ForeverMissed

Background Music: Memories, I Will Always Love You, You Are So Beautiful To Me, One Day More, I Dreamed A Dream

The Beautiful Piano

The last key of mom’s beautiful piano has been played. Her eighty-eight years of life have now come to an end, and she has joined the heavenly orchestra of our Great Conductor.

It is only fitting that mom lived in years, the same amount as there are keys on a piano; because the piano was such an important part of her life, from when she was a little girl, to the age of eighty-eight, when her body finally gave way to sickness, and she could no longer sit and play.

Mom made many friends through playing the piano. She gave lessons to many, some who never forgot her. One of the highlights of mom being a piano teacher happened when she was in the hospital last September. A hospital employee recognized mom as being her piano teacher from fifty years ago. They were thrilled to see each other after such a long time.

Some of mom’s closest friends were those who gathered to sing at the piano bar in the old Padre Hotel Lounge. Those were some of  the fondest memories mom had, and treasured to the very end.

She worked full time at the Downtowner Inn Motel until she was eighty-five years young. She loved her job and didn’t really want to retire, but physically needed to.

Mom had a lot of happy memories in her lifetime. She also had a lot of trials, but what she had to face at the end proved to be the greatest challenge of her life. In September 2012, she was diagnosed with being in an advanced stage of cervical cancer . She had no symptoms of having the disease, until it was too late for her to do anything and still maintain any quality of life. She kept a positive attitude to the end. And she was resolved to the thought that she would soon be with her Maker.

With the help of Optimal Hospice, mom was able to live out her life comfortably at home with her family. I don’t even want to imagine what life would have been like for mom, and our family, had it not been for the outstanding care and support that Optimal Hospice gave. They were truly a Godsend, and we will forever be grateful.

Mom, Linda Smith, was a nurturing and loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She leaves behind three children and their families. She is survived by one older sister and her family. Mom always remained close with family, no matter the distance between. There’s no words to express how deeply she will be missed.

Though mom is gone, she leaves behind the beautiful piano of her life, as a legacy to live on through all of us; family and friends alike, who knew and loved her.

May her music be a source of comfort and strength. 

 

