“Gardenia was my mom’s favorite flower and there are gardenia bushes the back yard. She picked them and delivered them in water bottles.
Her mother taught her that if someone brings you something in a dish, clean it and put something else inside when you return it. A woman who worked at McDonald’s posted a picture of her with mom wearing the matching bracelets mom bought them. I am a people pleaser, just like my mom. I am also a fixer, but mom’s cancer was something I couldn’t fix. She battled breast cancer for six years.
Mom was determined to make the most of life, and time did not matter to her. She was always late. She was also stubborn, and when she got an an idea she had to see it through. She ran the Azalea Trail Run when she was six months pregnant with me. She taught preschool at Ashland Place in Mobile, then she worked at Country Day School. She was a regular at Coffee Loft and the Art Center. Mom loved Fairhope and First Fridays. Her favorite part was walking to Lyon’s Frame Shop and spending time with Mike.
We wanted to find a way to honor her during COVID-19. There will be a very small graveside service and we will have a memorial later when all of this is over. People bringing bottles of flowers to her house is a tribute to my mom organized by Country Day School. She would love what we are doing today.
Mom and dad never left each other’s side and she was in his arms when she left this earth. Their love was real for more than 40 years.”
“I liked growing flowers and she liked picking them. She stripped the plants and delivered flowers in water bottles with a string tied around them to everyone. She was the second girl I dated in college. We dated five years and were married for 44. I told her I wouldn’t marry her until I got through one year of dental school. She taught second grade at Robinson Elementary in the projects in Fairfield and loved it.
We were happy with one another and always together. In dental school, we didn’t have any money. We bought a can of soup from the drug store with a credit card. We fished at Lake Purdy. She liked it, but when she was ready to go she would accidentally knock over the crickets so they would get out. We would clean and fry the fish. Our first big purchase as a 19″ Sears color TV and we thought we had arrived.
She loved to sing, but she couldn’t do it. I was worried she was going to teach her kids the wrong tune to Row, Row, Row Your Boat. She started Reid’s Rock On painting rocks to give away and inspire others. She did it with Nancy Raia at the Art Center. I called it the ‘Fairhope Ladies Rock Throwing and Wine Drinking Club’. I thought she was crazy when she told me we were going to buy 20 pounds of rocks. Then we had to shellac and let them dry. She had all of this in my bathroom. To this day, there is shellac in my bathroom and I won’t take it off.
My side of the family was nice, but a little distant. She and her family were social and she never met a stranger. She was friends with everyone and made me socialize more. Thank you notes and compliments were big for her and I learned to respect that. I taught her organization.
Bethany died in my arms. She had paralyzed vocal cords and couldn’t speak. She was telling me something and I couldn’t understand. I thought she was saying jello. I got her to write it down and she wrote Jesus. She died 30 minutes later.
She brought a lot of happiness to this world. She loved life. She loved people. She loved me.”