REMEMBERING MOM

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EDITOR’S NOTE: The last names in the obituary have been changed for privacy reasons.

Cynthia Andersen

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Cynthia (Goldberg) Andersen, 67, of Cedar Rapids passed away Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, at Hallmark Care Center in Mount Vernon, Iowa.

Cindy was born to Henry and Bertha Goldberg on Aug. 16, 1949, in Corpus Christi, Texas. She graduated from Lutheran High School South in St. Louis and Concordia University Nebraska. As a commissioned minister she taught in Lutheran schools in North Miami, Fla., Washington, Mo., Independence Kan., Plainview, Minn., and Rochester, Minn  She loved to read, sew, travel, and sing in church choirs. Her travels took her to all 50 states.

Cindy is survived by her husband, Ken Andersen; three daughters, Jennifer (Charles) Holmes, Kristen (Jason) Bluth, and Becky (Pat) Heck; two sisters; one brother; six grandchildren, Ethan, Gavin, Thanh, Cole, Tate, and Shelby;  numerous nieces and nephews; and other family members and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, one niece and one nephew.

SHE MAY NOT REMEMBER WHO I AM, BUT I WILL ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS REMEMBER HER. THE FOLLOWING ARE SOME OF FAVORITE PICTURES OF HER.

EDITOR’S SECOND NOTE: My family held two memorial services for Mom — one in Iowa and the second in Minnesota. Unfortunately, freezing rain cancelled numerous traveling plans for those planning to attend the Minnesota service. My dad gave my sisters and I permission to share his personal words at the end of each service.

“… The fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Cindy had these from the day I met her. I became a better person from being around her as did her students. So it seemed especially UNFAIR when her FTD robbed her of her emotion, then memory, and cognitive ability. I taught middle schoolers so I had a few standard lines about unfairness and they began to haunt me. Like ‘the fair is in August,’ ‘if you want fairness be prepared to get what you deserve.’ It was all very hard to understand and it shook my faith.

“These past few years could have been a lot more difficult except for a couple of factors. One of those was was that I lived and worked in the midst of people who prayed for me and cared for me. I don’t think most of you understood that you were standing in the doorway of my soul and keeping the devil out when my anger and lack of understanding of God’s will made me vulnerable.

“The other is that I always knew who wins in the end. For quite some time though watching commercials and videos about soldiers being reunited caused me a lot of grief because I knew that Cindy was not going to recover and she was not going to know who I am or be glad to see me ever again. I felt like a dope the day it hit me that I had been looking at this quite selfishly. She was going to be restored. The day was coming when she would be singing and skipping across heaven to greet the Savior that she loved. I could envision the joyful reunion with her dad and her mom. And, yes, some day she will greet me also. I was able to pray ‘thy will be done’ with joy instead of resignation. I began to look forward to the day of the restoration of her joy, her singing, and her love.

“So last Tuesday, while I was filled with grief I was also filled with joy.

“My prayer for you is twofold. I pray that you surround yourself with people who will guard the door to your soul when difficulty arises in your life. And I pray that you would know the Jesus that she knew, loved, and taught about. It is in the risen Savior that all hope rests.”

I miss you, Mom.

WHAT I CHOOSE TO REMEMBER

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For the past six years dementia has quickly taken my mom’s memories, her mind, her movements, her speech, and her body. Dementia has broken my heart more times than I can count when her eyes don’t flicker any recognition when I kneel before her or when she stopped showing any sort of emotion.

The past six years have been overwhelmingly emotional and heartbreaking, but I want to remember her as the mom who gave me stink eye when I disappointed her, the mom who clapped at my piano recitals, the mom who yelled encouragement at my cross country meets, and the mom who hugged me when I was sad.

Her days are limited, and my heart breaks even though I’m ready — and at peace — for God to bring her into His kingdom. I’m sad for so many reasons, but most of all, I just miss my mom.

MY TOP 5: SEX AND THE CITY

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Thanks to Amazon Prime I binge watched Sex and the City over the holiday break and picked out my Top Five favorite episodes. During the show’s original run, I didn’t have HBO (too expensive for premium channels) and relied on friends’ recaps and borrowed DVDs. Even to this day, I still enjoy watching the show and looking at all the pretty outfits the women wear. The following are my Top Five episodes in no particular order.