Posted by Gerda Chow on February 10, 2020
Happy birthday mom. It is a beautiful day for your birthday. Wish we could celebrate together and have your favorites; hot dogs and lemon pie. Love and miss you mom. Always, your daughter
Posted by Gerda Chow on May 12, 2019
Happy Mother's Day Mom! You made a lot of sacrifices for your children, I wish you could have instead had the life you deserved. I love and miss you.
Posted by Gerda Chow on February 10, 2019
Happy 95th Birthday Mom! Your 88 (almost 89) years of life in this world made a difference. You touched the lives of many people; your family and friends, co-workers, piano students and the people who used to come to listen to you play the piano at the old Padre. Your life had a purpose and you left your mark in this world. Though you have been gone for six years, the influence you had on so many carries on, and that is a tremendous tribute to the life you lived. I love you mom and miss you. Happy Birthday!
Posted by Gerda Chow on January 30, 2019
It's hard to believe that six years has gone by. You are forever in my heart. I miss you Mom. Love you always, your daughter
Posted by Gerda Chow on February 10, 2018
Happy 94th Birthday! This will be a hot dog and lemon meringue pie day in your honor. We love and miss you mom – Always, your daughter
Posted by Gerda Chow on January 30, 2018
You are always in my heart. I miss you mom. Love, your daughter
Posted by Donald Smith on February 10, 2017
Remembering you and your legacy of music and love, Aunt Linda. This chain of tributes is a wonderful testimony of the family love and dedication that you nurtured in your children and grandchildren. I hope to get to California this year and visit with Gerda and others.
Posted by Gerda Chow on February 10, 2017
Happy Birthday Mom; we will eat hot dogs and lemon meringue pie in honor of your special day. We love and miss you. Always, your daughter
Posted by Gerda Chow on January 30, 2017
Mom, I can hardly believe four years has gone by since you passed away; there have been so many life changes in that time. You were such an emotional support to all of your children, I can only hope you knew how important you were to us. I love you and miss you terribly. Always, your daughter
Posted by Gerda Chow on January 10, 2017
I’m saddened to say that your oldest son Paul has died. I can’t help but think about his last trip here when you were sick; we knew that it would be his last visit to see you, but I had no idea it would be the last visit that we would see him.
Posted by Gerda Chow on May 8, 2016
Happy Mother’s Day Mom! I love you and miss you, but you are always in my heart. Your daughter
Posted by Gerda Chow on February 10, 2016
Happy 92nd Birthday Mom; it’s going to be a beautiful day in honor of you. We love you!
Posted by Gerda Chow on January 30, 2016
Though you have sorely been missed this past three years, you are nonetheless very much a part of everyday life. There have even been moments when I’ve smelled the scent of your Jean Nate’ Cologne and knew that you were right here. We love you Mom.
Posted by Russell Chow on January 30, 2016
Can't believe it's been three years! Miss you Mima! Love you always!
Posted by Gerda Chow on May 10, 2015
Happy Mother's Day Mom, you are truly loved and missed!
Always, Your Daughter
Posted by Gerda Chow on March 14, 2015
Mom, I went to the “Celebration of Life” gathering today of our long-time family friend, Glen Jones. I was so happy to see faces of those who spent many hours at our house when the boys and I were growing up. Your name was mentioned and you were spoken of so very fondly; I wanted you to know that. All my love always xxx
Posted by Gerda Chow on February 10, 2015
Today would have been your 91st birthday. We will celebrate the life you lived, and we will eat your traditional birthday meal of hot dogs and lemon meringue pie:) Happy Birthday Mom! We love and miss you
Posted by Donald Smith on January 30, 2015
Your legacy of love and music lives on in your wonderful family. I am sorry I did not visit my Aunt Linda and Uncle Russell very often. I hope you and Russell have met my darling Joan by now. Please keep smiling on us and help us keep music in our lives.
Posted by Gerda Chow on January 30, 2015
It's hard to believe two years has gone by since you passed away. A lot has happened in that time, but you already know that since you're always there watching over us:) We love and miss you Mom. - Your Family
Posted by Russell Chow on January 21, 2015
Stopped in today and enjoyed the new pictures of my lovely "Mima." I cried. I can't believe two years ago I said goodbye. I love you so much Mima and miss you terribly. I know you're enjoying heaven. :-)
Posted by Gerda Chow on December 17, 2014
It’s Chanukah Mom, the celebration of overcoming a great struggle. I could not celebrate this holiday without remembering the struggles you overcame and became stronger through. You are my inspirational candle in this beautiful Holiday of Light. We love and miss you Mom.
Posted by Gerda Chow on November 27, 2014
I can't believe this is the second Thanksgiving without you Mom
Posted by Gerda Chow on June 10, 2014
Our cousin Don has added a number of Smith-family photos to the gallery here at Mom’s Memorial. Seeing old photographs of Mom is a reminder of how some things never changed in her life; (e.g.) Mom always wore a dress. Up to the day when she was no longer able to get up and get dressed, she wore a dress. And as pretty as she was in the old photographs, mom continued to receive compliments, even at age eighty-eight, on how pretty her legs were. Heartfelt thanks goes to my cousin Don Smith for adding such lovely memories to Mom’s Memorial.
Posted by Claire & Chris Mays on March 22, 2014
Dear Gerda, dear Family,
You don't know me - I just stumbled through Forever Missed to your Mother's site - but I feel like I know you, and Linda Lee now.

Gerda's heartfelt stories make me happy thinking of my own mother and grandmother. I also get a sense that Gerda is a wonderful person, just like her mother.

