Memorial Spaceflights

Eileen Trautman

"Love you to the moon & back. Live long & prosper."
1949 - 2021

Eileen Trautman's Favorite Quotes:
1. Live Long & Prosper
2. Love you to the moon & back
3. The good die young
4. Never give up.

My mother's favorite show was Star Trek (all episodes and generations).  My mom's dream was to go into space.  She loves everything about space.  She collected Star Trek figures and has all the VHS tapes.  My mom even has the Barbie & Ken Star Trek collectable. The photograph I want to send for her flight picture is of my mom dressed up in her Star Trek costume.  She died very young from a horrible brain disease called Progressive Supernuclear Palsy. www.  She finally passed in my arms at 57 pounds.  She fought so hard and got sick so young. 



There is a word missing from the Webster and black law dictionary and that is "Eileen as known as ET" who I am lucky and blessed to call my mommy. My mommy is a real-life superhero who is my best friend, my rock, my partner in crime and most importantly she is and will always be my mommy. She is a true example of a superhero overcoming so many hurtles losing her brother Jordan at age 21 while she was in her first year of college at the University of Floria, she continued to strive and went on to earn her law degree at the University of Miami, graduating top in her class. I am the lucky one in our relationship to have had her 37 years. There are many people that have parents who live well into their 90's but never share the love and bond my mom and I share.

I always "wanted to be like my mommy when I grow-up and I still do." You taught me what it meant to have a “character”. You taught me never to give up, you taught me to be strong (although I am not), but most importantly you taught me the importance of loyalty and honesty. Anybody that knows you personally can attest that they can tell you anything and you will keep a secret, you may not agree on their decision, but you will never pass judgement. You always told me that your "word is everything."

I don't know how I am going to go through life without you. I have been so lucky to live with you for the past 14 years when I came home from college in 2007. I lived with you by CHOICE while in law school and then throughout the years by CHOICE. You would always tell me to "get an apartment" you are in your twenties, but I would always say, "I want to live with you." Most kids can't wait to get out of the house, but I couldn't wait to come back from college to live with you. My mom never annoyed or bothered me, I think it was the opposite. Most importantly there has never been a day in my life that I haven't spoken to my mom. I don't know who I am going to talk too, who can I harass and annoy and that will always love me no matter what. ...... not sure how I am going to navigate this second chapter of my life without you. I promise no birthday, holiday or occasion will ever be the same without you.

You worked so hard to provide and give Johnny and I the best life possible as a single mom raising two kids in a man's legal world. You went straight to Greenberg Traurig out of law school and became a well-known and respected tax attorney. You were such a hard-working individual but always made sure you were home to make us dinner and put us to sleep at night despite your workload. You would stay up all night working to catch up because you never missed any of my soccer games, track meets, dance recitals; you were there for everything. I am so proud to call you my mommy on so many levels and always brag about you. If I can be half of a mom to Jayden as you were to me, I would consider Jayden to be one lucky kid.

The work ethic of my mom is a mirror imagine of my brother. They are both very hard working, as a young child my mom would tell us, "That's life." Work hard in school or otherwise you will work at "McDonalds"; you have your own choices to make. My mom was not the nagging type when it came to school. She just tells us if you don't do your homework and study, it's up to you and that you choose your path in life. Both my brother and I learned through example what it meant to work hard by having our mother as our role model.

My mommy isn't one to be loud nor opinioned, quite the opposite. My mom is not talkative (opposite of me) nor too social. She always told me if you can count 5 people on one hand you are lucky. She loved going to the gym at 6 am before work and had the same trainer for over two decades. She always kept to herself, but I know my mom has a heart of loyalty which can be seen with how many people are here today. She never looked for attention but always put others first. She was a huge animal lover, a trait she passed on to me.

I remember her last three dogs in particular: Mandy, Sugar and Sprinkles, she loved and treated them like her children; they slept in the bed, and she would make them eggs every morning when she made them for herself. I am the lucky one in all of this. People don't understand our relationship, she is more than a mom to me.

