April 15, 2011 at 7:04am marked the last time, I communicated with my mother at least in the earthly realm. She breathed her last breath sometime that morning. But this blog post isn’t to reflect on her death; for that you can look at post from April and May of 2011. Post made on April 15th as I indicated last year are to reflect on my mother’s life. Her death has impacted me, however, the impact she had on me for almost 45 years is far more important. Last year, I wrote about the love she shared with me and others. This year, I kept thinking about her friends and others who knew her that said she was a humble Christian woman. My mother’s Christian humility lead her to always do acts of kindness for family, friends, and even strangers (but really my mom never met a stranger).
One of the earliest memories that I have of my mother involves her making decorative pillows, she was always doing something creative. The throw pillows she made were very detailed with pucker stitching to make interesting designs. During this same time period when I was around 4 years old, she began to do color by number paintings, her skills were good enough that no one realized her art were paint by number paintings. But my favorite childhood memory was when I was sick and she would check my forehead with her hand in order to gauge if I had a fever. She would then take my temperature, I was always fascinated at how she could read the thin line of mercury (there were no digital thermometers). Then she would either cradle me until I went to sleep or tucked me gently in bed when I was older.
A few years prior to her death my mom found her niche in our church, she began assisting with the Christmas live nativity scene and then the Easter presentation. Her specialty was making angel wings. The Sunday school superintendent had a vision for how she wanted the angel wings to look but she had difficulty explaining it. My mother listened then asked for the materials that she needed. Her creative skills came through as her hands gently began to form wires and feathers into beautiful angel wings. The Sunday school superintendent joyfully would always say, “See Mrs. Betty always knows exactly what I need.” Anyone that knew my mom personally was more than likely a recipient at one time or another of a beautiful greeting card. She bought cards in bulk to give out for any occasion whether birthdays, weddings, sympathy, get well, or just because she had a card.
Still one of my favorite things as an adult was when my mom would cook some of my favorite meals. She loved shrimp and would fry up some with lemon pepper that would have rivaled any restaurant. But one of her favorite things to do was bake pound cakes and make bread pudding. She would bake bulk pound cake cupcakes to give one each day to my grandmother or to people as a treat. If you were special enough you would receive a whole pound cake for your birthday of course along with one of the special cards. However, other than me there was only one other person who was blessed to receive a bread pudding from her with pieces of peach. Her bread pudding was so good, I wrote a poem about it, to read it. One of the last things that my mother did was make a bread pudding the day before she died. It was something so simple but that bread pudding was the last act of love from mother to child with humble hands ( click here to read the poem Bread Pudding Love).