My Mother, Kay, loved people.
She was the queen of hospitality. She grew up in a slower time when folks just dropped in to chat awhile, and if the visiting ran into dinner time, they were always invited to stay and eat supper. This gift of hospitality continued when she married my Dad, Ray. They loved to have people over to play games, eat dinner, and sing together which led to a once a month Sunday night tradition known as “Song-n-Supper.”
Mother loved to cook and we loved to eat. We were often her guinea pigs for the latest Good Housekeeping magazine recipe. During family holidays, she spent most of the day in the kitchen. As soon as one meal was prepped, cooked and cleaned up, the next one was already being planned. She loved to throw birthday parties and gatherings, and they often had a theme. She made DIY party decorations and favors long before Pinterest or DIY or was ever a thing. She almost never threw anything away that could possibly be used again or made into something else later, ensuring that my 3 sisters and I had an endless supply of paper and string, clothes-pins, boxes and containers, bits and bobs, and whatcha-ma-call-its for crafts and art projects.
Mother loved Jesus, and she loved the Bible. She also loved music. She was a singer and also a writer, so I guess I come by it honestly. She had a beautiful clear soprano voice, and she and my Dad could burst into song at any given moment harmonizing beautifully with each other, especially on songs from the 40’s and gospel hymns. They sang together with a group of their friends at hundreds of weddings through the years.
She even asked us to sing songs about heaven as our family gathered around her bedside in her last days of life. We sang as many gospel hymns about heaven in that hospital room as we could think of. It’s a memory I will treasure for the rest of my life. She and Daddy were married for almost 70 years. Their’s is a story of friendship and family, love and laughter, wisdom and strength, grace and mercy. I guess you could say hers was a life well-lived and especially well-loved.
“I loved my life away, taking it slow,
Flying a hundred miles straight down Mercy Road.”– lyrics from “Mercy Road” written by Caryl Parker, Scott Parker and Ronn Chick