I was looking through some pictures yesterday and found this one. Mama Doris had sent it to me while I was on my mission. On the back she had written: “Somebody gave me this and I thought you might want it – its not too good – but it can remind you of me. I love you, Mama Doris”
The funny thing is that I would never even need pictures to remind me of Mama Doris. Crazy right – me admitting that I don’t NEED pictures. But it is true.
I am reminded of her each time I eat grape jelly. She knew it was my favorite and she made it for me almost every year.
I am reminded of her each time I see an electric blanket. During high school and college, I lived with Mama Doris. Her house was heated only by a small gas heater in the living room. So during the coldest winter nights, she and I would sleep in same bed together under an electric blanket. It was good times!
I am reminded of her whenever I receive a letter. She wrote me everyday for 18 months while I was on a mission. Each week when we got our mail, I could count on getting 7 letters from her!
I am reminded of her each time someone mentions an alligator. Which, considering where we live, happens a lot. She had a pet alligator that followed her around like a puppy dog and ate right from her hand.
I am reminded of her whenever I see the Reader’s Digest. I think she may have been their most faithful subscriber. Remember when they used to offer “condensed books”? I am pretty sure she bought every single one.
I am reminded of her each time I change my sheets. When I lived with her, she knew how much I loved the smell and feel of freshly laundered sheets – so she would surprise me sometimes when I came home from school with clean sheets!
I am reminded of her whenever I eat a blackberry. Her blackberry dumplings were a favorite of both mine and my dad’s!
I am reminded of her whenever I journal about our lives. She wrote in her journal notebook every single day. Over her lifetime, there are literally stacks of them!
I am reminded of her whenever I eat all kinds of different foods – fried turkey breast, congo bars, chocolate ice boxed cake, roast, mashed potatoes, fried sweet potatoes, field peas, creamed corn – those are some of her signature foods that she was a master at cooking.
I am reminded of her each time I sit down in a rocking chair. Each and everyone of her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and even her one great-great-grandchild, have all been rocked to sleep with her patting our backs and singing “In the Sweet, By and By”.
I am reminded of her each time Layton watches Bambi. He loves that movie and she was the one who made sure our children had that and many other movies that they love.
I am reminded of her each time I read a book to my children. She read so many to me as a child and she kept that tradition going with her great-grandchildren.
I am reminded of her when I read the Book of Mormon. She read it daily up until the very end, when her eyes didn't really let her anymore. I am pretty sure she has read it more than a 100 times.
I am reminded of her each time I play the piano. She faithfully took me to weekly lessons for YEARS. While I never became a master at it, because of her dedication I can at least plunk out a few church songs.
I am reminded of her - ALWAYS. Her life is so completely woven into my life that they would be impossible to separate. Forgetting her would be forgetting myself.
Mama Doris passed away last night. She has lived one amazing life. We love her so much and will miss her terribly. But, we know that she is with those she loves right now. She has been waiting for over 30 years to be reunited with the love of her life. How happy they must be right now!
For those interested, her funeral will be a simple graveside ceremony held at Gregory N. Gentry Cemetery, tomorrow October 21st, at 4:00 p.m. All are invited to attend.