Waving Goodbye: Remembering a Mom Who Was "Strong In Everything"

Recorded September 23, 2019 Archived September 23, 2019 02:06 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: APP656960


A lesser-known part of StoryCorps’ work happens in StoryCorps Legacy, which gives people with life-threatening illnesses the chance to record their story, and their loved ones a chance to remember. Over the past nine years, we’ve recorded over 2,000 interviews through the program.

In this recording, we hear from Maria Rivas, who remembers her mom, Julia Medina. Julia was a single mom who raised ten children while working as a cleaning woman in Fresno, California.
For the last six years of Julia’s life, Maria took care of her mother as her health deteriorated.

She came to StoryCorps to share her mom’s story with Caroline Dezan, a social worker at Hinds Hospice.


  • Maria Rivas
  • Caroline Dezan

Interview By



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00:00 She was strong. I remember once, when the vice principal of the junior high kick me out because I was chewing gum, and she went up to the school and said, I need to talk and he put his fingers in his ears cuz he didn't want to listen. I thought she was going to whack them. My mom reached across that desk, pulled his hands out and she was you going to listen to me. My daughter was just chewing gum. She's a good student. She needs to be in school and she sit there with her arms crossed. And that guy looked at. My mom and said, Maria can go back to class now. I was so proud of her man. He's strong. Mom. Yeah, that's mom is hardworking. She did or skin was so soft. And I used to love to always touch her skin. I was kind of the past. I guess I was sitting right next to her and I would grab her cheek and I would pull her skin up like a tent, you know, and she would go, I stopped at me hot. And then years later.

01:00 As she got older, after I bathe her, I put the lotion on her. I get to touch her and feel her skin. And I really, really, really miss that.

01:11 Whenever I leave my mom is step out on the porch and she waved. And I knew that one day, she was going to be out there to wave at me. So I said I need to take a picture of her waving and I'm so full. So happy. I took this picture cuz though before I go to work and I'm heading out the door. I always open the door back up. Michael by Mom and I wave at her way better picture.

01:38 Canister waving.