WOW Gal Angel
 Donna Gloria (Clarke) Mawhin

Donna Mawhin was born in Kirkland Lake, Ontario yet spent some of her formative years in Chile South America where she embraced that culture as the people seemed gentler, more openly loving and kind to her.   

Yes, Donna was well traveled at a very early age. This was her downfall.  Having moved too often from school to school once leaving South America she never felt settled. No strong foundation was ever established.

As an adult she moved to Toronto and worked at the Toronto Dominion Bank. My Father insisted she wait on him as she was good with Foreign accents and soon latched onto her. Then I came along, and well my free Spirited Mother not only had her wings clipped, to her they felt broken. 

She didn't recognize in her own way she could've been a dynamo.  While Dad on the road she managed to superintend an apartment building and deal with now 2 kids... 

She loved to sing and had a voice. I sang with her. She was awesome in many ways,

I learned generosity & volunteerism from her. Known as the Cat Lady in her elder years, I enjoyed a love of animals which I learned from her. 

We shared a laugh for years from the movie:  One flew over the KooKoo 's nest. I liked the Hello Man.   Despite all odds I converted my Mother into a fan. She could be a stern person at times and truthful to the point of being harsh. She thought he was stupid and annoying. Then I pointed out that the only means of communication for this man was to say HELLO, and write Hello on everything, adding little flowers to his notes. I showed how in his unique way he showered others with his love.  From then on Mom would say Hello to me several times on the phone before we would converse.  We couldn't really relate, or so I thought.   Ours wasn't the most warm and fuzzy relationship. 

The greatest Teachers often chose a difficult path. On a spiritual level someone has to really love you in order to endure some of the things we did together.  In youth I arrogantly chose to judge her. Hurt, (family life was disappointing) and angry watching someone I believed could Soar and Fly if she chose to, I ended up on a similar crash course lesson in life. Judging her as weak I discovered she had a different kind of strength.  From some of my Mom's foibles I learned not to judge,  You end up in that other persons moccasins.  I judge not. I learned a strength of my own by walking away from a similar path she walked. She much disapproved or so it seemed. 

One day when my Mother could no longer could recall our Hello Man and didn't remember how to pick up and answer a phone, a part of me went with her. I recognized time is precious. Its best to reflect on the gifts not the curses.  Mom once criticized a photo of me I had done just for her when I lived faraway.  Yet, while in the nursing home, the photo she didn't like suddenly became her.  She would not believe the shot of me wasn't her.   Through her, I realized it wasn't me she hated, but herself.  It was then I knew the importance of self love and wanted my Daughter to love herself also. 

This isn't a sad story but one of gratitude.  Mom did the best she could with what she knew like everyone else. And  though I may not always fly, I have and continue to heal the breaks in my wings.  

My Mom was a independent young woman and in her mature years an extremely hard working, social and fun individual. I got to see who she may have been when my Sister and I grew and left home. She started to regain her wings and was beginning to Soar.  However her flight was cut short due to Alzheimer's. Again, this isn't a sad story but one of Love, Gratitude and Forgiveness. For if we didn't share the kind of experience we had together I wouldn't be who I am.  

I held her for awhile the night she passed much as she would've held me as a child. Much love was experienced that mere words could not express. After Mom's passing a friend of hers sought me out and told me all the nice  things  Mom had to say about me that she couldn't express directly.  I learned the importance of saying more often: I LOVE YOU.  I AM PROUD OF YOU. I am fortunate for I truly know and feel my Mom's presence as an Angel. All I can feel now is her love. There are no physical or egotistical constraints. All those my Mom will look upon from Heaven are indeed be loved by her.  What a gift to have an Angel such as her.   She is indeed a Wizened soul and a Caring Angel. 

Dedicated to you Donna Gloria Mawhin aka Mom! Please say hello to my beloved friend Teresa and enjoy each others' company. From one Wow Gal to another.

Love Terry Marie

Contributed by Daughter Terry Marie Mawhin


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