Bless you all! -- Claire
Posted by Gerda Chow on February 14, 2014
Valentines Day reminds me of your favorite cologne and candies, but when I think about real love, I will always remember the sacrifices you made and dreams you put on hold; I wish you wouldn't have had to do that Mom, but thank you!
All my love always – your daughter
Posted by Russell Chow on February 10, 2014
Happy Birthday my dearest grandmother, Mima! Can hardly believe you're gone. You're in my heart every day and I love you so much and miss you dearly. I know you're in heaven--in no more pain and probably playing the piano! xoxoxo
Posted by Gerda Chow on February 10, 2014
Happy Birthday Mima; it's hard to believe this would have been your 90th. We're going to plant another flower in your garden in honor of this special day. We think of you all the time Mom and.miss you dearly
Posted by Gerda Chow on January 30, 2014
On this 1st anniversary of Mom’s passing; she would want to be remembered for the person that she was; a friend to many, a mom, grandmother, sister and aunt; she was a piano teacher and the pianist for one of the nicest piano lounges in town, and until she was forced to retire at age 85, she was a faithful employee at a local hotel. These are the ways that she touched the lives of others, and would want to be remembered in that same light.
Posted by Gerda Chow on January 9, 2014
We went to the cemetery to view the plaque on Mom’s niche. Though it was a sad reminder that Mom has died, I choose to think of Mom’s physical body as being like a chrysalis, and a beautiful butterfly has been set free.
Posted by Gerda Chow on November 28, 2013
There are no words to express how difficult this first Thanksgiving without Mom is going to be. But it would truly dishonor her memory if this special day were to be spent dwelling on her death, when Mom was so very thankful for her life.
Posted by Gerda Chow on September 3, 2013
It was one year ago today when the first symptom of having cancer showed, and life as we knew it would be forever changed. If I could delete a day from time, that would be the day.

We miss you Mom!
Posted by Gerda Chow on May 20, 2013
The apricots that you waited so long to enjoy are now ripe enough to harvest. As happy as I am that the time has finally come, I’m sad to think that this first year of eating its fruit won’t be shared by you. But it will always be a very special tree, and we’ve lovingly named it, the Linda Lee.

We love you mom!
Posted by Gerda Chow on May 12, 2013
Thank you for helping me to become the person that I am. And even though you’re gone now, your influence will always remain as a driving force in all that I am destined to do. You used to tell me that I am my mother’s daughter; I can honestly say that those words have never meant more than they do now. I miss you terribly Mom, not only on this Mother’s Day, but every day. I love you dearly
Posted by Gerda Chow on May 7, 2013
I would like to thank the Bakersfield Californian Newspaper for sending the beautiful plaque with mom's photo and the announcement of her passing, "The Beautiful Piano." The plaque sits proudly on the piano that mom spent many hours making beautiful music on. What a lovely keepsake. Thank you so much!
Posted by Gerda Chow on March 26, 2013
Chag Sameach Mom. This is our first Passover without you. I felt sad to prepare only two binders, instead of three, for this week’s Passover readings. It’s not the same without you here. We love and miss you deeply.
Posted by Pat Crawford on February 25, 2013
My thoughts and prayers for Gerda and family.
Posted by Russell Chow on February 21, 2013
Missing you tonight Mima! Xoxo! You were always there for me. I love you...
Posted by Gerda Chow on February 14, 2013
This afternoon, mom’s ashes will be put in their final resting place next to my dad. There‘s something heartwarming about that, being that today is Valentines Day. Dad always did something special for mom on Valentines Day.
Posted by Emma Louie on February 12, 2013
I am sorry I never met Linda. She was a beautiful woman who touched the lives of many. May she play forever.
Posted by Phil Chow on February 10, 2013
Happy Birthday Mima, I really miss you. Love You Forever, Phil
Posted by Gerda Chow on February 10, 2013
Happy birthday mom, and gung hay fat choy! These twelve days that you’ve been gone have been the worst days of my life. I miss you terribly, and the only thing that gives me comfort is knowing that you’re in Good Hands, in a much better place, and not suffering anymore. I love you mom!
Always and forever, your loving daughter, Gerda
Posted by roger cowan on February 3, 2013
growing up at your house was a everyday thing,its what we did after school and on weekends. paul and i worked out every day in the garage,to the turn of the piano.we all hade the best of times,but life goes on and i miss all my friensd,love to talk to paul someday. roger
Posted by Ginger Babb on February 2, 2013
Although Charlie & I only had the pleasure of meeting your mom once, we remember her beautiful smile and friendly manner. Gerda you are a beautiful testimony and tribute to your mom! You are in our prayers. May God's strength, peace and comfort be yours!! We love you Gerda...Charlie & Ginger Babb
Posted by Joey LeBrun on February 2, 2013
Your mother tried her hardest to teach me and my sisters to play the piano. Through no fault of her own it didn't take. My mother, Ruth, and your mother were best friends when we lived in Lebec. I remember good times visiting your house and will always remember her and her mashed potatoes with fondness. My mother passed away in 2010. My heart is with all of you.
Posted by Gerda Chow on February 2, 2013
Within the Torah portion for the day that mom passed away are the words that God spoke to Moses, “And how I carried you on eagle’s wings, and brought you to Myself.” How fitting is that?
Shabbat Shalom Mom
Posted by Russell Chow on January 31, 2013
I will miss her nightly piano playing. She referred to it as her legacy she was leaving me. Xoxo
Posted by ann silver on January 31, 2013
What a beautiful tribute, Gerda.  God be with you. Sincerely, Ann Silver
Posted by Gerda Chow on January 30, 2013
Mom was not only my mother, she was my dearest friend. I will miss my mother terribly, but I’m going to be lost without my dear friend.
I love you mom. You're in a better place.

