Forever in Our Hearts
On behalf of my family, I wanted to personally thank every one of you who has reached out to us during this time of celebrating my wonderful mother’s life.
My mom, Corine C. Fox (Ortega, Parraz), was just one day shy from her 79th birthday before she took her final breath on this earth. I know without a doubt that she is at peace and no longer fighting the battle of Leukemia and is in heaven singing and dancing with her family and friends that have passed on before her. I envisioned her being carried in the arms of our dear Lord and Savior when she could no longer carry herself on earth.
My mom was a very loving women that would do anything for anyone in need. She was born to Annie Velasquez and Aresenio Balizan and had 3 sisters and 1 brother, her father died at an early age and her mom raised the family alone until she met my grandfather Lalo Benavidez and they added a son. The family was poor but were raised with love in Santa Fe.
She had a high school education and fell in love with her backyard neighbor my dad, Jose Ortega. The military took them to Germany while my father was stationed there. She became pregnant with Arthur and 13 months later she had me and by then she was back in Santa fe.
My parents moved to Albuquerque for a fresh start and that is where my mom’s life took off. She worked in retail at TG&Y and Kmart the grocery store. She started her early career as a bank teller and through the years became a branch manager. She recovered from a traumatic robbery and retired from the bank. I’m thankful that during her recovery she baby sat for me when I started nursing school and that led me to where I am today.
She went back to work as a cashier for Presbyterian Hospital and later was a patient care representative for the GI lab for many years. She retired from Presbyterian and came to work at Ortega Wellness when she felt well.
In 2017, she was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia and went into blast crisis multiple times and the final time in December of 2022. She fought hard against her cancer. She did oral chemotherapy and that is when the family saw changes in her mind. Even on her worst days she still got up, impeccably dressed for work and would come and help. If you were lucky enough to meet her or talk with her on the phone you were now her new best friend.
She was the most genuine individual you would have ever met. She made friends anywhere and everywhere. She loved to shop even if she didn’t buy anything. (I know I was with her most of the time.) She loved being outside working on her yard. She loved to travel even though it was just driving for hours with her husband Sam. She enoyed being around her family and friends.
If you asked her what her greatest accomplishments were, she would say without a doubt that having my brother and myself. She was my biggest cheerleader and always encouraged me to do my best. I want to honor her memory today and for the rest of my life for this beautiful soul that was chosen to be my mother.
I will always remember her on the phone (all the time), scratching a hole in our heads while we sat with her on the phone, she scratched the same spot! Cleaning the house like it was spring cleaning every Saturday and then shopping all day after. Taking 2 weeks off in the summer and keeping all her grandkids and taking them swimming and whatever else she had planned with them. She was proud of herself that she was able to buy her own car and her own home. She was independent and always on the go, even toward the end of her life her on earth, she had things she had to do and was going to do them somehow.
I cannot imagine my life without her being in my reach. I will forever be grateful for my work family for giving me the opportunity to stay with her and be at her side. Not only to my own family and work family but also to my many patients that have been understanding through this time.
Thank you for all your patience and understanding. My life will be to continue to honor my mother and father by continuing to care for you, my patients, she would be advocating for me to get back to work and take care of each and every one of her friends!
All my love,