I made it through my three day work week. We got back into town Monday night and my cousin and aunt were gracious enough to let me stay home on Tuesday to "put myself together" before returning to work. The weekend is here and I want nothing more than to hibernate in my house, catch up on my rest and reflect back over the past week. Last week was one of the hardest weeks of my life as we, as a family, paid tribute to Patricia Ann and laid her body to rest at the DFW National Cemetery. As I said in an earlier post, she had a very touching memorial service last Saturday. In today's mail I received my copy of the taping of the service. Thank you Steve for getting me a copy so quickly.
In this blog and ones to follow (as I have time), I want to share the testimonies from other family members. I want to get them documented in writing so those that were not able to attend the service can read the beautiful tributes to our Patricia, mom, grandma and grammy. I also want them in writing for Kim P.
This blog post will be what Patti wanted to share:
Most of you here know my mom and some of you did not know her at all. I'd like to tell you some stories about mom and tell you some things about her that you probably did not know. Mom was a big baby, 10 lbs 12 oz. She could whistle. She grew up on a farm which always fascinated me. I would beg her to tell me stories about the farm. And one day she was talking about calling the cows. "How did you call the calls?" I said. "I whistled for them" mom said, and then she whistled. Scared me to death! It was not a melodious whistle, it was more a sound a 300 pound football coach would make. I just stared at her. That loud whistle coming from this soft spoken quiet woman. Many times after that I would ask her to whistle for me and sometimes she would indulge me if I pestered her enough. Mom had a speech impediment because of a hearing loss. She was ridiculed as a child and was very self conscience about it. When she was a freshman in high school there was a senior who showed her kindness and did not even seem to notice her speech. Of course that senior was her future husband, Buddy, who realized the first time he saw her that she was the most beautiful person in the world and she was perfect in every way. Because of what my mom suffered when she was young and because of the kindness and acceptance dad showed her, she was always sensitive to children who were hurt by others or didn't quite fit in. People would just gravitate toward mom because she would look past their flaws and loved them just the way they were. Her grandchildren have said the only time they ever saw her get mad was when they called someone names or made fun of someone. Caleb said that she only got mad at him one time because he made fun of the appearance of one of his cousins. He said he apologized all day to grandma and his cousin!
Mom was very intelligent. It made me mad because she was texting long before I finally figured it out. She skipped a grade in elementary school and she graduated valedictorian. Mom taught us how to love children and others. She showed us what a joy children were and how to appreciate them. My parents were foster parents for many years and the whole family would get so excited when we got a new foster child. We had so much fun with them. At one time I had three little girls sharing my room. My little sister and two foster sisters and I don't ever remember resenting sharing my room! I just thought it was fun to take care of these cute little girls. I'm talking about the foster girls, not my sister !! And I was a teenager! It was amazing to see the transformation of many of these children, sometimes within days because they experienced the love of Christ through my mother.
Mom, she always had fun and she made things fun. When we were young, we would go once a month to a big warehouse grocery store. All of us kids, we looked so forward to going. We were given a nickle to get a coke out of the machine and then we would have a great time "helping" mom shop. Sometimes all four of us older kids would hang on the shopping cart and sometimes we would get our own shopping cart and push each other around. We thought we were so smart when we "fooled" mom and slipped a bag of cookies or Captain Crunch cereal into the cart. She would be so shocked to see them in the cart and would wonder out loud how they got there! And we would just giggle knowing we pulled one over on her. So many women see their children as a bother and a burden. Not mom. Children were a joy and a blessing and she made us think we were the greatest thing ever.
Mom loved to laugh at herself and would tell us stories of her embarrassing moments. One time someone called my parents house. My dad was in the living room and mom was back in the bedroom. They both picked up the phone at the same time and started carrying on a conversation with each other. Mom thought she was talking to my brother, Russell, and dad thought he was talking to Nadine, mom's sister. They talked for several minutes and then dad said he had to go check on the kids and mom said, "who is this?", and then they both realized what happened and couldn't stop laughing. I don't think they ever found out who had called them and listened in on their whole conversation.
The week before mom passed away, Steve, Katie and William were helping her to bed. She was very weak and it took all three of them to get her down the hall. Katie said she told them, "I know you are not going to believe this, but I did 30 pull ups this morning!" One of the blessings of mom's illness was hearing all the stories from people who would visit her. They would tell of all the ways she touched their lives and many times changed their lives. One of my best friends from high school came to visit mom a couple of months ago. LeeAnn talked about how she loved to come over to my house because it was a place where she felt loved and special. She said it did not matter what was going on, she just wanted to be there. It was ironic that I always wanted to be at LeeAnn's house because she had three sisters and there was always some type of drama going on! It was not boring like at my house.
Thank you for indulging me with my stories, I just wanted to capture my mom's character and personality. She has such a legacy. And even though she is gone from this Earth, she never died. She lives with God now and in our hearts and lives. I want to thank you dad for being such a good daddy and giving me my wonderful mom.
Click here to read Part 1.