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She was a woman of grace and of beauty. Lined in her closet were many beautiful hats, and she perfected the art of wearing each one of them well.

Who was she?

From 5:00 a.m. coffee and conversations with her mom in the cool of the morning, to shelling peas on the shaded porch in the heat of the day; from dealing with a stern and angry father and allowing her heavenly Father to tenderly heal the pain in her heart he inflicted, to taking care of him in his old age and final days. She was a loving daughter.

In the 1950s she met her match and soon thereafter married him. The road for them was quite narrow and certainly not easy, but it was tried and true and they never strayed from it, nor each other. Oh, how he loved her! She was a devoted wife.

She bore her man sons and daughters. From ties and buzz cuts, to homemade dresses and pigtails so tight your eyes would bulge, her children were well cared for. She took them to church and taught them the holy reverence of the Lord. She spared not the rod (er, switch from the old tree in the backyard that they had to go pick out themselves) and always explained the why before the correction. Oh how they dreaded the why talk! Just get it over with, Mom. How could they possibly know that foundations were being poured in those correction sessions.  The whys have served her children well.  Yes, she was a faithful mother.

She had a keen eye and appreciative heart for landscapes and nature, and a talent for capturing God’s beautiful creation on canvas. And so she painted. And painted. At first her plan was to sell those lovely renderings to help provide during the lean times, but her man would take a look at the finished product and say no. Nope, not that one either. He could always find another spot on the wall for that one. Their home resembled an exhibit!  She was an artist.

The years moved quickly and brought her joys and sorrows. Her final chapter left her children heartbroken, for her mind slipped into a place that she didn’t deserve to go. Her man went to Heaven in September that year. She would grieve and then she wouldn’t, as if grief were a card left on the coffee table, set down and forgotten until she picked it up and read it again an hour later. I suppose that was a blessing in and of itself. Heaven called her name a few short months later, and she was made whole again. She is a dancer.

She was LaVerne Hudson Lee. She was, and is, my Mother.

Thank you, September 13, 1935. I love you almost as much as the gift you gave the world and to meSee you soon, Mom.

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