Sunday, January 16, 2011

"In My Mother's Arms" ...a special giveaway

       It's been exactly a week since we laid my mother to rest.  I came home to a re-newed sense of being.  I'm still in the grieving process but I also realize that life moves on.  Others still need you.  It's funny how the whole process works.  One day my mother was needing me to rub her head to sooth her and then wham, she's gone.
And ya know?  I'm so happy that she's at peace.  Oh so happy.
I came home and started painting again....and again...and again.
I decided to do a "giveaway" in my mother's honour.
I think she would have loved this.
"In My Mother's Arms"
18 x 30 on heavy blocked gallery wrapped canvas

Before I get into the details of the contest I want to tell you a little about this painting.  First, I painted this to do as a very special giveaway.  Straight from me to you.  It was very emotional as you can probably tell by the painting.  The drips represent tears. I painted this to my favorite song.  "I Know You by Heart" by one of my favorite deceased artists Eva Cassidy.  I listened to the song over and over, crying most of the way.  I painted the wings larger than usual.  One of the mother's wings is large, the other is slightly clipped.  The daughter's head is in the chamber of the mother's wing representing a mother holding her child.  This is how I was held by the many people that came to love on me and hold me. The daughter is in flight, free to make her way, but the mother is there to be her guide.  The color represents the ocean.  Where my mother was happiest.
It was painted in my mother's honour and will be a special gift to whomever wins. 

Here's what I need from you!  My faithful followers.
I want you to tell me about your mother and why your mother is or was special.  (this is going to be my continuing therapy!)  I'm going to keep this going until Wednesday, January 19 at 6 p.m. CST.
I'm going to choose my favorite so get out your tissues and get goin y'all!

Have a wonderful Sunday


  1. you know....I'm not really good with words and I'm having a hard time putting into words how special my mama is......but, I have two little girls who I love with everything I have- it's hard to explain that kinda of love too. And after l I had my first, 4 1/2 years ago, it hit me....."Wow, I bet my mama loves me just as much as I love my baby." My love, appreciation, admiration, and respect grew tremendously after I had my own children.
    My Gran, my mom's mama, had a stoke in 2006 that caused right side neglect leaving her helpless. My mom took her in and did EVERYTHING for her for 3 years. My Gran ended up in hospice and passed away this time last year. During reading your blog this past month, I have thought often of what my mom and Gran went through. My gran must have been one proud mama to have raised such a caring, selfess person. and I'm sure your mom felt the same way.
    No matter who wins this contest......thanks for making us think and appreciate our moms a little extra today!

  2. It was not until my grandmother's death almost a year ago that I could put into words how special of a woman my mother truly is. My Pastor was gracious enough to do the eulogy having never met my grandmother. He spoke the words that would resonate with me for the rest of my life, something biblical that I had never much thought about in my daily living. " A tree is known by the fruit it bears" (Matthew 7:16). My obligation as her daughter is to be the woman she taught me to be, God fearing and everything that comes with the title. My mom has worked so hard to be everything that her family needs, good and bad, and I am so honored that GOD saw fit to bless me with her! She is a hug when I need it the most and a scolding, even grown, when i don;t want to hear it. More importantly, she never tried to be my friend geowing up, I have plenty of those. I always tell my kids they have plenty of friends but only me trying to be their mother. As years have passed and I am a mother, I appreciate the sacrifices and lessons. Even more importantly, I have the pleasure of being friends with a woman that never expects anything less than my best because she believes in me when I can't find the strength to believe in myself. Mothers have that way about them, they can inspire and not be anywhere near you! As death is inevitable to all of us, knowing that a mother's love can not be broken by the pains of this world gives me the utmost comfort!

