRAYERS GO OUT TO ALL OF YOU DURING THIS DIFFICULT TIME.
    HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL SOMETIME IN THE FUTURE THERE AT THE HOUSE WHEN I AM DOWN TO VISIT.
    LOVE AND PRAYERS TO EACH OF YOU, VALERIE

    Reply
  67. val.pace@alaskaair.com

    SPARKS FAMILY:
    I AM SO SORRY TO HEAR THE LOSS OF YOUR MOTHER, SHE WILL TRUELY BE MISSED. SHE WAS ALWAYS A GOOD FRIEND AND NEIGHBOR TO MY PARENTS. MY PRAYERS GO OUT TO ALL OF YOU DURING THIS DIFFICULT TIME.
    HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL SOMETIME IN THE FUTURE THERE AT THE HOUSE WHEN I AM DOWN TO VISIT.
    LOVE AND PRAYERS TO EACH OF YOU, VALERIE

    Reply
  68. val.pace@alaskaair.com

    SPARKS FAMILY:
    I AM SO SORRY TO HEAR THE LOSS OF YOUR MOTHER, SHE WILL TRUELY BE MISSED. SHE WAS ALWAYS A GOOD FRIEND AND NEIGHBOR TO MY PARENTS. MY PRAYERS GO OUT TO ALL OF YOU DURING THIS DIFFICULT TIME.
    HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL SOMETIME IN THE FUTURE THERE AT THE HOUSE WHEN I AM DOWN TO VISIT.
    LOVE AND PRAYERS TO EACH OF YOU, VALERIE

    Reply
  69. val.pace@alaskaair.com

    SPARKS FAMILY:
    I AM SO SORRY TO HEAR THE LOSS OF YOUR MOTHER, SHE WILL TRUELY BE MISSED. SHE WAS ALWAYS A GOOD FRIEND AND NEIGHBOR TO MY PARENTS. MY PRAYERS GO OUT TO ALL OF YOU DURING THIS DIFFICULT TIME.
    HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL SOMETIME IN THE FUTURE THERE AT THE HOUSE WHEN I AM DOWN TO VISIT.
    LOVE AND PRAYERS TO EACH OF YOU, VALERIE

    Reply
  70. jjpearlyj@yahoo.com

    Aunt Jean was an incredable lady who knew exactly who she was. So lucky to have her in our lives for so long. She was a roll model for all of us. We love the whole Sparks family!!!!! Larry and Julie

    Reply
  71. jjpearlyj@yahoo.com

    Aunt Jean was an incredable lady who knew exactly who she was. So lucky to have her in our lives for so long. She was a roll model for all of us. We love the whole Sparks family!!!!! Larry and Julie

    Reply
  72. jjpearlyj@yahoo.com

    Aunt Jean was an incredable lady who knew exactly who she was. So lucky to have her in our lives for so long. She was a roll model for all of us. We love the whole Sparks family!!!!! Larry and Julie

    Reply
  73. jjpearlyj@yahoo.com

    Aunt Jean was an incredable lady who knew exactly who she was. So lucky to have her in our lives for so long. She was a roll model for all of us. We love the whole Sparks family!!!!! Larry and Julie

    Reply
  74. jjpearlyj@yahoo.com

    Aunt Jean was an incredable lady who knew exactly who she was. So lucky to have her in our lives for so long. She was a roll model for all of us. We love the whole Sparks family!!!!! Larry and Julie

    Reply
  75. kraftkrapp@gmail.com

    I am so sorry for your loss; your mother sounds like a wonderful person. I am going to quote a card I'm familiar with because I think the sentiment is so nice and I hope you do too…
    "What if the brilliant twinkling stars that bring the dark night sky to life are windows looking out of heaven? And at the very moment when we're wishing on those stars, hopint that the loved ones we have lost are happy, safe, and free… maybe they are looking at those same stars from the other side, making the same wish for us… sending us all their love. I'm wishing yu the comfort of loving memories and the feeling that you'll always be connected to one so close to your heart."
    You are in my heart and prayers… I believe that nobody is really gone as long as we treasure their memory in our hearts and souls, and pass along their teachings.

    Reply
  76. kraftkrapp@gmail.com

    I am so sorry for your loss; your mother sounds like a wonderful person. I am going to quote a card I'm familiar with because I think the sentiment is so nice and I hope you do too…
    "What if the brilliant twinkling stars that bring the dark night sky to life are windows looking out of heaven? And at the very moment when we're wishing on those stars, hopint that the loved ones we have lost are happy, safe, and free… maybe they are looking at those same stars from the other side, making the same wish for us… sending us all their love. I'm wishing yu the comfort of loving memories and the feeling that you'll always be connected to one so close to your heart."
    You are in my heart and prayers… I believe that nobody is really gone as long as we treasure their memory in our hearts and souls, and pass along their teachings.

    Reply
  77. kraftkrapp@gmail.com

    I am so sorry for your loss; your mother sounds like a wonderful person. I am going to quote a card I'm familiar with because I think the sentiment is so nice and I hope you do too…
    "What if the brilliant twinkling stars that bring the dark night sky to life are windows looking out of heaven? And at the very moment when we're wishing on those stars, hopint that the loved ones we have lost are happy, safe, and free… maybe they are looking at those same stars from the other side, making the same wish for us… sending us all their love. I'm wishing yu the comfort of loving memories and the feeling that you'll always be connected to one so close to your heart."
    You are in my heart and prayers… I believe that nobody is really gone as long as we treasure their memory in our hearts and souls, and pass along their teachings.

    Reply
  78. kraftkrapp@gmail.com

    I am so sorry for your loss; your mother sounds like a wonderful person. I am going to quote a card I'm familiar with because I think the sentiment is so nice and I hope you do too…
    "What if the brilliant twinkling stars that bring the dark night sky to life are windows looking out of heaven? And at the very moment when we're wishing on those stars, hopint that the loved ones we have lost are happy, safe, and free… maybe they are looking at those same stars from the other side, making the same wish for us… sending us all their love. I'm wishing yu the comfort of loving memories and the feeling that you'll always be connected to one so close to your heart."
    You are in my heart and prayers… I believe that nobody is really gone as long as we treasure their memory in our hearts and souls, and pass along their teachings.

    Reply
  79. kraftkrapp@gmail.com

    I am so sorry for your loss; your mother sounds like a wonderful person. I am going to quote a card I'm familiar with because I think the sentiment is so nice and I hope you do too…
    "What if the brilliant twinkling stars that bring the dark night sky to life are windows looking out of heaven? And at the very moment when we're wishing on those stars, hopint that the loved ones we have lost are happy, safe, and free… maybe they are looking at those same stars from the other side, making the same wish for us… sending us all their love. I'm wishing yu the comfort of loving memories and the feeling that you'll always be connected to one so close to your heart."
    You are in my heart and prayers… I believe that nobody is really gone as long as we treasure their memory in our hearts and souls, and pass along their teachings.

    Reply
  80. Gail Bales

    So sorry to learn of your loss. Our loss is heaven's gain. I know she will live in your heart forever. Hugs,
    Gail

    Reply

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