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Ring A Ding Ding: Season 4 Episode 16

A great reminder on why I don’t spend a ton of money on shoes — I would be completely broke. Even if I could afford $400 pair of shoes, I still don’t believe I would spend the money, knowing I could spend wisely elsewhere. I loved Aidan (John Corbett) so much! After breaking up for a second time with Aidan, Carrie needed to borrow money to buy back her apartment from him. The first few minutes of the episode was heartbreaking, watching two people who deeply loved each other walk away from their relationship.

The Big Journey: Season 5 Episode 7

The biggest surprise and the biggest laugh in this episode was Mr. Big (Chris Noth whom I will always remember as Det. Mike Logan from Law & Order) reading Carrie’s book and realizing he was a huge turd during their relationships. Carrie’s book tour took her and Samantha to California, where Big lived at the time, and Charlotte started sleeping with her divorce lawyer, Harry Goldenblatt (Evan Handler).

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The Post-It Always Sticks Twice: Season 6 Episode 7

I loved Carrie’s relationship with Jack Berger (Ron Livingston) and absolutely hated watching it fall apart little by little. Ugh. I wasn’t a huge fan of Aleksandr Petrovsky (Mikhail Baryshnikov) when he appeared later in the season. I love this episode because it accurately represents how women deal with a breakup, especially a messy one. The girls rallied around her for a girls’ night out, and Miranda’s confidence skyrocketed when she slipped into her skinny jeans. I feel invincible whenever a pair of skinny jeans fit comfortably.

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The Ick Factor: Season 6 Episode 14

Miranda and Steve finally get married! Yay! As much as I absolutely loved her relationship with Dr. Robert (a very very sexy Blair Underwood) and was a teeny bit upset with her when she couldn’t love him, I couldn’t be mad for long because it was Steve! I fell in love with Steve the moment he met Miranda at the bar. Anyway, my favorite part of the episode was when Miranda casually mentioned she proposed to Steve and all the girls — including Samantha — begin to tear up. Frustrated with the overreaction, Miranda starts to leave the lunch and looks at Samantha, “I expected more from you, Samantha.”

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An American Girl in Paris (Part Deux): Season 6 final episode

Although I’ve seen this episode a million times, I teared up a few times during the most recent viewing. The story line that hit me the hardest was when Steve’s mom started losing her memory and accidentally wandered out of the house, leading Miranda to frantically search for her and take care of her when Steve was at work. I really started to adore Charlotte and Harry’s relationship once they were married and felt their heartache during their adoption process. Again, I was never a big fan of Carrie’s relationship with Alek, so I was happy to see Big finally realize his feelings for Carrie.

2017 NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: THE YEAR OF UFOS

I have a 2018 New Year’s resolution! In the sewing circles, UFO stands for Unfinished Object — basically, incomplete projects. Unfortunately, I have a ton of UFOs — quillows, refashions, etc. Ugh. What makes this year’s resolution so easy and awesome is if I finish just ONE UFO, the resolution is complete! So when I finally complete my T-shirt quillow (or Charlie’s) or any other sewing project, I am a success! A winner. I think this might be my favorite resolution.

THE ZOMBIES ATE MY BRAIN!

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I’m here! I’m here! Ever since installing Plants vs. Zombies 2 on my phone, I’ve either been working or playing the game. I love this game so much and have spent countless hours defeating zombies or losing my plants.

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With my time spent at work or on my phone, I haven’t completed too many crafty projects lately. Complete laziness and no motivation have lured me into a ton of “me” time and charging my cell a little more often.

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Any game that combines my love for Plants vs. Zombies and Bejeweled is AWESOME! I needed a bit of time to adjust to new plants and zombies and worlds, but after some exploration, I am in love with this game.

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Thanks to my need to keep my plants organized, I took a few screenshots for the post. My defense looks so pretty! Zombies don’t stand a chance against organized and well placed plants except for high levels and fast zombies.

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Despite the hours logged, I’m still learning how to defeat certain zombies (I’m pointing my fingers at you, Wizard Zombie and Shovel Zombie!). At some point in time, I will become productive again, but for now, I have a defense to plan.