  3. What do you say about a mom that sticks through it all! My story about my mom begins many years ago when i was in high school. my brother was a freshman in college, coming home for Good Friday to be with the rest of the family when he was involved in a tragic car accident. in this accident, a little girl passed away, 3 other children were in the bed of the pickup truck that he hit, and the father driving was permanently paralyzed. All of this and my brother was alone in a hospital waiting for someone to get there. When we got there, my mother didn't leave his side. At that time, i was diagnosed with a mood disorder and my mom, simultaneously, was by my side and my brother's side. we made it through that and my mom felt the Lord leading her to change jobs that she had been at for almost 10 years. She chose to take a job driving 2 hours (one way) each day. We all trusted her faith that this is what she was to do. Through that job, she was transferred around the state, and staying faithful, ended up working in the same building as my dad. Years after she had been working in the same building as my dad, my father, a month from my college graduation, began having really odd symptoms. He ended up at multiple neurologists and thought that he had Lou Gehrig's disease. After 9 months of non-diagnosis from multiple neurologists, my dad was diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder "Dystonia". He is now permanently disabled from the waist down and cannot drive anymore. My mom and family look back and realize that through her faithfulness, she is now able to drive my dad to work, be there for my brother, me, my dad and everyone else. Mom's are a special gift from God and your time with your mom is a special thing! God bless you in your time of loss, and remember what she has tought you as well as waht you can pass on from her!

  4. I love this painting! I knew they were your tears as soon as I saw it, and I knew the blue was for your Mothers love for the ocean! Your journey has taught me so much about myself and made me realize how much my own mother sacrificed for her children. My story about my Mother is very special to me, and I hold it very near to my heart. I was 10 when my dad left my mother with 6 children. I will never forget how he had a walked down the stairs with his suitcase and white shoes. Seriously? White Shoes! All of us 6 kids chased our daddy down the sidewalk all yelling "Daddy, where ya going?" We went back inside to see our poor Mom sobbing. It was very soon after that my mom put all six of us in the station wagon and moved away from our beloved hometown in north Ms to Jackson, Ms. We moved to a small apt and mom got 2 jobs to support us. When we all woke up each morning, she had 6 sets of clothes laid out, 6 lunch boxes, and six 1 dollar bills. I don't know how my mother did it, but she would knock on my door at school with a tray of cupcakes for my class continously, and did this for my other brothers and sisters too. I will never forget how my Mother took the bull by the horns and made a very bad situation to teach us all to be independent, selfless, and caring. My mom was diagnosed with Graves disease a couple of years ago, and couldn't even walk for a year. I thought she was going to die! It was then that I sat and cried about what a wonderful Mother she had been, and how scared she must have been when my Dad left. I have been following your journey and have cried with you. I can't imagine the pain you feel and this painting says it all. I would love to hang this painting above my fireplace, as the focal point of my room. I would love to see it everyday as a reminder of the love I have for my mom and to never take her for granted while I still have her. Over the years when I was at my lowest, my Mother would call me. I would always say, "Mother, how do you know when I need to talk to you?" She always chuckles, and says, "I know you better than anyone"! It is true, she knows me by heart! :) MD

  5. I like all of your angel paintings but I especially LOVE this one! This one you can tell has a special meaning just by looking at it with all the colors and brush strokes.
    My mom is the most wonderful mom EVER! She is there when you need her but will also let you live your life when you feel you are grown up enough to make decisions on your on...some how though I always end up asking her her opinion even when I think I can do it own my own. Moms just know the right answer...even when you don't want to hear it..HA! I am the youngest of three girls so my mom has pretty much perfected MOTHERHOOD! My moms mom passed away a little over a year ago. It was not until then that it really sunk in that my mom will be gone one day too. I have to cherrish every moment with her because one day she will be my angel in heaven and not my angel here on earth!!!!!
    The stockings that were in one of your post around christmas...I think that you said that your mom made those, do you have any idea where the pattern might be or do you know where I could find one? Those are the same stockings that my family has. The lady that made ours many years ago passed away and so we no longer have the pattern and my mom is wanting to find it so she can have her son-in-laws and grandsons some made.

  6. Mamas are special-- I don't think we ever really get it as children, but as mamas ourselves now, we can start to comprehend how much our mamas love us, because we know we love our babies without end--

    how special my mom is? my mom is the most special of all moms ever--- not only has she birthed me, loved me, supported me, encouraged me, grew me, taught me, and continues to do those things everyday, but she saved me---