She loved me and I loved her soooooo much. She would always pack me school lunches with a note and a Hershey kiss in it. It's the little things in life that count, and you remember the most. I remember Hurricane Andrew fell on my birthday and of course she had cupcakes for me while we were all in the closet hiding. She never missed anything. I will never forget when I was home-sick in college, I really missed my dog at that time and couldn't take her to college because I lived on campus all four years (like a dork my mother would say) so she thought it would be a good idea to mail me the dog’s poop wrapped in a paper towel. I called her immediately telling her "How crazy she was" and if you know my mom, she is very black and white and straightforward and she said, "you keep on saying you miss the dog so I thought that would be the next closest thing since you don't want to move off-campus." She made it seem like it was normal that she mailed it. Like it was no big deal!!!! When I got sick as a child you would always stay home and talk in a "Mickey Mouse voice" to make me feel better. Nobody else could make me feel better, only my mommy.

Not sure if you know my mother is much cooler than me and always knew the newest and best movies, TV shows, fashion, current events. She would go on Saturday morning jogging to sunset place to watch a movie in peace when the theater was empty and jog back home. I on the other hand am not so much into moves because I can't sit still, I talk too much, and ask too many questions. So my mom if we went together definitely saw the movie beforehand since I would talk her ear off during the movie.

Every day I question why did this disease have to happen to my mommy? 1 out of 100,000 people in the US and it had to be my mom who was very healthy, took care of herself, worked out daily, ate healthy -- everything you can name it, yet it took her away from me. Why her???? "She always told me as a child that the good die young and nothing lasts forever on earth and that life is not fair." She always told me to try and live in the moment because death is inevitable in all of us. We probably talked on the phone at least 10 times a day about nothing of any significance. And as I child I would sleep in her bed by choice. I asked her about everything in life possible, I drove her crazy all the time literally, but I knew in my heart no matter how crazy I drove her that she loved me and my brother more than life itself.

When my mom got diagnosed with progressive super nuclear palsy it seemed like my world fell apart that day. I remember the exact time I was told by the doctor: It was August 24, 2016, at 4:07 pm at the University of Miami (strangely the day of my birthday). I was in disbelief and my mom held me up of course as I was the one balling in tears; if you know my mom's personality she doesn't say much. She just looked a little shocked and accepted it. This happened three months before my son was born. I told the doctor that he had no clue and that he was wrong with his diagnosis of my mommy. We then fly to the Mayo Clinic in Arizona for a second opinion. It was confirmed!!!! I was shattered as Jayden was just being born. Despite this shattering news I always told my mom don't worry we will beat this illness together. We took it one step further and went to the University of Florida where they specifically focus on Movement Disorders and atypical neurological diseases. She immediately started in a clinical trial that lasted for 18 months in Gainesville, Florida and we flew monthly for her to receive an infusion – "basically she was a lab rat "for the hope to slow down the progression of her disease.” My mommy was a fighter throughout this entire journey despite the numerous falls, staples to her head, hospital visits; she took each fall like a champ and kept on fighting and never complained once throughout her entire disease. We were both so blessed to have a wonderful caretaker that helped us both so much – her name is Rosa – that she became family to us. She was with us during the second part of my mom's illness on a daily basis. She can assent to my mom's resilience; the next day after a major fall she still wanted to go to Coral Reef Park or to her therapies. She attended physical, speech and occupational therapy 3 times a week even after being told several times by numerous doctors that this will not change the outcome of your disease, it is progressive; she kept on fighting. Her disease progressed slowly and painfully little by little, inch by inch. All the sudden the clinical trial just stopped abruptly because they did not see any positive results which were conducted among 8 different universities across the United States, being in the clinical trial was our only HOPE; it gave my mother and I hope that we can find some sort of medicine to slow the progression.

