Monday, February 14, 2011

Sparky Galando's Passing

Helen "Sparky" Thelma Rassmussen Galando was my mom...not my birth mom but my mom just the same. My second mom...My sister Rita shared her with me as I shared my parents with her for most of our lifetimes. Sparky was called that because she was struck by lightning twice in one week! Can you imagine? It is funny because people always have a hard time believing it when told about it. Well, the story is extremely interesting but the part I want to share is the love she bestowed on everyone she met. She never met a stranger. And, she had the most incredibly positive outlook. Her middle years were robbed from her - spent in one mental institution or another and to hear her tell it, she was in coma for 27 years but none of that kept her down. She had the best laugh too. What a riotous sense of humor...she never complained, well, almost never. She proudly shared with everyone she met that she had been born in a tent in 1912. Yep, she lived to be 98 years old. She was coherent almost right up until the end too. She was surrounded by her loved ones and her passing was peaceful. But she won't be forgotten. I was so touched to hear her granddaughters and great grandchildren tell her how much they learned from her about not giving up and taking on challenges head-on and not taking life for granted. Those lessons will serve us all well...thankfully, my children included. They really did learn valuable lessons that most people don't get because they didn't have a Sparky in their lives. I am blessed that she was my mom and may she rest in eternal peace...her body anyway. As for her spirit, I have no doubt that she is dancing on the stars with the love of her life (Dad, Nick) and making up for lost time.

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