Remembering my Amazing Mother

DeaneChildGrab your coat and get your hat,

Leave your worries on the doorstep. 

Life can be so sweet

On the sunny side of the street.

Elizabeth Deanne Ibold, born November 10, 1928, at about 3 years old.

My mom, Elizabeth Deanne Ibold Wolff van de Velde, died on May 16, 2018 and I couldn’t manage to write a thing for 6 months. Then I wrote the 1st draft of this post.

Then I stopped again until today. Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, 2020 and in 8 days it will be the 2nd anniversary of her death.

Why did it take me so long to be able to write this?

Is this how grief works?

Despite the fact that her family was not Catholic, Elizabeth Deanne Ibold (now known to her friends as “E-Dee”) went to school at The Sacred Heart Academy in Chicago for 13 years, k-12.


My mom loved being a mom, but she was also smart, ambitious and restless in her 1950s role as ‘Mid-Century mommy’.


She opted to stop at 2 children in an era of large families.


She wanted to DO things but her degree in art history wasn’t proving useful. She volunteered far and wide through the 60s and eventually, in the 70s, she settled her passion on the Middlebury Volunteer Ambulance Association. She became an EMT, a crew chief and ultimately attended Dartmouth to become one of the 1st Physician’s Assistants in 1974. It was around this time that she dropped one of the Ns in Deanne and became Deane to my sister and me and almost all her friends.


Her career in medicine focused on women’s health and included dozens of baby deliveries, as well as family medicine, years working for Planned Parenthood and The Shorewell Health Center. She was even Physician’s Assistant to Ben and Jerry at the Charlotte Family Health Center in the mid-80s!

She retired at 60 and changed her specialty to being an extraordinary Granny and an artist in multiple mediums.


Deane’s excellent Scottish Shortbread

1 C softened butter

3/4 C confectioners sugar

1.5 C flour

.25 C cornstarch

1/8 t salt

mix, press into a sheet pan, 1” thick

Bake at 325 for 45 mins.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom, and

Happy trails to you, until we meet again.
           ~Dale Evans Rogers

12 thoughts on “Remembering my Amazing Mother

  1. Thank you for sharing your mom in this beautiful post. All the photos are wonderful; you are lucky to have so many good ones! It sounds like she made a good and fulfilling life for herself, and now I can see where you inherited your amazing talent for art. She was a beautiful person inside and out. Mother’s Day seems to be the hardest holiday for me; this April marked 6 years since my mother passed. Hard to believe. As everyone else says, you never stop missing your mother. Hugs to you!


    • Thank you, Jama, She was pretty ill with dementia for the last few years of her life and it has taken me some time to get over those vivid memories and to remember the vivacious woman she had been for almost all her life. That time seems to be coming.


      • Dementia comes with its own brand of grief. Len’s dad suffered from it. In some ways it’s tougher on families than any physical disease.


  2. julie rowan zoch says:

    Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful photos and for offering us a glimpse into your mother’s life. Having had a leg injury myself when my daughter was small, I wondered what had happened to your mom to put her in a cast (hammock photo). I am sure it wasn’t easy to deal with! I hope this holiday and the whole week is flooded with loving memories and that most of them bring smiles and even laughter. Much love!


  3. Sheri Sullivan says:

    Losing our mothers leaves a hole in our heart that seems bottomless. With time it becomes more of a fissure, that has lost it’s large gape but never goes away, leaving us with a wound that certainly won’t kill us but reminds us every day that it remains. I think our job is the challenge of allowing it to just be there without it consuming us with our loss. xoxoxo


    • SO true. I lost my dad when he was but 72 and I 31. I’ve missed him every day since and, though he’d be 104, I bet he’d still have pithy advice on how to survive Trump. My mom’s dementia slowed and altered this progress of remembering, but I am getting ‘her’ back more and more clearly.


  4. lorialpinoholloway says:

    Grief is a wonky creature — like a Jack in the box that springs out and makes your heart ache quite unexpectedly.

    What a beautiful story of your mama.


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