Sunday, January 9, 2011

"My Mom's Tribute"

You know people die everyday.  Well, of course they do that is an obvious statement.  And they are buried everyday.  That too is an obvious statement. 
Why is this day any different than any other?
It's not, it's just that it's my turn to honor and bury my mother.
I know so many of you have been in my shoes.

You know, when I was little I use to worry all the time that my parents wouldn't come home.  That they would be killed in some tragic car accident.   I don't know why but at times when they would go out to a party I would be so worried that I'd cry myself to sleep.
...but that's probably for another therapy session.
I know those of you who are at my age are going through the same thing that my family has gone through right now.  Some much, much worse than what we've gone through with mom and I'm so sorry for you.  I feel like I've been a bit self absorbed lately in my own problems to check on all of my friends and their struggles and life situations.

Today we lay my mother to rest.
A beautiful, now perfectly healed body.
This has been a long, trying ride for my whole family.  But funny how we weren't [assigned] parts to contribute, we just took them on instinctively knowing what the other needed.
Kim, my mom's main caretaker
Jack, quiet sitter and comforter
Clay, the baby of the family, comforter to everyone and the helpful healer,,,well spoken with his knowledge of medicine.
Our wonderful spouses, "W" who has been my rock, Val and Mary who have been ALL of our rocks.
And our children. Amazing to all of us how they have picked up the ball and run with it knowing that "we" their parents needed that support....the tradition continues
Then there are friends who have been there through thick and thin.
Then there's me.
As I'm typing, I'm remembering little things about my mom.
Tears are hitting the computer keyboard while everyone around me sleeps peacefully.
My mom was the most selfless person I've ever known.  Seriously, to an irritating point.
She never felt worthy of praise.
She deserved praise more than anyone I've ever known.
Her main love was sewing as some of you know.  She was so obsessive about it.  As her rheumatoid arthritis got worse I would watch as her crumpled hands would maneuver their way around a needle.  As time went on and she moved to Birmingham (even up until the very end) she talked about the hundreds of cut out clothes that she needed to finish (and had planned to!)  She couldn't wait.  As my friend Ken so poignantly said to me in a message yesterday "mom is probably teaching Becky some smocking tips up there in Heaven right now."
These are just a smidgen of her handiwork.  She probably has oh,,,150 more outfits that her grandchildren have worn and that will be passed down to her great grandchildren.  And probably 100 more that are neatly packaged waiting to be finished.
She was always so proud to parade each and every one of her grandchildren at "The Club" for Easter hearing the many ooh's and aah's.

My mom was a simple woman.  Never complained, never said a mean word about anyone (well unless they said something about one of her kids or grand kids) then watch out....the tiger was outta the cage.
She was a "chocolate chip" mom.  One that had those warm gooey cookies waiting when we got home from school.
But,,,as simple as she was, she never realized the gifts she had....or the ones that she passed on for us to remember.
She loved the beach. 
 And had said really up until the very end how she wanted to go back.  She loved the peacefulness of the water and the soft, salty air blowing in her face.  She loved to dig her feet in the sand and play with her children and grandchildren building sandcastles.  We have some fond videos of all of us kids on the beach (when you could have a fire) roasting marshmallows.
I learned to swim in the ocean.
She was a tough cookie and wanted no wimps.
After a few swimming lessons she tossed me off a pier into the ocean and said swim.  She wanted us to learn our own way.  There to catch me in case I looked like I was gonna drown mind you.
Perfect.  Just simply perfect.
Today I leave you with my tribute to my mom.
Thank you for your support, thank you for reading, thank you for all of the messages (FB and others) and thank you for being my friend.
You guys have been my therapy through this and my other rock!
Have a wonderful Sunday y'all


  1. Lovely. My thoughts are with you and your family today, Kendall.

  2. Beautiful! She obviously taught all of you well. Peace to you.

  3. She not only taught you all well, but lived long enough to see each of you take it to another level. You are all so talented, kind and instictively know how to stick together and pick up the slack where each of you are best suited! What a legacy! Praying and thinking of you and yours.

  4. Love you much, see you soon.

  5. Kendall, I don't remember how I found your blog but have been reading it for a while now. I lost my grandmother exactly a year ago from your mom's passing, and we buried her exactly a year ago today. I just wanted to reach out and tell you how very sorry I am for your family's loss - I will be praying for you all! It sounds like your mom was a very lucky lady to have you all as her children/grandchildren/great-grandchildren!

    Love from Spring Hill, Tennessee (from a Brentwood HS grad - class of '99)


  6. Your words and your pictures tell a lovely story of a special woman and her children. God bless. A2

  7. I've been reader of yours for a while as well as a great admirer of your work. Just wanted you to know that I am thinking of you yours during this time. You mother seems like a very special woman.
    Grace & Peace,
    Molly R

  8. So sorry we aren't with you today's 3:10 pm EST here in NC so I know the 2:00 service is going on for your mom. WOW...was she talented. NOW I know where all YOUR sewing talents came from!! Not sure how I missed all that!! I am writing this, I guess I do remember the outfits your mom made for your children....back in the day of our simple and most precious memorable times on Longview Dr. and around the corner:)) Your mom was a beautiful lady! AND what beautiful heirlooms AND talents you have received from her. Jordan is carrying on some of those as they were passed from Mrs. Callaway to you and onto your children:) Probably Gregory and Callen too...I can see Jordan's in her blog:) Praying for you all as you move love, konie and ken

  9. What a beautiful tribute to your Mom, and it's wonderful that you can cherish her gorgeous handiwork forever. I cried as I read your writing, God Bless and Peace in your heart!

  10. This is a beautiful, poignant tribute to your gorgeous mother Kendall.
    She was obviously as talented and sweet as she was loved.
    I am so sorry for your loss.


  11. Beautiful. And was a gift to have those special handmade clothes in her memory!