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Every day's Mother's Day for this live-in grandma

May 14, 2001|By DORA DEPAOLI, Staff Writer
  • Adam Cato (above left), 11, plays his violin for grandmother Joy McBroom, 64, who's holding her dog, Bitsy. Relaxing by the poolside of their Brawley home, Adam and McBroom spend a peaceful afternoon together. McBroom lives in the home of her daughter and son-in-law and Adam's mom and dad, Dee Cato and Jack Cato. KEVIN MARTY PHOTO

BRAWLEY — How many women are invited to live with their daughter's family by their son-in-law?

That is what happened to Joy McBroom. Ten years ago Jack Cato, her daughter Dee's husband, insisted on having McBroom move into their home.

"It was for selfish reasons," said Jack. "Dee was always at her house. They have such a friendship besides their mother/daughter relationship. Joy is very good at lifting me up when I think I can't do something … and our whole family shares our faith together."

"Having my mother live with us is ideal," said Dee. "My husband loves her and she is here for our son, Adam, 11. Her room is right next to his."

McBroom recently retired after working at C Share Computers in Brawley for many years.

"I thought I could help more at home, and I think they need new blood at work," said McBroom. "I loved the young men I worked with, but I think their business will be blessed and they will go on and do bigger and better things."


Her former employer, Donald Cady, praised McBroom.

"She really made this business go for years," Cady said. "She was like our mom here. She was truly a motivating force and she knows how business works. She kept all of us and our customers in line. She did what she was supposed to do to make everything run smoothly.

"But she was always a mother to her kids first, before anything else," Cady said. "When they have situations that require a mother's attention, that is where her attention always is."

McBroom, 64, was a stay-at-home mother when her three children were growing up. Her son Mark lives in Calipatria and her son Matt lives in Imperial.

"She was always there when we got home from school and she was always listening," Dee said. "When I got home late from activities in high school we always talked. She didn't always agree with everything I did. A couple of times she let me fall and then she would pick me up. You have to do that with your children.

"She has always been my best friend. There was never a time that she wasn't. She is very, very intuitive. She has amazing intuition. I think it is one of her gifts. A lot of people seek her out."

The two women spend much of their free time together. They go on almost daily walks and often watch television together in McBroom's room. McBroom is in charge of cooking and Dee does the baking. The women clean house together.

"I have always had a bond with Dee," McBroom said. "We both had a difficult time when we lived away from each other for a few years. God blessed Dee with a wonderful husband. He is such a good man, very low key. He is very respectful and kind to me. It is just a pleasure to live with them. They always include me in everything."

McBroom enjoys all her grandchildren: Mallory and Marshal McBroom in Calipatria, Joshua Oldfield in Texas and Adam.

"They are very loving grandchildren," McBroom said. "They are absolutely wonderful and unique. I have just been so blessed."

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