Big Mama

My mother-in-law passed on yesterday. I truly understand that term now–passed on. I know Big Mama is still alive. I feel her presence with me, hear her voice in my ear.

For weeks her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren have tenderly cared for Big Mama. Can there be any deeper testimony for a life well lived? During these weeks, I have been here in Alabama, caring for my grandson and mother. I can hear Big Mama say: “Well, honey, that’s what you are supposed to do.” Big Mama loved children.

And for these weeks, my process of grief has blocked me from writing. Busy time, but mostly so much feeling dammed up. Now it comes in a flood. Grief, yes, but I have an enormous gratitude that I should have been able to know her and be loved by her, and love her in return. She, my father-in-law, and my two sisters-in-law took me into their hearts and family. I remember one time that my husband and I came close to divorce. I went home to Big Mama and Pa. Today I sometimes look at my husband and smile, and say, “We have become your parents.” He will nod and smile, too.

My abiding value of family is expressed in my books. For my character of Vella Blaine, I drew heavily on Big Mama, but this morning, I suddenly realize that she was the model very much for Winston Valentine.

Big Mama, I love you.

17 thoughts on “Big Mama

  1. My sweet friend, my sincere condolences on the loss of your mother-in-law. I cherish my own mother-in-law and count myself lucky to have her.

    Many thoughts and prayers with you from Don and I.

    Sharon

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  2. You are blessed to have have a your husband’s family love you and welcome you wholeheartedly! And to have them as inspiration and their love and part of what they are are showered on you and your husband too is a gift.

    She must really be one amazing woman to know. Passing on. Yes, I too believe that life we have here is only temporary and that there is something waiting for us that is much more beautiful. It’s just hard sometimes – the missing part. But knowing that they are in a much better place with God gives us comfort.

    Hello CurtissAnn! I hope and pray for your family. I have been away myself from blogland as there were things that has happened as well.

    Mizpah,
    Li

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  3. Great tribute. Thanks for sharing. Next Mother’s Day, we’ll toast our respective mother’s memories. Meanwhile, they are always with us in our hearts and minds. Best to you. 🙂

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    • Thanks, A.C., for the inspiration. Big Mama’s neighbor told us that every year on her deceased mother’s birthday, the enormous extended family gathers and puts flowers on the mother’s grave. Mothers Day would work well for our gathering. CA

      Sent from my iPhone; please excuse typos.

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  4. Your mother in law sounds like a wonderful woman, I’m so sorry to hear of her passing. It is hard to give up a loved one, but I firmly believe it is harder to watch them suffer. You, your husband, and family are in my thoughts and prayers. Wish I was there to give you a hug!

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  5. CurtissAnn, I am sorry for your loss. Even though we know they go on to live, we miss their presence in this life very deeply. My father is probably in what is referred to as “actively dying.” Even dying is an action. He has had another stroke and is now confined to bed. This has occurred this week as we prepared for Chelsea’s high school graduation. Part of the funeral liturgy is the phrase, “in the midst of life, we are in death,” but I am reminded that in the midst of death, we are in life. In remembrance of a life well lived we are reminded that life is worth living. Prayers for you and your honey.

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  6. I am so very sorry for your loss CurtissAnn! I wish I could have had a relationship with my mother.in.law before she passed but 11 months into being with my now husband, she stopped her chemo & radiation just weeks before our wedding so we flew down to FL so I could meet her in person. We flew home on 5/17, were married on 5/25 and she passed away on 6/5. It sounds like you were truly Blessed with Big Mama! Hugs and love to you!

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  7. Her photo looks like one “take charge” gal too. I’m so sorry for you and your husband’s loss. Sounds like she lived a wonderful life surrounded by family that loved her.
    Brenda

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  8. Hi, I am sorry for you loss. I had a wonderful mother-in-law too and theyare hard to come by. I learned so much from her but didn’t appreciate it until years later.
    So glad you had a good realtionship with her.
    Sincerely, Marilyn Morse

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  9. Aw…CurtissAnn! She looks like a darling person in her picture. All I can say is that I love you and wish I could give you a real hug.

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  10. I’m so sorry. It’s so hard to loose a parent. She sounds like a wonderful person. It’s also so hard when you are needed somewhere and feel like you should also be somewhere else. The past two days we have a had a car accident and two in ER ( MRSA and a head injury not from the accident) in just the past two days. It can be difficult.
    I can’t wait to read your books.
    ((((HUGS)))) to you and your family.

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    • Oh, Debbie, I am sorry about your accidents and crisis. I send prayers, and know there are angels with you.

      Sent from my iPhone; please excuse typos.

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