    my senior year in high school, I was always out and about, and senior week rolled around....well being Miss School Spirit for 3 consecutive years, I was allll about the festivities--- one night, we did the senior scavenger hunt... and so I go out that night to participate--- I was tired, I had been, but it was senior week-- what did I expect? so, by the time we get home, I am not just tired, but weak-- I just couldn't walk-- so my friend goes in to get my mom--- mom threatened to get dad because she suspects that I've been doing something I was not supposed to do and once I agree, yes, go get dad, she knew somethings wasn't right, but this time my stomach is killing me-- so off we go to the ER-- we wait forever that night and finally I am seen by a doctor-- I can still remember his name, but I'll omit that--- and he examines me and says nothing is wrong-- my "lady time" of the month has just taken a toll on me with cramping, and I need to get some rest--- so we get home at 2 am and mom isn't satisfied-- she had planned to go to work that next morning, knowing I would sleep and dad would be home with me....but God told her to keep going, so she picks up the phone and calls the pediatrician at 6am at home and by the grace of God his wife hands him the phone instead of telling mom to call his office at 8....the doctor agreed to see me asap, so we go to his office.....

    I get up, get a shower and off we go--- the dr examines me and sees nothing..the only indiciation something is when the doctor hits the bottom of my feet-- I came off the table in pain, so he says I need to see an OB/GYN....another appt is made and I go home for the morning--- that afternoon, around 1, the pain has increased and my stomach is beyond pain-- we go to the next doctor's office and by this time it is hard to I am put in a wheelchair where a nurse asks me if I think I really need that chair....yes, I I see the doctor....nothing....she finds mom knows not to stop, so at this point she demands a sonogram of my, after waiting another hour or two, Julie the sonographer sees me....she starts and immediately jumps up and runs out of the is scared, I am scared, but mom's words were: I bet she had to sneeze or something....the doctor comes back and we see what is going on, my uterus is floating in blood----mom was right-- God kept her questioning until they found what was wrong--

    I remember being 17 and rushed into surgery, my minister coming to pray over my lifeless body, the pain of the gurney ride to surgery and being too weak to put myself on the operating table---
    I vividly remember those things and my moms strength and determination to take care of me... I remember...

    after exploratory surgery of a 6 inch scar up my abdomen, we were told that my spleen had ruptured 2 WEEKS before my symptoms had appeared the night of the scavenger hunt--- my spleen was the size and color of an eggplant-- and I had 2 units of blood just hanging out in my abdomen, but with my high tolderance for pain, I was able to cope, that was why they drs never found it...

    ...the dr also told mom that I had about 2 hours left, 2 hours left of my life when they got to me, that she SAVED me..
    I spent a lot of time in my mom's arms during that time and this painting totally represents a mama loving an caring for her child---doing whatever it take for her child-- that is my mama to me.

  7. Hey Mrs. Kendall, you know how much I can relate to you and what exactly this painting means to me. Although I did not personally know your mom I knew you and there is a part of every woman's mother that radiates through her personality. I am so sorry about your loss and have been thinking about you ever since I heard word. You know she is with my mom now and they are watching over us both. :')

    To tell YOU about MY mom would be silly since you are the one who knew her more than I did, in a sense. But I will tell you that she was a mom who was my biggest cheerleader and source of hope. While she went through so much pain and endured much physical hardship over the 14 year battle with cancer, she never ceased to shine. She loved life and food and the beach and especially her friends. Oh the times when she got gifts from you and how she treasured them and would remind us all of how fun you are and the crazy things you two did together growing up. My favorite is the picture she had of the two of you when she was on your back and you wrote, "You can always ride on my back." Or something to that extent and I was just in awe of the bond between you two. She adored you and it is hard to believe that she is really gone.

    As the tears stream down its like having streams flowing through the desert of my emotions. I try to resist going to the place where I find mom because it is hard to deal with the fact that no more memories can be made and all the moments in my life that she will miss. Yet in the pool of tears I can see a reflection of her beautiful face encouraging me to press on. She would want me to live my life for Christ and run the race knowing that I will see her again one day! That is what gives me the strength to smile each day and to not be angry at God for taking her away so soon, before I could really get to know her the way I wanted to.

