March 29th…not just any Friday in the Sievers family.
It’s June Sievers birthday. It’s a good day to remember a good person. I have pictures of June in different stages of her life. My favorite one, was taken in 1945 in Pasadena, California. She’s beautiful and she’s sitting under a tree with a young handsome man…her husband. Leroy would resemble his Dad as the years unfolded.
It’s been just a few days past 5 years that June left this world. Cancer came back to grab her after many, many years of a good, healthy life. She was a strong woman. A woman who raised three girls and their little brother who grew into a 6-foot 5-inch man of strength and courage. I remember the first time I met her, Leroy invited me to a Christmas dinner at his Mom’s and his grandmother was there too. I was so nervous, as you might imagine and would later learn that when June heard that Leroy was bringing a “friend” to dinner, especially at Christmas, she knew this was some one special to her son. It was a wonderful evening and when I left, I remember thinking how easy it was to be a guest in her home. That never changed.
She would come East for our Halloween parties and dress in great costumes. Her all-time favorite was when she made a T-shirt that said, “I’m Leroy Sievers’ Mom” with two misspellings of ‘Sievers’ and then the correct spelling on the last line. That idea came after an article was written about Leroy and many of the newspapers around the country mispelled his name. A friend at the party, struck-up a conversation with June that night and finally got up the nerve to ask about her T-shirt. He asked how she came to be invited to the party. She pointed to her shirt. He laughed and asked “Who are you REALLY?” It took a while to convince him, she really was Leroy’s Mom!!!
I have so many good memories of June. We spent a lot of time together over the years. I’m a better person for knowing her.
When she was diagnossed with the cancer that finally took her life, I remember the phone call she made to Leroy when she realized his was a terminal diagnosis too. She blamed herself for passing on the genetic connection that was his colon cancer. It was a Mom’s heartbreaking message. And even though he did everything in his power to stop her from going there, I’m not sure she ever felt at peace with that.
So June Sievers, Happy Birthday…I remember the smiling, laughing, understanding woman….who welcomed me at Christmas time, many years ago and made me feel like part of her family too.