I have spent several days composing this post, reflecting and crying....
My Mom passed peacefully early Friday morning, May 31, ascending into Daddy's waiting arms. While a huge hole is left in my heart, I'm comforted in knowing she is with Daddy, her beloved parents, brother and sister, who was her very best friend.
Mom was a petite cutie. She was shy, smart and stubborn, a fabulous cook, devoted to family, and loving wife, mother, daughter, sister and aunt and grandmother. She was a true homemaker in every sense of the word.
My son, Matt said she led a princess life...she never learned to drive a car... I think because Daddy tried to teach her! Sissy, her sister, and Daddy took her, where she needed to go. She never paid bills...I can count the number of checks she wrote on one hand. She never worked outside the home and in the last few years she told me she was never made to do anything she didn't want to do. Good thing she never told that to my brother or me when we were kids! She was unbelievably slow at everything, eating...meals took forever! Getting ready for a doctor visit had to begin at least 3 hours prior and even then we would be late. Daddy's patience would be stretched beyond reason, and mine too, on occasion. the more we tried to hurry her up, the slower she became..She had two speeds, slow and slower.
When Daddy met Mom in elementary school, he claimed her as his, put her on a pedestal, where she stood the rest of her days. They were married 72 years.
Mom taught me lots of things, but she didn't teach me to sew. She didn't like any part of sewing or quilting. I teased that she couldn't sew on a button, but she could, reluctantly though. She could not hem a skirt or a pair of pants, so I had to learn that myself. Mom liked to crochet and LOVED to cook. I cook like she did, because I was a good observer and remembered how her recipes smelled and tasted. One time I had to prepare a complete meal for Mother and Daddy for homemaking class, I thought she was going to have a coronary! Giving up contol of her domain nearly killed her. As a very young child I stirred the batters and licked the bowls, never getting sick from raw eggs. She handed me a butcher knife and showed me how to chop the pecans and that was my job from then on...I was probably 7 or 8. I could help her, but it was HER kitchen, her kingdom where she reigned supreme.
As her memory slipped away, her cooking skills disappeared. It was one of my great pleasures to make dinner, nearly every night, the last few years for my parents. Mom would say every meal was the best, tasted so good, and the servings all went together so well, as she rotated the fork over the plate. I'd say every meal, well it's your recipe, I cook just like you did and this is how you served it. Sadly, she couldn't remember.
Mom was salutatorian of her class and always had an incredible memory. When it left her, it took part of her along. One memory Mom didn't lose was that Rachel is expecting a baby and she talked everyday about rocking that baby.
I was priviledged to care for mom after Daddy passed. I had 3 fabulous caregivers and Matt and Steve by my side to help me day to day. Rachel gave mother something very special, HOPE, something to look forward to, a great grandchild. I thought sure mom would still be here for the birth in November. Matt's devotion to his grandmother, Miss Ma Ma, as he called her, was beautiful. Rachel and Matt had great role models in my parents and they miss them everyday.
Florence Marie Carter Reed
April 12, 1920 - May 31, 2013
A high school photo circa 1935
Matt's biggest fans...(next to Daddy)
Rachel, me and Mom after Matt pitched a no hitter to win City Championship
in the late 1990's, maybe 1996?
Mother, as a black widow spider and Matt as a cereal killer at Halloween 2012
Today, we had Mom's service.
My days are suddenly empty, but they will fill up quickly. I spent a year arranging, scheduling, worrying about her care. Caring for her was tiring, complicated, heart breaking and so, so rewarding.
I miss kissing her goodnight and getting a good morning hug as I rubbed her aching back.
Mama, I'll miss you everyday.
Goodnight, I love you.
Until next time, my best to you all.