Memories, Mom, and Dying Far Too Young

by John Zajaros on July 31, 2013

Memories of Mom, Ralph, and Mark

I was looking at a picture of family members and that got me thinking about my mom. Mom got me through the toughest times and, while we certainly had our differences as I was growing up, I always considered her my very best friend…all 5ft 2in of her!

I remember getting in trouble for something, I can’t remember what and I couldn’t have been more than 7 or 8 at the time. Well, I remember trying to outrun her. I can’t tell you why, all I know is I got it in my head that, if she couldn’t catch me, she wouldn’t be able to punish me!

Big mistake!

I didn’t have a prayer. But she didn’t punish me. Sure, she caught me, it wasn’t even a contest. But I caught her smiling and, in an instant, we were both laughing and smiling.

That smile! That laugh!

My mother had a rough life in spite of growing up wealthy. She told me once that she always felt discarded…forgotten. Mom died in the middle of the night. She was far too young.

I miss the person she was every day! 

Margaret Victoria Foerstner (nee Wilson), Peggy to her family and friends, was born September 21, 1935 and died November 4, 2007. She was just 72 at the time of her death. Before she died, she was able to meet her first great-grandchild, Kailyn Christine (see my Facebook profile picture). In that very precious moment, I saw the families merge through four generations…and she was smiling!

Cause of death: Smoking!

Smoking, such a waste!

I watched my father-in-law, Ralph Earl Clark, die at 54, four years younger than I am as of this writing and just retired from the Ford Motor Company. Ralph had the best years of his life still before him. He would have loved watching his grandkids grow up, he was a sweet man and I loved him. Watching him take his last breath was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.

My little brother, Mark Stephen Zajaros, died at the age of 43. In every sense, Mark was the perfect kid brother!

They all died the same way…gasping for air, fighting for their last breath…a horrible way to go!

Today, I watch family members smoke and it’s like a knife through my heart…an insult to life and such a foolish habit. A waste of life!

For what?

How many more years would they have had?

Tragic…

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