Monday, April 30, 2012

Mama's Birthday

April 30 was my mother's birthday. She died at age 57. It is hard to believe she would be 79 had she lived. Try as I might, I can't picture my mother as an "old" lady. No matter what her chronological age would have been, I don't think she would ever have been old in outlook or behavior. 

There are so many things I wish she had lived to see. She would have delighted in her grandchildren. They would most certainly have been the smartest and most beautiful children on the planet. And Mama was the one who used to practically gag when her friends with grandchildren used to boast! I think Mama would have liked the internet. Being able to find the answer to almost anything at the click of a mouse would have appealed to her. And I think she would have enjoyed Facebook. Mama loved to keep up with people and be in on the latest goings on. 

I wish Mama could have seen the person I have become. It was not until after she died that I went into therapy and learned to stand up for myself. I think she would have been proud that I went back and got my Master's in Counseling. She would have appreciated that I finally got up the gumption to pursue art. Of course, had she been able to live longer, I would have still been caring for her with no time to pursue these goals. A mixed blessing, indeed. 

So, tomorrow, April 30th, I will raise a glass to Mama. And when I look in the mirror, I will see a big part of me. 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Spring Show 2012

Last night, I was humbled and honored to win two honorable mentions for my artwork at the Vicksburg Art Association Spring Show.

Most of the art on display this year was truly amazing. Some years, there are a lot of pieces that I just don't "get." But that was not the case this year.

In these art shows, I am competing against people who are professional artists and art instructors. People who have been "doing art" for more years than I have been alive, in some cases. With my paltry 3 years of experience, mostly self-taught, I am always amazed when I am part of some pretty illustrious company.

But, as happy as I was with my recognition, I was even more thrilled for the winner of the second place ribbon in watercolor, my Senior Center student and longtime friend, Norma. She is living proof that it is never too late to pursue a passion and learn a new skill.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Really Good Day!

Today was an absolutely wonderful day. 

It began with church at Truly Ministries at 8:30. A dear, dear friend met me there for worship. And worship we did! I sang a Ken Medema favorite "Lord, Listen to Your Children Praying" and even got the congregation to sing along with me. And Reverend Truly preached an inspiring sermon that had me smiling through the entire thing!

After that, my friend and I went to breakfast at Cracker Barrel. Grits, eggs, muffins, hot biscuits...what's not to like? We had a chance to catch up with and enjoy each other. 

Then, this afternoon, Mylie's "Gran" and I went to redo Mylie's room. We had Mylie's mom take her out and we did a room to make a 5 year old happy. Plenty of pink and purple, with hearts, flowers and butterflies that fit Mylie's personality to a "T." I never had children, so being able to spoil other people's kids brings me great joy. 

Now I am home, tired but happy. 

Mostly happy. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Funeral for a Cousin

Yesterday, I attended the funeral of my Daddy's cousin Herman. Called "Little Herman", being a junior, he stood well over 6 feet tall. 

The funeral was very well done. Longtime, loyal store employees shared rememberances of Herman from the pulpit. Songs were sung and prayers were offered. 

After the service, my stepmom and I decided not to try to make the graveside service due to the heat and the long walk that faced us when we got to the cemetery. When I got home, my sister Tammy called and said that Herman's funeral procession did not go to the city cemetery. Instead it had gone across town in the opposite direction. 

I was baffled. I thought there was room in the Tillman lot for Herman. I could not figure out where another cemetery might be in the tiny town of Hazlehurst, MS. My sister promised to find out and let me know. 

This afternoon, I got another call. Herman had, indeed, been buried in the Tillman lot in the Hazlehurst city cemetery. But, first, the procession took him past Tillman furniture, the flagship of his 5 stores, one last time. 

I know that Herman would have approved. And that he and Daddy had a ringside seat watching from Heaven. 

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Another "First"

Tomorrow Easter will mark yet another "first" without Daddy. I have made it through Christmas, New Years, and his birthday. For some reason, this one seems hardest so far. No Easter get together is planned. I am not making a coconut cake in the shape of a bunny, I did not go in search of those awful individually wrapped eggs. The ones that are white inside with hard pastel coating on the outside. Daddy liked those and Circus Peanuts. I never really could figure out why. I find them both at the very bottom of the candy food chain myself.

Tomorrow, I will attend his little church, Yokena Presbyterian, with my sweet stepmom. It will be strange sitting in a pew without him beside me. Strange not having him make sure I have a bulletin and a hymnal. Strange not hearing his voice banter back and forth with his friends before the service begins. 

I know it will get easier with time. But first, I have to make it through another "first" without him. 

And that is not easy. 

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Via Dolorosa

Friday, Lord willing, I will sing the Via Dolorosa at Christ Episcopal Church Vicksburg for the 23rd straight year. This is something I look forward to every year. This year, I have a touch of bronchitis that is threatening the quality of my performance. I am hoping to be able to sing this one song, even if I don't sing again for weeks.

A couple of years ago, I scoured the internet for public domain images of Christ carrying His cross down the "Way of Sorrows" and made this video to accompany a recording of the "Via Dolorosa" done in Nashville a few years back.

Walk the "Via Dolorosa" with Christ this Good Friday.

Sunday, April 01, 2012


This morning I went to Truly Ministries "Dream Center" to sing the "Via Dolorosa." I can't begin to describe what a joyful experience this was for me. It was as if the song just poured out of me, with an effortlessness that I have not felt in a long time.

I have been feeling the tug of spreading my wings and going to visit other churches and witness through music for a couple of years now. But I never truly felt free to do so until now. I think the joy I felt this morning was a sign that I am on the right path.

So, I am stepping out to see just where it leads me.


Mystery Meat

I have recently become reacquainted with a substance I have not voluntarily encountered since my school years.  Mystery Meat  I brought ...