Daughter Shares Story of Love for Her “Magical” Mother on “Remember Me”
In this week’s special installment of the Remember Me podcast in partnership with the 10th anniversary of AFTD’s With Love campaign, Kimberly Sullivan Chu shared her story of love about the “sunshine” of her life, her late mother, Linda Sullivan.
Chu talked with co-hosts Maria Beer Kent Beers and Rachael Martinez about her mother’s life amid FTD and who she remembered her to be in the episode entitled “With Love: Linda & Kim.”
“She was bone-deep happy. She was sunshine, through and through,” Chu said during the conversation. “She had a laugh that had everyone in stitches.”
Laughter was one medicine that Sullivan served to her children during their times of need. Chu recalled a moment in her childhood when her mother knew she needed a laugh while Chu recovered from back surgery due to her scoliosis.
“She worked it out with some of my friends, got them all together as a surprise to me, and they all showed up dressed in elaborate costumes,” Chu remembered affectionately. “They all showed up just to make me laugh and I knew she was in on it because she knew I needed to laugh.”
Chu shared memories of her early adolescence when she began to take note of the early warning signs of her mother’s FTD symptoms — such as erratic moments of explosive behavior — but Sullivan wasn’t diagnosed until she was 56. Sullivan died on August 28, 2020, 10 years after her diagnosis.
Chu fondly shared how “warm and present” her mother was during her upbringing. Despite bearing the stresses of her husband’s declining health due to congestive heart failure, Sullivan did whatever she could to create joy for Chu and her brother. Chu proudly said that “that’s something [she] strives to be as a mom,” adding that she aspires to turn “little moments into magic” for her children, just like her mother did for her and brother.
“She would drizzle maple syrup and chocolate sauce in the snow in all kinds of designs for us to lick up. That is one of my fondest memories of my mom,” Chu shared. “She made things so extraordinary.”
Remember Me will release special With Love-themed episodes each Monday in February. The podcast is available on all major podcasting platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and more.
To support Kimberly Sullivan Chu’s With Love fundraiser in honor of her mother, click here.
Visit the With Love homepage to learn how you can participate.