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Gerda Chow on February 10, 2020
Happy birthday mom. It is a beautiful day for your birthday. Wish we could celebrate together and have your favorites; hot dogs and lemon pie. Love and miss you mom. Always, your daughter
Posted by Gerda Chow on May 12, 2019
Happy Mother's Day Mom! You made a lot of sacrifices for your children, I wish you could have instead had the life you deserved. I love and miss you.
Posted by Gerda Chow on February 10, 2019
Happy 95th Birthday Mom! Your 88 (almost 89) years of life in this world made a difference. You touched the lives of many people; your family and friends, co-workers, piano students and the people who used to come to listen to you play the piano at the old Padre. Your life had a purpose and you left your mark in this world. Though you have been gone for six years, the influence you had on so many carries on, and that is a tremendous tribute to the life you lived. I love you mom and miss you. Happy Birthday!
Recent stories

Brother Dale

Shared by Gerda Chow on August 3, 2019
My brother Dale was mom’s second born of four children. He passed away of throat cancer this past June (2019), so I wanted to pay homage to the close relationship he had with our mom (Linda Lee Smith).

Dale was a unique individual to say the least. Mom was always very protective of him, I believe she needed to be due to Dale’s insentient desire to stand out in a crowd; be the center of attention, as sometimes that attention brought a great deal of criticism from others.

Mom always encouraged Dale to be himself at any cost. Though others didn’t understand Dale’s unique spirit, mom did and she never tried to squelch who he was by nature. Mom and Dale shared a very special bond. Though Dale could be quite the handful, it was the challenges that he brought to mom’s everyday life that were the greatest lessons of unconditional love.

Dale has been reunited with our dad and mom and our two brothers, Paul and Jimmy. He is in loving arms in heaven and loving hearts on earth. Rest in peace brother! 

Mom's "Little Paul"

Shared by Gerda Chow on January 10, 2017

My oldest brother Paul passed away on the 5th of January this year (2017). He was mom’s pride and joy, no matter how old he got, she always lovingly referred to him as her “Little Paul.”

 

Paul was a very devoted son to both mom and dad, but he had an especially close relationship with mom. It was difficult for mom because Paul lived across the United States from her, but they spent a lot of time writing letters to each other and talking on the phone. When Paul would come to visit, he and mom would spend hours on end talking and drinking coffee together. They had a very special bond.

 

As sad as I am to lose my oldest brother, I’m happy to think about mom and her “Little Paul” being reunited in a much better place. Rest in peace brother!

Minimum Wage Mitzvah

Shared by Gerda Chow on January 1, 2017

My mom worked a fulltime job as bookkeeper and desk clerk at a local motel until she was forced to retire at age eighty-five due to a back injury. I remember when the minimum wage increased in 2007; my mom was already in her eighties. She knew that it was a hardship on her employers having to pay more money out per hour for all the employees, so my mom began working one day a week for free to offset the increase. When minimum wage increased again the next year (2008) mom began working two days a week for free. It didn’t have a thing to do with job security, it was a mitzvah (good deed) on mom’s part; mom loved her job and she loved the people she worked for and wanted to help them. Her employers didn’t expect her to work for free, but she didn’t want them to have to pay her more than what they could afford. That’s the kind of person she was.