    Thank you for the opportunity to talk about my mom again and for using your talent to bring healing through your artwork. May we all who grieve not grieve as though we have no hope for we as believers know that we will see our loved ones again and through Christ Jesus our Lord we will have a glorious reunion. All my love to you Kendall!! -Caroline Blair

  8. clearly Caroline should win-I am guessing this is Becky's daughter (wow! her words): but I wont pass up an opportunity to tell you about my wonderful mother.
    My mom is strong, courageous, independent, self motivated, beautiful and pure awesome. She became a mother at the tender age of 19 and has put herself last ever since. She has made huge sacrifices for our family. She was a single mother and worked two jobs to support my brother and I. When she came home there was still supper to be cooked, clothes to be washed, bills to sort through (which she did) but I remember her always always playing with us. She had a massive resource of energy... we would play candyland-monopoly-yahtzee-or scrabble. She read me a story every night and when I was too scared to sleep in my own bed she would always let me crawl in with her. She set our boundaries as kids and allowed us to explore life within reason. I am sure she had dreams of her own but she always chose to put us first. She is just what a mother should be: there to correct you when you are wrong-the first to support you when you are right-always there to be your biggest fan-picks you up when you fall- and wraps you in her arms when you need to cry. She has shown me how to fly, grounded me with roots of heavenly wisdom and showered me with love to grow. She has taught me that the best things in life do not come with a price tag but better yet priceless moments. You do see how precious your mother is when you become a mother and life takes its course of full circle. God is good to give us the gifts of mothers and motherhood.

  9. I'm not very good with words, but I'm gonna try. My mom is 73 years old she had 4 kids and I'm the baby, her and my dad were 53 years. My mom has always been there for her family and her has always been unconditional. Oh I forgot to tell ya her parents were married 75 years. I just think that's just so sweet because you just don't here of that very often. My grandaddy passed away in Oct 2009 he was 94. Anyway my mom has taken care of her family even when times were tough and believe you me there were plenty of those, but she alwsays made everything seem like it was ok. Mom had polio as a child (one leg is shorter than the other) she also has RA, and over the years her health has not been the best. In 2009 we lost my dad to cancer, I guess I know now how you felt painting this picture as the tears are flowing as I type. My dad had battled his cancer for a few years and was winning that battle until we received the devestating new that my oldest sister, Sondra, was diagnosed with ALS/Lou Gehrigs Dz. If you don't know what that is the best way to tell you is basically she was handed a death sentence, I do mean a horrible death. So here's my mom dealing with my dad's cancer then her first born tell her this horrible news. They say the Lord want put more on you than you can handle, well my dad just couldn't stand seeing sister girl (that's what he called her) by the she was confined to a wheelchair my daddy gave up on life. My mom litterally had her sister, brother in law and the preacher come over and help her load dad in the car so she could take him to his treatment. I'm sure she knew in her heart daddy was giving up, until you've ever experience ALS I don't you'll understand the devestation this Dz causes, it's awful. Anyway dad went for his treatment and died the next night. My mom was had lost her best friend, her everything. Ok so we deal with the loss of dad then 7 months later sister girl died, she had two beautiful daughters ages 20 and 24, 2 great grandbabies. So hear is mom, she's lost her husband of 53 years and her frist born child age 50 within 7 months. It's been rough on my mother, but yet she's held in there and taken charge of life the way she always has, yet things will never be the same. She's such a good person who in the last 2 years has had a lot to deal with, but yet she's still here loving her kids, grandkids and greats, the way she always has. To love God first and formost and be thankful for everything we have. Most of all love unconditionally. Sincerely Belinda Quebedeaux

  10. First off I love your paints more than I can even properly express. They are beautiful beyond belief.
    My Mother, is the most amazing women in the world. She is my best friend, my biggest advocate, everything. While pregnant with me she was unbelievably sick every day but that did not stop her from making it through work everyday baking me and getting my father through flight school. As an infant I was sick and she fought to find out why. She finally got some relief and my dad up and left her with a toddler and pregnant. How my mother handled it all I will never know. And now she stands firm as always trying to help my brother fight off addiction. Driving hours weekly to attend therapy sessions and provide support all while suffering from an awful connective tissue disease. She is an amazing women, that I love more than words can properly express.
    As I plan the nursery of her second grandchild, my second baby, I can't help but wish for one of your pieces to display the tradition of my mother's unflattering love as it gets passed to another generation.
    You will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers and you gain daily peace over the loose of your mother. I only hope that we are as blessed as you for many long wonderful years of memories.
    Sincerely, Lee Anne Holman

  11. Mimi, Mamaw, Momma, Mommy, Mother, Mom... no matter what you call(ed) your grandmothers and mother it is a very special name for a very special relationship. Mom's are like none other. I cannot write about my very personal feelings, but I have enjoyed thinking about them and reflecting on memories we share. When my daughter calls me Momma I absolutely melt. Thanks for sharing your blog and your gifts with us. You remind us to cherish our mothers while we can. I just wish we didn't live so far from each other....

