Friday, June 25, 2010

Remembering Momma

Helen Irene Dorsey Arp

Eight years ago today, I woke up and began preparing for my mother's funeral.

Eight years ago today, I was immobilized by grief.

I can still remember how I felt that morning, it's almost like it was just moments ago.

I still remember putting on my dress, and trying to put on makeup through tears.

I remember seeing relatives that I'd not seen in years, and realizing how bittersweet it was to see them under these circumstances.

I remember feeling terribly alone, despite being surrounded by people.

I remember the ride to the cemetery.

I remember the lump in my throat.

I remember the humidity.

I remember feeling the grass crunching under my feet in the hot Missouri sun.

I remember hearing the locusts.

I remember seeing my mother.

I remember the smell of the Stargazer lilies on the coffin.

I remember seeing her two remaining sisters, that join her in heaven now, weeping over her.

I remember after the funeral, hearing my relatives talking, and the forks hitting the plates as they ate, as I lay in the bedroom wondering how life would go on.

Today - eight years from that day -

I remember my mother's laugh.

I remember my mother's hands.

I remember how hard my mother worked.

I remember my mother's stubbornness.

I remember my mother's devotion to her family.

I remember my mother ironing our pajamas, and mopping the floor while Conway Twitty played in the background.

I remember my mom watching Hee Haw and the Carol Burnett show and watching her get so tickled.

I remember my mom mothering all the neighborhood kids.

I remember my mom's garden being the prettiest on the block.

I remember my mom cooking dinner every single night.

I remember.

I remember not to take anything for granted.

I remember to work hard for the things you want.

I remember to be stubborn when it's needed.

I remember to love.

I remember to laugh.

I remember.


  1. Oh Jayme, what a beautiful post for your mom. I can understand your grief. I didn't know what others had gone through, not truly, until I had been there myself. It's been almost six years since my knees gave way underneath me when I learned my dad had been called home, suddenly and unexpectedly; he was still very young by today's standards. I can't even write this without starting to cry, I can imagine it was just as difficult for you with this post. I'll be thinking of you today.


  2. Oh Jayme--you are in my thoughts today. What a beautiful post about your Momma. You look like your Mom.
    You possess the same traits you have mentioned. Isn't it odd how you think you will never get past the grief? The happy memories slowly appear and make your heart smile.
    I now know why you have such a beautiful soul and garden:)

  3. Jayme, that was a beautiful post. I only hope my daughter can write a post with such fondness some day. My thoughts are with you my dear.

  4. Beautiful.

    Your Mother.

    And You.

    She would be so proud of you.

    This post is especially meaningful to me today too, thanks for reminding ME remember the important things!

  5. Beautiful memories etched in your heart, those memories bless and sustain us even after they are gone. As we get older we see their strengths, and their weaknesses. But love causes us to only claim the good traits! Now we know why you are so beautiful, inside and out. Sending a hug today...

  6. Let me first get a kleenex for this post! This is so beautiful. My mother passed in 2002 at 58 so I remember like it was yesterday also. I remember feeling all those same things and wondering how does one go on after such a sad thing? I love all the things you remember about your mother and all the things you remember to be right now! I'll be thinking of you today, I hope you have a good one!

    ~ hugs

  7. Such lovely words - sadness for your loss, but joy that you remember with thankfulness - she has helped form you into the person that you are! Blessings to you.

  8. Beautiful posting for an obviouslybeautiful woman. Blessings : )

  9. Your post touched me also. My mother passed away June 24, 1990. She was only 58. I love your tribute and it makes all think how quick time passes in a life.

  10. Jayme- That was beautifully written. I know your mom is smiling from ear to ear in the big cloud in the sky telling God how wonderful you are! I will be thinking of you today.

  11. Lost my dad 10 years ago and have tons of remembers too. It's good to let the grief go. This is a lovely post, Jayme.


  12. Jayme, what a beautiful tribute to your Mom. I lost my mum nearly two years ago so I do feel your pain. I will be praying and thinking of you today.

  13. What beautiful memories! I'm so glad you have them to remember her in such an honorable way. I know you're grief is still there (lost my mom 7 years ago, so I understand), but the grief would be even greater if your relationship had not been so good or if she had not lived so well. Peace to you, my friend.

  14. Jayme, that is the most beautiful tribute. You make me wish I had known her, that she had been my mother. You are blessed to have had such an amazing woman in your life to teach you and mold you. And she was lucky to have you for her own.

  15. Lovely, what a wonderful tribute to your Mother, well done. Wishing you happiness and continued fond memories, Katherine

  16. That was so wonderful! I am sure your Momma is very proud of you!

  17. Absolutely beautiful post - what a sweet and heartfelt tribute to your momma. I know you must miss her, but remembering is the way that we keep them in our hearts forever. Thank you for sharing such sacred thoughts.

    Gentle hugs,

  18. I enjoyed this more than you'll ever know.


  19. I really loved this post. Thanks very much for it.

    PS - your gardens below are AMAZING. Seriously wonderful.

