My Mother, Elaine

My mother was a full-blooded Ukrainian.  All four of her grandparents came over from the old country.  The Ukrainian heritage flowed through her with force.  She grew up on a farm in North Dakota and learned the value of a dollar and hard work.  Her ethics and moral compass never wavered as far as I ever knew.

She helped my Dad operate the family cattle ranch in Eastern Montana and taught school before any of us kids were born.  Eventually, she had six kids, I was the second oldest.  She was the center of our family.  A true matriarch even when I was a child.

When Dad started his roofing company in 1977 (the year I was born), Mom was his partner.  As we grew up we learned to help in the family business as well.  When I say “grew up” I mean that I was 6 years old and on the roof working.

Mom never weakened and only told us about her cancer when she felt that she could no longer keep it a secret.  Mom was a fighter though and whipped cancer in an unfair match skewed against her.  After her victory, she continued to live life like the amazing woman she was.  She worked hard, often until way after dark.  She continued to learn and gain knowledge her entire life and nearly always went to sleep a wiser person than when she woke up.

Her old nemesis cancer returned after 11 years and this time came with fangs and claws out.  He got her in July of ’04 and left a giant void that will never be filled again.

She left me with all of the things that were good about her.  I learned how to solve problems and resolve conflicts from her.  She had the mind of an engineer and she left me that as well.  I will never match her work ethic but it is something I will always attempt to emulate.  Ace Roofing is a byproduct of her efforts even though it was in infancy when she left us.

Every year at Ace Roofing we have a tradition.  We have a company Christmas party in a unique location.  It’s almost always somewhere different than the year before.  We declare it a holiday and give our people a paid day off the day after the Christmas party.  It is always held on December 19th.  December 19th…the day my Mother was born on this earth.

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