  12. What a beautiful painting and what it represents..I've been following your blog for a while now, and I'm truly sorry for your loss. It has made me truly reflect on my mom. While I'm still young, and I feel like my mom is still pretty young herself too, it still reminds me that everyday is a gift and to never take her presence here for granted. My mom is diabetic and this past year as been a little tough. Now, she's not sick and she's definitely not as bad off as many others living with diabetes, But she's been more tired, and more depressed than I've ever seen her in my entire life. Her meds have been out of whack and this has caused a lot of the stress in her life. This has caused me a few nights of tears and worry for my mother like I've never experienced. The thing about my mom is, that she is the worrier...for my entire family. She is the rock and the center of my family. She's my best friend, and the person I call first with good news, bad news, venting news, any news at all. She puts others feelings and needs before her own, especially mine. I know there are alot of great mom's out there, but I honestly can't imagine one better than my own.
    This past year was a true test, because I've never seen my mom like this. However in just the few weeks of the new year, she's gotten her med's straightened out and I can definitely tell a difference. I plan on making sure the she stays just this way for many many many years to come in any way that I can.
    This painting reminds me of all the years that my mom has taken care of me, more than she had to, and now that I am older, I can give back to her just a little of what she's given me.
    Thanks for sharing your mom with your blog readers and your beautiful artwork!

  13. Wow! This is going to be super hard. There are so many wonderful things about my mother. By the way, I'm so sorry about the loss of your mother. You and your family are in my prayers constantly. I pray peace for your sweet soul, Mrs. Kendall. My mother is my very best friend in this world. I call her when I need to tell her anything, whether it be good or bad. I can talk to her about anything, and she's almost 100% honest. Her mother was always controlling over her, and she promised to never be that way with me. She simply "loved me through" the typical teenage girl problems and we hardly ever argued. She would give anybody the shirt off of her back and she never worries. If she does, she does a good job of not showing it. She isn't girly-girl material, so I can also enjoy sports with her as well. I love her with all of my heart. I can't imagine anything more wonderful. She's always let me make my own decisions and never tried to control what she thinks I need to do. She will let me make a few mistakes, but is right there with me if I do fall. She's such a kind hearted soul and a wonderful Christian influence. Thank you for sharing this beautiful artwork. I love your blog always!!!

  14. This is from me, Kendall! Thank you for all of your beautiful comments! This was sent to me from a good friend and wonderful fellow artist. Just had to share....(hope you don't mind Mike!)

    Hey, Kendall,

    Since you are collecting Mom stories, I thought I would send mine.

    When I was born, in October of 1945, I was almost 3 months early and weighed 3 lbs., 3 oz. With today’s medicine, smaller babies routinely survive. But, at that time, I was considered a “lost cause” by the doctors who told my Mom that I probably wouldn’t live more than a couple of days. I was too weak to nurse and not developed enough to survive outside of a hospital incubator. Further, it was the end of the war, and hospital resources were stretched very thin. They told her that they couldn’t devote much time to me. They needed to tend to patients with a better chance of survival.

    My Mom listened to what they said but then announced that she wasn’t giving up without a fight. She asked them for a breast pump and an eye dropper from a medicine bottle. She pumped the milk herself and fed me with the eye dropper while I spent the first three months of my life in an incubator. Obviously it worked. But, her fierce determination to save her “lost cause” baby is the only reason that I am alive today to tell this story.


  15. Mike - what a precious Mother you have!
    Kendall - you are so unselfish in giving in honor of your Mother! Bless your heart & soul, I will keep you in my prayers as your are grieving & celebrating your Mother's life!
    My Mother has always been there for me, always coming to every event I had at school, always there when I had a tummy bug, always there when I need a Nana to watch my kids so I can work, so unselfishly & always giving. When she had her knees replaced, she was waking up asking if I was ok & did I need anything to eat at the hospital. I spent the night after her surgery & she kept waking up asking if I was comfy & did I need her to scoot over so we could share her hospital bed. I love my Mother so very much & I just pray that she knows everytime I tell her how very much I mean it.

