My mother’s name was Vivian.

She was born at home in Bridgewater, South Dakota in 1919–two days after Christmas. The name Vivian means “lively” which is ironic since she appeared to be stillborn. The umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck. My mom was blue and lifeless. Assuming there was no hope, her oldest sister, Anne put Mom on the kitchen counter; out-of-the-way. A few moments later another of mom’s eleven siblings, my Aunt Idie, saw some movement; Vivian was alive!

And all was right with the world.

Mom led an interesting and colorful life. She was drop-dead gorgeous and lived for the moment. She had a lot of fun, as well as her share of tears. She never found her very own Mr. Right, but had a blast looking for him.

My mom was my best friend. She saw me through some of the most difficult times of my life, and never gave up. Even in the bleakest hours, she remained my personal cheerleader.

She died in her sleep, in May 28, 2004.

All will never me right with my world again.

Susan Marie Shuman
1990, Boulder, CO


Susan Marie Shuman
1940s Chicago
Fox Lake, IL

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