Wednesday, June 5, 2013


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.


  1. My heart goes out to you Betsy. "Caring for her was tiring, complicated, heart breaking and so, so rewarding." So true, I am taking care of my Mom ever since my Daddy passed 5 years ago. I loose a little more or her with each passing year as her memory fades. She always sneakes in a kiss while I fasten her seat belt in my car.
    Thank you for sharing a little piece of your Mom with us. My best to you

  2. What an absolutely beautiful tribute to your mom. I'm sorry for your loss.

  3. You were privileged to grow up with wonderful parents (as I was) and you have many precious memories. My sympathy is with you at this time of sorrow, but a time that comes to all of us. That is amazing that they were married 72 years! I think my parents made it to about 65 or maybe a little more.

  4. What a lovely post and tribute to your Mother! Thankyou for sharing some of her life with us, I love the photo of the three of you together and also the one of when she was a young teenager!!!
    It's never easy to lose a parent, your world changes forever.....
    My deepest condolences to you and your family....

  5. My heart goes out to you at this difficult time. What a wonderful mother she has been to you and your family.
    The days ahead will be tough but will be sustained by beautiful memories and the love she has shared.
    Take care.

  6. My condolensence, awful to loose à parent. I've lost mine too, and just like you first my dad and my mom after taking care of her for six years. She passed away may 19th two years ago. And still Miss her tremendously. They both are in my hearth and i Carry them with me whatever i do. I wish THE Same for you, thanks for sharing some of you fond memories with us. Take care of yourself,

  7. my thoughts have been with you the past few days... I know it was a long journey with your parents care the past few years but something you would never change .
    thanks for sharing your thoughts today..

  8. Internet ((((HUGS)))) are being sent your way. We will keep you in our prayers! Your Mom sounds so sweet and kind, she will be missed I am sure, but oh what wonderful memories she has left for you and your family!

  9. This is so beautifully written, Betsy - thanks for sharing your heart. It's wonderful to read about your mom's life. I can't believe your parents were married 72 years! Wow - that is a long time with so many great memories. Still sending you hugs and prayers.

  10. That was a lovely tribute to your mother Betsy. What lovely memories you will have! Enjoy that grand baby when he/she comes!

  11. Your post is such a beautiful tribute to your mother, she must have been a wonderful lady, I wish I had known her. Many hugs to you and all your family.

  12. OH Betsy, I am so sorry for your loss. You are such a wonderful caregiver, and I love how much you love your mom!! (Julie from the hospital)

  13. Tears come to my eyes as I read your loving tribute to your mom. God bless you all. Yesterday would have been my mom's (107)birthday and the roses are blooming right on time to celebrate it. We took care of her for 9 years until she passed away in 1997 at 91. Despite the work, it is such a privilege to be able to take care of our parents when they need us so much. I miss her every day. My sympathy and prayers are yours at this sad time.

  14. Betsy, your tribute to your mom is beautiful and you chose photos that convey what a fun and lively woman she must have been. I am sorry your time with her on earth is over but she must have been wonderful since you loved her so much. My mom passed away nearly 8 years ago and I often find myself wishing I still had her around. No one loves us and accepts us like our mothers. Bless you and your family.

  15. As your Mom has blessed you, you have blessed us with sharing your tribute and memories of her. Thank you! Praying for comfort for your family.. Remember.. Love is forever!

  16. You have written a beautiful tribute to your mom, thank you for sharing it with us. I pray all your precious memories bring you peace and happiness.

  17. Thank you, for inviting all of us in this world that will be to read your beautiful tribute. Thank you, for inviting us all to send prayers and become a part of your healing.

    Life will never be the same. One huge part of your life has closed its door. Breathe deeply and take a break. Because life is about to open another door. And I hope you dig really deep to find the good that can carry you into something different and special - another blessing God has in store for you. Above all else - fight to carry faith in Him and depend on Him, as you step to the other side of this abyss, and realize for that very first time... you thought of her and the tears fall. But the smile came first! You'll make it. Hang in there and know souls are praying for you and your family.

  18. I am so very sorry for your loss. I got so choked up reading your loving tribute to your mother. Please know I am saying prayers for you that the God of all comfort will be by your side throughout the coming days.

  19. Betsy, I am so sorry for your loss and know exactly how you feel. I lost my mother 3 1/2 years ago. I still miss her today. She was a star in the kitchen also and blessed so many people by sharing food at the table. May God comfort and strengthen you in the coming days. What a blessing to have been able to be there for her in her last days. Your tribute is beautiful and a blessing for us to read!

  20. You were so blessed to have her in your life and she was doubly blessed to have you in hers! If every parent had a child like you to love them and care for them as they grow older, we'd all be in a much better place!

  21. Dear Betsy, I was so sorry to hear about your mum. You can be incredibly proud of the care you gave her during her last few years. I remember that "space" from when my mum died, but you too will fill it with her memories. Love and prayers. Anne Burrows

  22. Your mom was fortunate that she had a lot of loving caregivers by her side. I'm sure that she felt all your love while she was alive. I must also say that you did a great job in raising your kids; it shows in their attitude. With strong family ties like that, you can be assured that you'll grow old well and fine.

    -Heal at Home Care

  23. Hi Betsy, you and your family continue to be in my thoughts. Also to comment about the loving tribute to your Mom is beautiful and hope when the day comes, I will be able to do as well. You touched many hearts

  24. This is my first visit to your blog, and what a beautiful tribute to your Mother. With time, it will be easier, but you will never stop missing her. I hope you will pick up your sewing and find comfort in it. May God Bless you each day.

  25. What a beautiful tribute to your mom. You have my heartfelt sympathy for your loss.

  26. Hi Betsy! What a wonderful "story" of an amazing woman! Thanks you for sharing it with us!

    Blessings to you and your family as I know that only God can fill the hole left by the passing of our loved ones!

  27. Oh my, I was deeply moved with your story. You really had a wonderful and sweet mom. I know it really hurts losing someone you love but just hang on. I believe, wherever she is right now, she is happy for living the life she has wanted, with you as her family.

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