A woman who loved the Lord and my children with all her heart. When my former husband and I fell on hard times, she and her husband Jerry offered us a home. When I was pregnant with our first child and my former husband was working, she taught me how to shell peas, snap beans and tried to teach me how to sew. I still don’t know how to sew because I’m not coordinated but I still want to.
I rode with her to town to drop off projects, ferry her mother and grandmother to the Piggly Wiggly once a month and stop for her own supplies at the end of the day. She never complained or looked tired and still went home and prepared a meal for us all. She stretched food and money in a way that would make Dave Ramsey proud, skills which I wish I had learned. She told me about her life before her sons Wayne and Ken were born. How her and my former father-in-law lived in a tiny apartment and how lonely she was when he worked all day, and how the loneliness dissipated when her children came along.
She made Easter clothes every year for her grandchildren and a pan of biscuits every day. We rode out several tornado warnings together and I learned the benefits of a good attic fan and falling asleep to the smell of firewood burning in the stove. She ironed clothes, listened to the radio in the morning, and took me out for my 17th birthday to the fish house. I was a married teenager, extraordinarily immature, and oblivious to the lessons in front of me. How to turn everything over to God, ignore self, and be a good housewife. When mothering was hard and I was selfish she stepped up to the plate.
She gave back to the community, the church and her family, asking for little in return. After she fell ill, the one thing she continued to tell me was how much she missed going to church. After the divorce, we saw each other less frequently, she came to my house a few times for baby showers and birthday parties she was kind and considerate and hugged me. There were times when we didn’t agree but I choose not to dwell on those. I don’t know a single family whose lives are untouched by spats every now and then.
There are so many things I could have learned, but the one thing I did was that better people than her are hard to find, and we will all miss her smile.