  16. First of all, I absolutely LOVE this says it all about a mother's love. I can so relate to the analogy of the arms, tears and how therapeutic for you to have painted this after the death of your Mom. I admire you for this.My Mom will soon be 88 on the 31st of this month. She has several health issues but the saddest is her inability to speak due to a stroke/dementia. She tries but the words do not come out, but her eyes tell the real story of her love. She will always be my Mom and my best friend. We have always had a close relationship and she has always been there for me. She was such an emotional support for me during the illness and untimely death of our oldest daughter Staci at age 26 due to cancer. Staci had a great love for angels and even collected them. She taught us all so much about angels, life and death. Thru all of this I realized so much about life, death and the love between mother and daughter. Now the roles are reversed and I do all I can to be there for my Mom even though we are 200 miles away. I thank God for all the many spoken words we have shared and for all the many things she has taught me, especially on being a Mother. May God bless you and be with you on this journey we call Grief.

  17. As a 9 year old girl, I watched my mother drive away in her white Ford Escort. She was heading for freedom. Freedom from my father, who even on his best days, has the tendency to drive people crazy. I watched her car drive over the hill, and I sat confused, sad, and lonely. What I didn’t know then, that I’ve since learned, is that when God closes a door, another opens, and it all works according to his plan, not mine. I’m not suggesting that God made my mother leave and am in no way casting blame or anger on Him. I’m simply suggesting that sometimes the absence of a mother can be just as strong as the presence of one. Let me explain.
    While most other children I grew up with went shopping with their mothers, I was at home learning how to cut the grass with my dad. When my close friends were going to get their nails done with their mothers, my dad was teaching me how to dribble a basketball. When other children were having mommy-daughter day at the movies and ice cream shop, I was learning from my dad how to be an independent woman. I’m not stating that the other children I speak of were not learning these things, but I’m guessing that I learned it a little quicker, a little harder, and probably differently than most girls my age. They spent a vast majority of their time with their mothers, and I spent mine with my dad, learning how to be strong in mind, resilient, and independent.
    Another blessing that came with my mother’s absence is that I had a wonderful “stand-in” mom, who today I call my best friend. In my sixth grade year, as a 12 year old, Pem Helms, unknowingly took on the role of my mother. She helped me with homework, allowed me to spend the night, took me for ice cream, listened to me, etc. In short, she did the things I was not able to do with my birth mother, who had since moved to New Orleans. In the years following 6th grade, Pem continued to play a huge part in my world. I cannot thank her enough for all of the things she has done, and is continuing to do to this day. As of today, our relationship as evolved to friendship, rather than a mother-daughter role. Please know that I am not slamming my mother, nor am I throwing a pity party.
    Quite the contrary, actually. I am blessed because of the absence of my birth mother for the better part of my childhood, because I learned not to take people for granted, I learned how to love, and I learned that sometimes things don’t always work like you think they are supposed to, but it’s life and if you miss the pain, you just might miss the dance too. But I am also blessed because a wonderful woman, Pem, took it upon herself to protect me, teach me, and love me. Pretty special, huh?

    Jen Cherry

  18. Kendall,
    What a beautiful way to honor your mother; she was a sweet, sweet lady!
    My mother is one of the strongest women I know. When she a very young woman of 22, she and my father lost their first child in an automobile accident. My younger sister and I were born 2 and 3 years later. At age 30, she lost her mother in what was to be a minor surgical procedure. Years later, less than a week after her father's death, my younger sister was killed in a car accident at the age of 15. Through all this tragedy, my mother is always the one that tries to take care of everyone else, the rock for my daddy and for me. She taught school for many years and loved all her students and did so much for them, setting a wonderful example for me. I am so blessed to have such a strong lady as my mom.
    And, she taught me to love sewing at a young age and I was able to meet your mom and share that with her!) JW

  19. what a great post! this is a great way to hear wonderful stories and remind us how wonderful our mother is to us and gammy to your whole family!
    my mother is amazing. she is my rock. i can go to her for everything. in middle school...not so much! :) but now, she is the person i call during commercial breaks of the bachelor, when josh and i had our first married fight, to talk about my sisters. she is always there for me. she is an amazing woman with an amazing heart. it is very hard for me to put into words just how much i love her. i hope that one day, i will have children that love me as much as i love her. she is someone i strive to be like everyday. and, i think she looks pretty amazing for 60! :)
    love you kendall, and think about you often!

