Sunday, January 26, 2014

Thanks for the memories...

On the top shelf of the closet in Mama's bedroom in the tall yellow house on Dartmouth Street 
was a folded piece of woven work, the size of a small area rug or lap blanket.
It was woven of threads the color of the winter sea, blues and grays and black.
Mama had made it on a loom in the mental hospital when she spent some time there for severe depression the year I was nine.

When I went away to college, Mama sold the yellow house that I had lived in for all of my eighteen years and moved to a smaller, more manageable home.
I suppose she might have gotten rid of that piece of woven work when she moved, 
for I don't remember seeing it after that.
Likely, for her it was associated with one of the darkest seasons of her life.
But for me, it was a wonder that my mama's hands could still produce a thing of beauty when her soul was broken.

It's strange that this is the thought that bubbled to the surface of my memory as
three years ago today Mama went to heaven.
Yet, God showed me something through this memory.

I've often said that Mama was my roots and Daddy was my wings.
Mama was practical to a fault and hard working and faithful and steadfast.
Daddy was impractical,  imaginative, a dreamer and a storyteller.
I figured I got my steady, practical side from Mama, and my imaginative, creative side from Daddy,
until I thought of that woven work which led me to more memories of all the other creative things Mama made.
She might not have played with words or a camera or paints or crafts, 
which are some of the ways my creativity is manifested,
but she created play clothes and school clothes and prom dresses and wedding dresses on that sewing machine of hers, the finish work hand sewn in her  perfect, tiny stitches.
She sewed quilts, knitted mittens, crocheted blankets, and embroidered tablecloths and pillowcases.
She made the best homemade breads, cookies, candies and pies.
She created beauty with her hands in the good times as well as in the deep valley.
So, I guess Mama wasn't just my roots, but she gave me some wings as well.
Daddy, he taught me so much about God's love and grace,
so I guess he wasn't only my wings, he helped me to be rooted and grounded as well.
On this third year anniversary of Mama's death,
I'm giving thanks in a new way for the parents God gave me,
for my roots,
for my wings.
Since 2009 I've been counting my blessings thanks to the prompting of Ann Voskamp.
 I continue to count my thanks
piling up gratitude day by day
in my little black journal.
(and capturing some of my blessings via my camera or iPhone)


-my husband's mentor who is such a help and encouragement to us
-the check engine light on the Hub's car just needing re-set, nothing wrong with his car
-my handyman son-in-law fixing the molding on my antique wood cubby for me
-a phone call from my big brother
-youngest daughter excited about some "Jesus time" at the beach

-a beautiful day
-antiquing and thrifting with my friend
-eating a healthy salad for lunch then sharing a delicious dessert

-running some errands with the Hubs in the evening
-a phone call from my second born daughter asking me to go with her for her ultrasound on Friday, (her husband had to work)
-a sweet friend's 50th birthday
(No, I don't have a flower in my hair! It's behind me.)

-a warm house
-a fire in the fireplace

-roses from the Hubs

-hot coffee
-Greek yogurt with granola and fruit
-going to my oldest daughter's and enjoying time with our two youngest granddaughters and a good dinner my daughter made for us
-making some homemade granola

-my little grocery store hyacinth in bloom

-delicious homemade healthy soup that the Hubs loved in spite of all the veggies in it

-Thursday night prayer and worship at church

-we're having a grandson-no doubt about it on the ultrasound!
-all tests show that he's healthy
-going with my daughter to surprise my two oldest grands at school 
with blue frosted cookies and "it's a boy!" balloons
-lunch with the Hubs at a favorite place that we haven't gone to in a long time
-enjoying a drive on a sunny afternoon

-a sunny Saturday morning
-a husband who's perfectly happy to have leftover soup and tuna melts for dinner
-my friend finished a painting she's doing for me!

-His body broken, His blood shed, for me!
-buying a red dutch oven as a housewarming gift and finding out after that her favorite color is red
-home in bed and snuggled under a warm quilt after a long day

gratefully yours,

Join the community of gratitude gatherers here...


  1. I think its interesting how we come to see some things differently over the passage of time--time seems to be a balancer as far as the way we view events and relationships of our lives--I like that and love your story about your mama and your daddy.

    1. I agree...and it helps when you have the Holy Spirit within to show you things!

  2. What a beautiful post, about wings and roots and your mama and daddy.

  3. I remember when you lost your mom. Can it really be three years? It doesn't seem like that long to me, and I am sure that it seems like yesterday to you. I love what you said about the two kinds of creativity. I thought of my sister. She never calls herself creative because she's so ordered and precise, but the things she can do with her hands are amazing.

    1. Debbie, time is zooming by so fast! I can't believe it's been three years. The thought "I miss my mom" still comes to me frequently.

  4. Hi Elizabeth,
    A very lovely post............I have done a Thankful Thursday post for almost 5 years now and it has totally revolutionized my has trained me to see
    all the tiny, medium size and large blessings in my life......
    God is continually blessing us all the time, and doing those posts have made
    me so aware of that, so much so I hardly see the bad anymore.........
    Your Mom sounds like a very lovely lady and I am sure you probably miss her very much. You are so right creativity comes in many forms, and sometimes
    we or others may not even think of ourselves as creative, where others can
    clearly see is amazing the older we get the more appreciation we have for what maybe even didn't seem all that important to us or seemed
    bad at the time, we can see thru the eye opening of the spirit of God, and we
    see things in a whole nother cool is that!

    Thanks for sharing your thankful list............I loved reading it, and how you
    express it........

    Blessings, Nellie

    1. Counting my blessings has been life changing. I like your Thankful Thursday idea!

  5. I loved the memories of your mama. She sounds like my grandmother with her sewing and giving. Yay for the grandson news! How sweet. And that dessert looks heavenly.

    1. I am over the top excited to have another grandson since we only have one so far and three granddaughters. I love them all so much, but I'm glad my grandson won't be the only boy now.

  6. What a legacy your mama has given you.

    And there's nothing more lovely on a cold winter's day than a decadent dessert shared with a dear friend ...

    1. She was a good mama. And that dessert was FABULOUS!

  7. What a great post !! A true tribute to your family and their legacy - as well as the grateful heart for current blessings. God bless u and yours always ox

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment. God bless you, too!

  8. Exquisite, Elizabeth. Feels so good to read your blog.


The best thing about blogging is hearing from you!
I'd love for you to leave a comment! Click subscribe by email if you want me to be able to reply to you.