  20. Positively beautiful words! I can visualize each sentence. I can see your heartache. You look very much like her.

  21. Jamie,
    I had to wipe away the tears, what a beautiful compassionate tribute to your mother. My mother is in her late 70's and I can't imagine her not being here. Mother's seem so immortal, that they will always be with us. She will always be with you though all you have to do is look in the mirror, beautiful.

  22. So sweet and beautiful Jayme. You look so much like her and I know she must have been so proud of you.

  23. Jayme, moving. I appreciate your sharing your feelings. They hit home. My mom is in bed dying of cancer. most recent - brain. She is going down hill by the week.
    It is hard. I will remember your post as I experience what you did...
    Our mamas raised us. That means everything now doesn't it? They sacrificed for us. We were their heart's little loves... always.
    Love and hugs to you. so special to read this. thank you.

  24. oh Jayme what a beautiful tribute and post about your momma but then again I would expect nothing else from you. I shocked as I scrolled down and saw the picture of your momma you are the "spittin" image of her.You are her in every way. Your wonderful memories of her are such a treasure. nancy settel

  25. Jayme,

    Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.

    Your Friend,

  26. Jayme...
    Your post is so beautiful and so promising to those who are going through a loss. I recently did a post on my blog celebrating my mother's birthday even though she is no longer with us. Grief sure does cycle itself doesn't it, and then we are left with our sweet memories afterall. Your mother sounds like she was a wonderful woman, how lucky you were to have had her.
    Hugs, Dee

  27. Jayme what a beautiful tribute to your mom and your memories of her, then and now... I know she has an awesome daughter, so I am sure she was one awesome lady..

    Thank you for sharing..

  28. Beautiful. She must have been amazing since she brought you into the world....

  29. Your mom would be tickled proud to tears reading this post, Jayme... It's simply beautiful, like her and like you. xoxoox

  30. I LOVE your post, so sweet and thoughtful....I lost my dad 10 years agon and my mom 8 years times I still wonder how to go on, nothing is the same, even though I am blessed with wonderful daughters and grandchildren, I still miss my mom and dad....I find myself trying to relive memories because I feel them slipping away...oh my....hugs to you...Linda

  31. Jayme, I love you even more now..I am writing this through tears and my heart aches for you.

    She was blessed to have a daughter like you.........

    Love always,

  32. Jayme,
    I keep hearing this song in my head, I hope you dont think it crass of me, Bob Hope would sing it, 'Thanks for the memories"...
    Thanks for the memory
    Of rainy afternoons, swingy Harlem tunes
    And motor trips and burning lips and burning toast and prunes
    How lovely it was!

    A great gift from the Father, that we can have memories that are deep in our hearts, only for ourselves, until we decide to bring them out and share them with those we love. Thanks for sharing that time, I remember when you were going thru that season, it was a tough one for you I know.
    One day soon, lets have a girlfriend visit~ Love ya! Julie

  33. What a beautiful post. You're in my thoughts. :)

  34. What a stunning post, such lovely things in your head.

    I hope my kids remember lovely things about me when I'm gone (not just the 'put on your shoes' for the millionth time!)

  35. Truely a beautiful post......... I blurk here but felt I needed to comment this time.....

    I lost my dad 10 years ago this year and my mum just 8 weeks after my dad died, I was still grieving one death when bam my mum died just a few short weeks later.... feels just like last year, cant believe its been so long....

    beautiful post from a beautiful person...

    blurker out lol


  36. That was really beautiful...

  37. A beautifully written post. I still miss my Mom. She's been gone 11 years now.

  38. what an emotional and wonderful post, thank you for reminding me to remember x

  39. That Mama of yours sounds an awful lot like someone I know.

    Well, OK, I don't really KNOW this person, but I will soon. In just a few more weeks.

    What I'm trying to say is, she sounds amazing. And I love your tribute to her.

  40. What a beautiful tribute. June 25th is my Dad's birthday and I lost him just a year and a half this is only the second birthday that I have had without was a hard day for me too.....and I remember too.

    Your Mom sounds like a beautiful lady....and I'm glad that you can remember all the good now.

  41. I'm behind (once again) in my blog reading and I just found this post...

    Jayme, what a special tribute to your momma. I love the picture of certainly favor her in your appearance.

    She was one special glad that you were able to share this with us.

  42. This is a beautiful post,and I know your mom was a beautiful woman. Thank you for sharing. My mama passed in 2005 at the age of 91.

  43. I am so sorry that I missed this very precious and sweet blog post. Your mom sounds so wonderful. Keep those beautiful memories close to your heart.


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  45. Oh Jayme, I am crying as I write this. What a beautiful tribute to your precious mother. You are in my prayers as you make it through another anniversary of her passing. My mama passed away 2 1/2 years ago & my daddy passed away in January. Sometimes the pain is as raw as the day they died especially on anniversaries. Thank God we have His promise we'll be reunited with them one day!

    PS - I wonder if we're related - my maiden name is Dorsey :)


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