Monday, April 18, 2022

Where Are the Words? #memories

When your heart is too full to express itself, words often don’t seem adequate. I’ve been in that place many times, more often when happy than sad. Pure joy is inexplicable to me but sorrows beg for expression as a means of purging. 

When I feel pain the words flow as tears from my heart. And sometimes the situation falls in between expression and emptiness. 

Today is my Mama’s birthday. She would have been 86. Or 87. Depending on whether you could trust her birth certificate or her mother. There was much debate over this issue in the family because one date left her a year older than my Dad which, apparently, was not what she wanted. It was funny from the outside looking in. He would have been 86 this coming August so no matter how you date it, she was still older. ❤️

To say I loved my mother was an understatement. She passed away at the young age of 45, leaving me feeling lost and fearful. She had always been my touchstone for my sense of who I was. As long as Mama was there to smile, to talk to and put her hand on my head, I knew I would be alright. Then she was gone. 

She was ill for a long time but we always prayed she would be well. She passed exactly two weeks before my oldest son was born. My advisor, confidante and comforter was no longer there. The thing that kept me going was being a mother myself. I wanted to be for them what I loved so much about my own mother and family. Or I tried. I like to think I made enhancements to what I considered a lovely childhood. Up until my teen years when she became ill.

If anyone ever questions a mother’s role as a lead in the family unit I will tell them that, while both parents are essential to a child’s well-being, it is the mother who more often than not holds it all together. She all too often moves quietly through her overwhelming responsibilities, smiling for the sake of everyone even when she feels like crying. She loves unconditionally, gives freely and seldom complains. She is there for family, friends and her husband, often to her own detriment. 

My Mama..

Had a free spirit and was fiercely independent 

My Mama..

Was Lucy to my Aunt Dee’s Vivian. 
They laughed, they cried and shared a life before she met my Dad, Dee’s brother.
My Paw Paw chose my Mama for my Dad’s brother but once they met she only had eyes for him

My Mama..

Never laughed at our whims or desires. 
Even the ridiculous high heels I wanted in the sixth grade. 
My Sunday school teacher did that for her. 
He was dreamy and smart and I definitely listened to him. 🤦‍♀️

My Mama..

Loved her family and carried no grudges over her own sad childhood. 
We spent many weekends visiting the relatives in New Orleans and sharing holidays.

My Mama..

Helped me with the only wedding attire I would ever wear. I was a flower girl in my cousin’s big wedding. I learned early on that I never wanted a big wedding. I had better things to do with my money and peace of mind. Still.. this was fun. But that perm! 😱

My Mama..

Cared for others before herself. We had good friends known to us as ‘aunt’ and ‘uncle’ that were not relations. If someone ever helped her along the way, they became her family. 
We visited these folks often. They had cattle and my Uncle Ernie always smelled of soured milk. We picked pecans on their property and my Aunt Ruth’s old house was like a strange museum. 
She made heavenly oatmeal cookies. Yeah, in that bag. Silly me thought they would all be mine! 🤣
I remember that blue coat. She had a beautiful rhinestone pin she wore on the lapel for church. I have it now.🙂

My Mama…

Loved her family history.
My great grandpa Treadway. You can see where my Irish comes from.

My Mama..

Loved her own Daddy more than anything.
Every vacation to the Ozarks to see him and his father was a treasured time for al of us. 

My Mama..

Never went to my Daddy’s softball games. She thought she would jinx him. 
I must admit the one time I attended one with her there they lost. 
I think it was really because she didn’t enjoy the ‘guy banter’ and the wives showing out in front of each other and their respective husbands.

My Mama..

Was the original ‘Birthday Faerie”, always making us feel very special on our day. 
Birthdays have always been special to me and I try to honor others on their special day.
We always got to pick our cake that she baked and got a new outfit to wear. 🥰

That cake was chocolate with blue frosting. 
On my 13th birthday she was unable to bake my cake so my Daddy bought one at the best bakery in town. It was vanilla with buttercream frosting and roses. 
I was broken hearted. 💔

My Mama..

Loved Spring time, new beginnings and all it meant. 

She loved Easter and made sure our baskets were special with all the usual treats but one unique candy that each of us liked particularly was always hidden deep in the plastic grass.
We died eggs and had a hunt but with plastic eggs. The boiled ones went into the potato salad we had with our ham. 😋

My Mama..

Taught me how to bake. My Daddy taught me how to cook. He was the gumbo/jambalaya king. 
They both encouraged my creative interests which have stuck with me. 

My Mama…

Just missed this little guy’s birth. 
I like to think they brushed past one another at Eternity’s door.

My Mama..

Would have loved all these guys! 

I still can’t believe my Mama..

Missed out on all my treasures

And theirs..

My Mama…

Meant Love and Family to me. I miss her every day. 
This is for you, Mama. Please hug Daddy for me. 🤗🤗

These are a few of her favorites..

I just recently found out a dear acquaintance passed away last October. This man was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and friend. I worked with him for several years. He had so many stories about the war and his life. He will be missed but now he joins his sweet wife.  He was devastated to lose her some years back unexpectedly. 
I made him a mixed tape back then and he chose one song that was his favorite, saying that was how he felt about his wife’s untimely parting. It happens to be one of my favorites as well. 
This one is for you, Mr Lamon..


  1. Happy Heavenly birthday to you mom, Cheryl. I recognize the things you miss about her as the many things that make you such a wonderful mother, grandmother, wife, and friend.

  2. That was one of the most beautiful tributes that I have ever read! I know I would have loved your mama ... and she raised one amazing daughter! I cannot be there to hug you in person, but I'm sending you this 🤗 to let you know that I care, and that I'm so sorry you're so sad today. I know one thing, though ... your mama would have been oh so proud of her daughter! Hugs, dear friend.

    1. Oh thank you so much. I appreciate hugs and kind words so much. She was a beautiful soul. I’m actually not sad for the first time in over 40 years since she died. I can finally think about her without feeling angry, lonely and guilty. It feels great letting her energy into my heart.I appreciate you Jill. 🤗❤️

  3. Replies
    1. Aww Pam. I understand. I know she is still with you, always.

  4. That's a beautiful tribute to your mom, Cheryl!

  5. A beautiful tribute, Cheryl. Happy Birthday to your mom.

  6. I was 68 when I lost my mama, and I felt lost and alone, even with all my other loved ones. There's nobody like her. I still want to call her and share things with her. Thank you for sharing your beautiful memories of your wonderful mother. How can I love you, when I've never met you? It must be magic.

  7. This is Cheryl. Blogger is being mean toe technically. 🤦‍♀️
    There is no one like Mother is there? My heart breaks for motherless children. Thanks for your bery sweet comment Mariann. I believe in magic my friend! 🤗❤️


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