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Showing posts with label Mother. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mother. Show all posts

Thursday, October 20, 2016


Today my sweet Mother, Opal Terrell Teal would be 103 years old.  She died 10 years ago, a month short of her 93rd birthday.  I miss her still, and while thinking of her I think of so many things about her that I miss, things that remind me of her.

she played the first piano notes I ever heard,
loved all the old Baptist hymns plus
Rustic Dance and I Love You a Bushel and a Peck
took me to piano lessons and made sure I practiced
when I played my piano today, it was a tribute to her

she found the prettiest cloth to make my dresses
smoothing fabric on her bed, laying the tissue patterns, cutting with care
sitting for hours at her Singer 
in front of the window where Hawthorne bloomed
pinning and fitting before hand-stitching hems
and teaching me that, too  

 she brought me yellow roses when I was a young mother of  3 sons
Tyler roses, tight yellow buds in a bunch
in her last years there were petals of yellow sticky notes
to remind me she loved me

I miss her laughter,
the magazine and newspaper clippings she used to send in letters
she had the most beautiful handwriting
I miss the way she loved coffee
the way she smelled of face powder and Tide
I miss sitting by her,  
her wrinkled hands clapping with joy or clasped in prayer
clinging by faith until it was by sight





Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Steel Magnolia

October 20 will always be Mother's birthday on my calendar even though it has been 9 years now since she left us. I took this photo two years ago when we visited hers and Daddy's graves, along with the many others of our family who were laid to rest here in the Bullard, Texas cemetery.  The giant magnolia tree reminds me of Mother, who was indeed a steel magnolia, a true lady, a eautiful, strong, courageous woman with deep roots who deserved the name long before anyone thought of making a movie!  She would have laughed at my calling her that.  That is one of the things I miss the most - laughing with her. Remembering!   Opal Auntionette Terrell Teal October 20, 1913 - September 21, 2006.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Not About the Rabbits

Recently a topic of conversation in a group of women friends: "What Easter stories or memories come to mind?"

I thought about Easters in the seventies when we decorated and hid eggs for our three little boys, dressed them up and took them to church and to visit grandparents. I thought about Easters in the past 15 years when I found just the right Easter dress to delight first one, then two, three, four, and now five sweet granddaughters! I smiled when I pictured the fun we have had with our little boys and these little girls decorating eggs, cookies, and cakes, and gathering our growing family around Grandma Terrell's dining table in our home.  Which led me to think of that same table surrounded by my grandparents, parents, my sister and me, and sometimes others.  Always my sister and I proudly wore Easter dresses sewed by Mother.  Often we had a coat, hat, and purse to match!  Those little girl Easters always included going to an outdoor Easter sunrise service in a rock ampitheater.  Those red rocks made for hard, cold seating and shivering little girls in the early hours.

I thought about all the Easter baskets and Easter bunnies these memories represent, including this stern looking celluloid blue and white bunny that was mine in 1941, my very first Easter.  I have no recollection of that Easter, of course, but the fact that this odd little rattle was something Mother kept and passed on to me is significant.  She remembered.

Remembering is really what matters after all. In all the little signs and symbols of Easter there is one common thread, one reason for each:  to help us remember. We remember that Christ came, that he lived to show us how to live, was crucified, laid in a grave, and that he rose on the third day.  We sing the Easter songs and celebrate with joy because we remember.

We practice resurrection and redemption.  Happy Easter!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

October

I think alot about my mother in October.  October 20 is the day we always celebrated her birthday, and I still do, although in different ways, since her death just over 8 Octobers ago.  She went home (her phrase) on September 21, 2006, one day short of a month before her 93rd birthday. I miss her still, but softer, gentler memories than grief color my thoughts when I turn the calendar this month. For Mother's Day the first year after I left home, I mailed her a postcard with a poem every day for a week before. I was in college, short in funds but long on words, and prompted by a longing to let her know how much I loved her and appreciated all she did for me.  As years passed and the physical distance between us grew (as far as the almost 11 ,000 miles between East Texas and the island of Java in the late 80's), she maintained her loving encouragement with long chatty letters filled with clippings and recipes. At the end of her life, when Alzheimer's had blotted out so much of her ability to communicate, she still told me she loved me, and, fearful that she would not remember to say so, she dotted her counters and space with yellow sticky notes telling me so.

Long before that, one of her letters to me contained this folded article. Unless you have a touch screen display that allows you to enlarge,the above photo is not of the quality that allows reading of the piece by Marya Saunders that appeared in The Tyler Morning News Sunday edition May 14,1961, but you will be able to see Mother's lovely, even handwriting, telling me "I Love You Darling, and Thank God for you, Mother."  And of course her ever practical pointing out, "This was in Tyler Paper yesterday."

So I echo the author's subtitle.  Neither time nor death has stilled this message from a mother to her daughter.