Mom, I still cannot believe you are gone. I think this is all just a horrible dream, but I can remember vividly your last few minutes before you passed away. I was able to tell you how much I love you. I was able to hold you tight, hold your hand and give you a kiss on the lips when many people aren't given that chance. I made a promise to you that I would be strong for Jayden no matter what during your last few minutes on earth. And like you always told me, "Your word is all you got." Mommy, when I close my eyes, I can feel your hand as you squeezed me so tight in your final minutes of life on earth. I was able to hold till your last breath. I can't wait till we see each other again. Mom, I am so lucky I was able to sleep with you for an extra four months in the hospital. The journey that started on May 14 and ended on September 12; this was only made possible by the support of two doctors in particular, Nina and Carol; they gave me 4 extra months with you. When Carol first saw you, she said your mom only has a few days, she is actively dying. I was in such disbelief but like everything else you proved them wrong and overcame your first aspiration phenomena event despite all the odds against you. It cleared up, however then you were unable to swallow and eat anymore. You are a real-life superhero. These two specific doctors by my side being my advocate and my mother's advocate made it possible for her to live an extra 4 months. This all seems surreal as it felt like I was only in the hospital for a few days as it became my norm. I was given the chance to work bedside with my mommy and sleep and snuggle you every night like I normally do. I was blessed that Jayden's dad, Jorgie was able to help so much during this time so that I could be with my mommy, and he made it possible for me to be able to sleep there every night so that my mommy was never alone and would never die alone.

Mom I can't imagine living in his world without you. It hasn't even been one week, and it feels like eternity. I miss you so much. I love you to the moon and back. You are my world, and I will strive as I promised you to be strong for Jayden. The pain is so deep, but I am glad you aren't suffering anymore. I promise I will keep fighting for you until they find a cure for PSP which robbed your life and took you away from me. I love you more than words can express. I wish I had one more min, one more kiss, one more hug and one more night snuggling with you.

Mom I promise I will never give up our fight and you know I am the biggest advocate of your disease. Mom I think of you when I am happy and when I am sad. You are the only person that understands me just by the "look" I can give. You are the only human-being that always has my back even when we disagree. You are the only person who believed in me. You always told me this growing up. "DON'T EXPECT ANYTHING FROM ANYONE AND YOU WILL NEVER BE DISAPPOINTED." I believe you always lived by that quote.

I think about you always, I talk about you non-stop, you will never be forgotten, and you will never leave my heart. I hold you so close within my heart and there will remain an empty hole forever. I pray that you will still give me guidance and walk my walk even though you aren't physically here anymore. I can't wait until I see you again and I can snuggle and kiss you and talk to you. Mommy, I hope you are enjoying heaven and eating all the desserts and peanut butter and the foods you couldn't eat the last five years. I hope you are free and having a party up in heaven with my dad. Mommy there is no better snuggle partner and no human on earth that loves me as much as you. I am going to make a body pillow of you to snuggle because I miss my snuggle partner. I cannot and will not say goodbye because I know we will be together again. I love you to the moon and back.

My mommy always told me throughout my life if something were to happen to her that I can always rely on her little brother Nicky. Like always she was right. My mommy and her brother were so close even though they were 21 years apart. They had a bond that is hard to describe but when she first got diagnosed, he was the one who drove from Jacksonville to be there at the infusions in Gainesville. They are 21 years apart, but their relationship seems as if they grew up together. My mommy is always right. When my mom got sick, this last hospital visit her little brother Nicky was the first one there by my side with her. She promised me throughout my life if something ever happened to her and I needed family to turn to her little brother Nicky, and she was 1000000% right. He was with me for weeks, days and days out. I am so blessed for him and thank goodness we still have a Trautman left that a similar but different humor and reminds me of my mommy.

God I am grateful. Thank you for giving me my mom. You must really love me because you gave me the best mom in the world. Please watch over her and bless her and keep her safe until I am with her again. I still believe this is all a horrible dream and I will see her again. Mommy, I love you to the moon and back and thank you for being the best mom anyone could ever dream and ask for I will never say good-bye because I will see you again.

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