Everything Southern & So Cotton Pickin Cute

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Family, Friends and a Video of Love

Warning:  This is a long post.

This summer has been all about family.  Having my sister and nephew in town for 2 months has been such a blessing.  Laughing and sharing after not getting to see each other for a few years has been so much fun.  Her daughter and my great niece and 2 great nephews also came to visit for more than a week.  Having so much family around is so unusual and fun for us. 

With the sadness of them leaving, a new blessing comes to replace it.  My son and daughter-in-law are moving back to town from N.Y. with our grandchildren.  We haven't seen them in 4 years.  This is such a joy for us.  The thought of getting to share in my grandchildren's life in a bigger way means so much.  I'm so excited about the milestones we'll be able to be apart of.  God is good!  I feel like he has a plan that he is working in my life.  His plan has been laid out and timing is everything.  Time seems very important suddenly.

Earlier this week Traci @ Beneath My Heart  posted this video of her son Jonathan singing at the Kentucky Opry.  Jonathan is such a fresh young talent with a wonderful love for the Lord, not to mention a cutie.  I've enjoyed watching him grow and develop this wonderful gift he's been given. 

I had already planned on posting about the most precious gift I received from a childhood friend that I hadn't seen in years.  More on that after the video.  The reason Jonathan's video touched me so much is because it was the song we chose to have played at my sweet mama's funeral.  It was her favorite hymn.  I had tears when I heard Jonathan's version of it.  I hope you enjoy it as much I do.

Beautiful isn't it?  I want to thank Traci and Jonathan for allowing me to share it with you.  Click here to visit Traci @ Beneath My Heart to hear more of Jonathan's music or read about all the exciting diy projects that Traci and her husband Cy are up to.

Now back to that wonderful gift I received........

Growing up in a very small town, we were lucky to have wonderful neighbors.  Patty was only a year older than me and her mother owned the local dinner two doors down. 
Two peas in a pod - we spent so much time together it felt like we were sisters. I think I was 15 and Patty was 16 then.

Their house was practically in our back yard too.  Patty's family was very different than mine.  For starters, she came from a big family and had lots of brothers and sisters. Five brothers and sisters to be exact.  Our family was made up of a stay at home mom, daddy, Joni and me.  Her mother Ann not only raised her own 6 children but also raised 2 step-children before her own were born.   
Doesn't Ann Have a beautiful smile. I'm happy that I have memories of her like this one where we're celebrating her birthday at the diner.

When we were about 14 a close friend of Ann and my mom's died from cancer.  Marie who had two young teenage sons, one of whom was my age and the other a little older, had been widowed only a few years earlier. To make a long, tragic story shorter, Ann took these two boys to raise as well.  Not long afterward her own husband passed away.  She was left with 8 children to raise.  To this day, I'll never understand how she did it.  She was the hardest working woman I know.  And believe me when I say that she raised her family right.  These were no latch key kids.  They all pulled together and worked  together.  She was organized and knew where they were and what they were doing.  They all turned out great.

When my own mother passed I was the first words to my son was run to the dinner and get Ann.  She wasn't there, she was shopping for the dinner but just as soon as she returned you can bet she was at our house taking charge.  I literally don't know what Daddy, Joni and I would have done without her and her girls.  They all came with paper plates, cups, napkins, plastic wear, coffee pots, tea and so much food.  They cleaned, greeted guest with us and cared for us in every way possible.  I wish everyone had friends like that. 
After mama's funeral, Joni and I wanted her to have the last needlepoint mama worked on. We had it stretched and framed and gave it to her. She hung mama's picture in the dinner for years afterward.

God Bless Ann, she went home to our heavenly father a couple of months ago.  She spent 26 years here on earth after my mom died and she worked and keep going strong up until this last year.  That brings me to why my sweet childhood girlfriend stopped by to see me......

I heard a knock on the door and someones voice when Neil answered it.  You can imagine my surprise to see Patty standing there.  It felt so good to see her smile and hug her again.  Then she said I have something for you.
It was mama's needlepoint.  She asked if I'd like to have it, as my heart began to swell and tears filled my eyes.  What a treasure after all this time.  I've often wished I had a needlepoint or an afghan that she'd made, now I'm proud to say I do.

Patty, her husband Freddie, Neil and I had a wonderful visit and at least for me it felt like no time had passed at all since I'd seen them.

I've been missing mama a lot lately.  It came to me, that this year marks 26 years that she's been gone.  I only got to spend 26 years with her on this earth.  It hurts to think that this year marks the fact that I've been without her as long as I ever spent with her, and even worse, next year with be that turning point of being alive more years than I knew her.  That same mark will come next March for the time I spent with daddy.  I'm grateful for those years but also sad that they weren't here long.

Today Joni and took a trip down memory lane.  We went to the cemetary where sweet Nadine, my mother-in-law was laid to rest back in January.  Joni loved her and was sad that she missed her funeral.  Nadine felt the same about her and always bragged about how much she loved her. 

After that we headed to our maternal grandparents cemetary to visit their gravesites.  We drove past their old house on the way back to our old home town, laughing and remembering landmarks along the way.  Oh' how many times we drove that road. 

We finally made it home where we visited mama and daddy's graves.  We walked through the cemetary visiting our paternal grandma and friends from long ago.  Walking, talking and sharing stories.  It was a peaceful afternoon. 

Before heading home we made our last stop at visit Patty and Freddie's house.  It was such a nice visit.  I don't think I'll be forgetting this day.  I'll probably remember it with a smile for the rest of my life.

Wishing you all the blessings of family and friends,
OX's...Tracy ♥ I told you it'd be a long post :)


  1. What an incredible story. Such sweet memories

  2. Precious post. Precious Memories.
    Thank you for adding Jonathan's song to your post. I consider it a great honor.