My Mom lived an amazing life. I know, everyone says that about a loved one when they pass. They talk about how much they will be missed, and how loved they were. But my Mother… well, she was different.
In 2011, my Mother, Lorraine Barron, was elected as the Recorder of Deeds for Somerset County. She served in the office for 24 years prior to being elected. Becoming the Recorder was a dream of hers. I can remember when I was just a little girl, she used to talk about how much she wanted to run for the Recorder’s office in the future. We are so grateful that she was able to achieve her dream.
Mom loved her office. She truly did. She was diagnosed with cancer 2 year ago, and throughout her fight, she continued to work. Not just here and there, when she felt like it. Mom was in her office every day that she could possibly go. She would go into work in the morning, leave for radiation treatments, and then go back to work. She worked her chemo schedule around her office time. Many times, her doctors would ask her what she was doing after she left their appointment. Her answer? “I’m going back to work!”
Through 2 years, 2 surgeries, 2 rounds of radiation and all her chemo treatments, she was at her office. She went back to work before she was cleared by her doctor to do so, after having surgery on her leg and her lungs. At one appointment, upon hearing that she was still working in her condition, her doctor stated that he wished he could “bottle her enthusiasm”. When so many people with cancer would have given up or retired, she kept fighting, and kept working through it all. Why? Because my Mother was strong; because she found great joy in her work, and took great pride in her office. She was so dedicated to her job that she even went to work Monday and Tuesday, before passing away on Friday of the same week.
In the past week, I have come to the realization that my Mother lived her life by two simple words. “Always thankful”. Not only was this phrase sprinkled throughout her journals… but it truly exemplifies her. Every single day, she was thankful. No matter how bad her day was, she found the good in it. Even before she became ill, this was my Mother. And after she became ill, she didn’t complain. Not once, thought all her treatments and procedures. She woke up the next day, and just thankful for that day. My Mother was an inspiration. Not just to me, but to everyone who knew her.
I now have the words “Always thankful” tattooed on my wrist, in my mom’s handwriting.
I used to complain; I used to tell her that she was too nice to people who didn’t deserve her kindness. But really, she was just being the wonderful person she always has been. You could have said the most hurtful thing possible to her, and she would have still found the good in you. I know now that I need to strive to be more like her, and less cynical. Because even the person you dislike the most has good in them.
Not only was Mom a beloved Somerset County office holder, but for the past 19 years she has dedicated her life to our wonderful breed. My family started raising Siberians in 1994, and she has been so proud of our dogs. Check our Hall Of Fame page for some of our proudest moments with our Siberians. My Mother put so much time and energy into our program, and is shows. Before she got sick, she used to go into the office, and after work we would both go to the kennel and spend our evening caring for, and loving on our Siberians, adults and puppies. She worked tirelessly to ensure that every puppy produced was well bred, well loved, and healthy.
On Monday, I was keeping watch as Siren’s litter came into the world. It was very hard to realize that no longer will my Mother be keeping this watch with me. But as hard as it was, I know one thing for certain. Each puppy born here is part of her legacy. Each new life a product of her hard work, dedication, and love over the past 19 years. Without her efforts in our program, none of these little miracles would be possible. Through each puppy born at Lauradale’s Siberians, my Mother’s legacy and love for her breed will live on.