  20. and ps. she is pretty awsome b/c she let Josh and me move in for 6 months--rent free and cook for us every week...all while working!

  21. I remember doing a project in school about who my hero was...of course i picked my mom! she truly is my hero and always will be. when i was 16 she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. she is the strongest person i know. she never ever let me see her in pain. she always acted like it was no big deal and went about her life like nothing was different. however, now that i am older i know that she was in so much pain and probably really scared. i recently had a small health scare and had to have a breast mri and biopsy and just doing that scared me, but at the same time it made me realize how much my mom went through. she has been a breast cancer survivor for 12 years and i am so thankful for her and her life. i don't know what i would do with out her. i talk to her on the phone at least once a day and go to her for all kinds of advice.
    thanks for the blog post! such a good idea!
    ~ tara ross

  22. I have loved reading all the beautiful stories of everyone's mothers, how truly blessed we are. Kendall, what a special way to honor your mother and her life.

    My mother's name is Ann, she is an amazing woman who has a strength that lifts me up each day. Over the last year and a half my mom has had to face what no mother should have to endure - the fear of losing a child. That child is me and while I am not a kid anymore, I will always be my mom's little girl.

    In 2009 I was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, synovial sarcoma, and given a poor prognosis. I had two major surgeries on my spine that required me to have full time care for months. During that time, my mother never left my side. She was with me morning and night - feeding me, bathing me and nursing me slowly back to health. All the while, she was also taking care of my two young girls, who were 2 and 5 at the time. I have watched her take each blow this year with grace and unwavering faith, she is an example to all that know her - especially me. She is the most selfless person I have ever known. She has lived with us now for almost two years and given up so much of her life so that she could take care of me and my family.

    While my battle is far from over with cancer (metastasized to my lungs and bones), the one thing I can always count on is that my mom will be there. Be there to comfort me, pray with me and love me. I know that no matter what happens to me, my girls will always have the greatest mother in the world to take care of them - She's one in a million and I love her more than she will ever know.

    Kendall, I will continue to lift you and your family up in prayer as you mourn your mother's loss. May the Peace of the Lord be with you.

    Love, Montye

  23. My Mom is the oldest of three girls, 15 years her youngest sisters senior! She started "Mom in Out" at a very early age. She was great at the Mom thing, even at fifteen! During her college years she was called the "Queen of Joy", and boy is she that! While enduring her 30 something years as a Military wife, she was called "Mrs. 1", of course she was! Now during her later years, I realize that she was the FIRST to put a "smile on my heart"!!!
    The "Queen of Joy" is always Godly, loving, proper, beautiful (inside & out), energetic, pure, delightful and fashionable.
    "Mrs. 1" is always prompt, brave, appropriate, the Hostess with the Mostest, clever, talented, patriotic, tenacious, and smart!
    She was the first to comfort me, entertain me, teach me, support me, encourage me and to this day, I lean on her. Now life is making it's "full circle"! My Mom is able to lean on me. I am the proud Mom of an "amazing young lady", I know that, thanks to my Mom's legacy, I was the first to put a "smile on her heart" and that she will be the first to "smile on her childrens hearts"!!! Yay, Mom

    Kendall, such a beautiful painting, such intense emotion, praying for you and your family!

  24. I know this post is closed for the giveaway- but I still find it therapeutic to write about my mom- even though she passed away 3 years ago...My mother was a beautiful person----on the outside but even more beautiful and precious on the inside. She radiated joy that came from her love for the Lord. She had a difficult life, with family situations, unhealthy choices, a hard hard marriage- but through it all you never heard her complain once. She was constantly loving and giving and generous- even when it seemed she should be beyond depleted with all the circumstances happening in her life. She was hysterical- constantly trying to embarrass me and my brother when we were younger. She was a total goofball and loved to laugh..I can still picture the sparkle in her eyes. She loved her friends and shared Christ with them passionately. Every morning I woke up to her sitting at the coffee table, drinking her coffee and reading her bible. What a strong impression to have as a child...I hope I am able to pass the same legacy on to my daughter, and soon to be baby #2. Most of all, in the fight against cancer, as it battled and tore at her beautiful body- she remained strong and faithful. She was an example to me in so many ways- how to love God, love others and be the most amazing mother anyone could ask for. I hope that I can live up to that legacy she has left for me.