A Sad Anniversary

January 18, 2009

My mom, Jeanne Randolph, was born in 1925.  When she was 18, she fell madly in love with my dad who was nearly twice her age, but had horses and played polo for the Oakbrook Country Club team.  They had seven of us kids — first three girls and then four boys.  I’m the eldest, but undoubtedly not the wisest.  In 1960, my father committed suicide leaving my mom with us seven kids ranging in age from 14 down to 1-1/2, and a very small life insurance policy.  She perservered.  On January 17, 1964, she died of cancer.  Two months later, my grandmother succumbed to cancer, and the next year my grandfather passed away.  We had never known my father’s family.  He always said even if they left him a million dollars he never wanted to see them again.  So, we grew up orphans and maybe are a little tough.  All but two of us graduated from college — working our way through.  We lost only one of the lambs who became involved in drugs for several years. My youngest sister dragged him kicking and screaming into a more productive life.

This post is for my mom — enduring, wise, artistic, funny.  Miss you mom . . .


  1. Traci says:

    what a beautiful woman, Penni! I’m so so sorry about your heartbreaking string of losses. I’m sure she (and your father too) would be VERY proud of you. My thoughts are with you.

  2. Laura says:

    She was a beautiful woman. I’m sure inside and out. She would be very proud of you.

  3. Holly says:

    What a beautiful woman. And a beautiful tribute, though she had a difficult life. I know she was very proud of you.

  4. You guys are a testament to her mothering skills. Good job, Mom.

  5. She was beautiful, and I love how her hair is curled to look like cat ears. She looks like she was someone who would have been on a Broadway musical 🙂

    How hard to loose both parents, so young, and close together 🙁

  6. Kathleen says:

    She is a beauty. I lost my mother to suicide when I was 30. A horrible experience that I would not wish on my worst enemy. Death tears families apart but suicide can destroy everyone that person knew. Took me years of therapy to get my life back on track.