For Mom

The last picture I have of my mother, taken 2007.

A new puppy! My mother got Kelly in 1989. Here they are, not long after Kelly joined the household.

My mother told my father that she felt this was one of the best pictures ever taken of her.

A 1-year-old me, along with my mother and father. December, 1970.

Mother and son, Easter 1970

My mother cradling me. Christmas, 1969

My mother, looking stately in this portrait from her early 20s.

My mom, in a mod mode.

My mom and Kelly, sometime around 1990.

My mom’s inscription on the back of the 2007 photo.

My mother, Judy Duggan, passed away on Saturday, September 15, 2012. She was 68.

The obituary in the Wichita Eagle says she was a ‘child care provider,’ but that only tells part of the story. She was also a teacher. As owner of Snoopy’s Playhouse, she shepherded dozens of children through their pre-kindergarten years. They learned from her the most basic of tools – how to spell, how to read, how to count.

She always taught them with love, patience and discipline.

I was one of those children. I was her own.

Some days, she treated me no differently than the children in her stead. Other days, I was clearly the Owner’s Kid. But always, there was Love.

I often wonder why my mother suffered so many health problems over the years. She surely did not deserve them. But she bore them with the most amazing dignity. I’m sure she despaired in her own quiet moments, but she rarely, if ever, gave voice to it.

I spent some time going over old photographs of my mother in the days following her death. Some are familiar, coming back through a haze of childhood memory; framed portraits on a living room wall in a house long empty.

Others were new to me. And therein lay the discovery: These pictures give witness to another side of the woman I know only as my Mother. These pictures reveal the side of her known now to me as Judith Faye Duggan.

Judith Faye Duggan
1944 – 2012

I love you Mom. And I miss you.
Love, your son
–Mark Duggan



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