Saturday, May 9, 2009

Moms in My Life

The Lord blessed me with a wonderful mother, two wonderful grandmothers, and lastly a mother-in-law who birthed and raised the love of my life. Whatever could I have done to deserve such blessings? Today I want to share some pictures of the mothers in my life, as well as a few thoughts about those indescribable women.

This first picture is my mama and me. It was taken just this week. My mama had me when she was only 19 years old. She left her family farm of South Georgia and her own mother to come to Atlanta. She met my dad, fell in love and the rest is history.
My mama has an inner strength that I envy. She has been strong in the worst of situations. She always put us girls first. She made nearly every Easter dress we had before the age of 10. I remember her teaching me my "times tables". I was a real dummy when it came to math. (Still not my strong point.) My mama taught me lots of things by the examples she set. She took us to church and Sunday School almost every Sunday. There are things about myself that I learned from her that she never even knew she taught me. To know my mama is to love her. I only wish I could be more like her. Like her mother, she can cook better than Paula Deen. Sew better than Martha Stewart and garden better than -- well, I don't know who, but she can grow a flower, I'll tell you that. More importantly, though, she has a humble spirit and a forgiving soul. I think she's everything God would want a mama to be.

This is Jean Kelly. She's the mother of the love of my life. This picture was taken in January of this year. She had buried one of her sons that very day. She's the type of woman that always tries to make the best of bad situations. Having raised five sons, she's had some very trying times to deal with. She's lost two sons. She has a strong faith and inner strength, and tries to always turn the other cheek. Like my mama, she can cook, she can sew and she loves to work in her yard. At 83 years old, she still pulls weeds out of her verbena and could run circles around me any day!
This is my Ma-Ma Kimball, my mama's mother. This picture was taken around July of 1999. The sweet baby girl in the picture with her is Alayna. Ma-Ma lived in South Georgia, Twin City, to be exact. I was so very blessed to have her in my life until October 2003. I'm convinced she'd still be here today if my Pa-Pa were still alive. He died in August. She died in October of the same year. She was a farmer's wife and was rough as a cobb, but sweet as sugar. She was a lady in every sense of the word. Never had an unkind word to say about anyone. She was as hard a worker as any woman ever was. She made the best roast and angel biscuits I've ever had in my life. Her bed sheets smelled like heaven on earth. And Oil of Olay could have made a commercial of her skin. I think I got my love of flowers from her. To say that I miss her is an understatement. This is my Ma-Ma Howell. This picture was made in June of 1987, at a wedding shower of mine. She died in September of the following year, 1988. She died way too young. I was only 23 and a young mother when she died. I wish she could have lived longer into my married and motherhood years. She was the example of love. All my family liked fried apple pies. She peeled apples, even after having a stroke, to make fried pies. She would cook a big meal, then go and sit on her front porch in her rocking chair and eat Cheetos or Fritos. I remember her loving to have all of us grandkids and our moms over in the summertime to shell beans or shuck corn or just to get together for a bologna sandwich. And I have good memories of her making all of us kids lie down to take a mid afternoon nap. We'd all get pallets on the floor. She'd turn that big box fan on. Oh, my goodness. Heavenly memories.
I just threw in these older pictures of my mama, my mother-in-law and Ma-Ma Howell and Ma-Ma Kimball because I like them. This one of my mama, Ma-Ma Kimball and me was in June of 2007 at my wedding shower again. The one thing I did get from my mama and Ma-Ma is their hands. I've got some crooked fingers, just like they do!
Here is Jean and me on the same day in June of 2007. I honestly hope I can be as good a mother-in-law to my sons' wives as she's been to me. If she loves you once, she loves you for always.
And lastly, this precious soul is Ma-Ma Howell sitting in her rocker on her front porch. That was probably her favorite spot in the house and where I really remember her. I love that smile on her face. And look at those hands. Those hands worked just as hard as any man's, I'll bet, whether it was diapering a baby or doing something else. She'll always remind me of Juicy Fruit gum and Atlanta Dairy vanilla ice cream. Oh, how I miss her.
These are the moms in my life. They are worthy of celebrating and honoring on Mother's Day and every day of the year. I'll never be half the woman these moms were/are. I can try to model myself after them I guess.
The best thing I can say about all these moms is that above everything else they were praying moms. I know without a doubt that carried their children and them through some life-changing times.
These are the moms in my life. Tomorrow I'll tell you about the boys who stole my heart. They call me mom.
Till tomorrow. Enjoy your Saturday and enjoy it with those you love! And speaking of those


Theresa said...

Wow! There went that free mascara again:) Love those pictures and yes those are and were some great MAMAS! I haved learned more from my Mama even after she has been gone. I can't tell you how many times I say... Mama would be so proud or her children, the way we all love and support each other. When those benches at Church are full of her family... When I rake and clean the cemetary and put fresh flowers... It is like I know she and Daddy see me. Jesus sure got some angels up there with the Mamas/MawMaws that we have lost! And your Mama, well I wrote in her Mother's Day card that she is like having a 4th Sister. Because, that is the truth! She is one fine lady and I love her as I love my own Sisters! Love you and thanks for the birthday wishes! Have a blessed day!

suzanne said...

What a beautiful post! I just don't know where to begin to comment. I sometimes think about Mother and can tear up, wishing I lived closer and could visit her more (because you know I would). We'll sit and chat, and she will listen and care about me like no one else on earth.
We were certainly blessed and lucky to have such beautiful and kind grandmothers. Looking at Maw-Maw I see Daddy in her face. And Alayna reminds me of Ma-Ma K. with her sweet, humble ways. Oh, tear.
BUT, I must say, whose arm is that in the picture with Jean? Your arm has never been that long!!!
It looks like the photo has been retouched with someone else's arm.
Love you bunches and have a great day!

Barbo said...

Kell, Thank you so much for my card it means everything to me. Today you honored these mama's with such love. I know I appreciate you. I hope you have a great Mothers Day. I LOVE you so very much. I also. LOVE crystal, Suza and your parents, yall's husbands and all yall's children. Excuse my typing.

funky bag freak said...

Very sweet...What lovely women..Praise God for all the mama's in our lives!

wendy said...

That was very nice Kelly . great photos of you and all the wonderful mothers in your life.

Renee said...

That was such a sweet way to remember and cherish the moms in your life. They all sound like amazing, hard working, loving women. You are deeply blessed.

Cindy Lou said...

Well that post really got these tears flowing!! I love the blog it was wonderful! Each of these mom's hold special place in your heart and you really expressed your love for each of them! I hope you enjoy every moment that you have with your mama!! She is so special! Lots of love and have a great day!!

Crystsal said...

Well, I have always said that our Mom is an angel on earth and I truly believe it as I also believe that both MaMa Howell and MaMa Kimball were also. It's very hard to describe just how special our Mom is to me. It only takes me thinking about her sweet self sometimes and I can just cry. She is the rock and the soft spot of my existance. She is the most thoughtful, caring and forgiving person that I so wish I could be more like. If everyone on this earth were more like our Mom what a wonderful place this would be!!!!

Happy To Be said...

May you have a wonderful Mother's day my friend...hugs and smiles Gl♥ria