Making Memories Monday about My Mom

I intended to vlog today, but due to circumstances beyond my control (as in I’m running late for work) that isn’t going to happen. So instead I’m going to do a Making Memories Monday post and I’m excited about that (or as excited as I can be early on a Monday morning!) Anyway, next month is Mother’s Day and since it isn’t far away my memories today (and for the next couple of weeks) will be about my mother.

Shirley Layne DeMumbrum Bell was born in a little white farm house in the small town of Edmonton, Kentucky. She was the second child of Layne and Nettie. She would be there only daughter and grew up to be some what of a tomboy and a Daddy’s girl.  One of my favorite pictures of her is when she is about twelve years old. Her hair is in two long pigtails and she’s riding her bike, followed by her brothers and some neighbor boys. She looks like the Leader of the Pack on bicycles!

She wore dresses made out of feed sacks when she was little and grew up working on the farm. Her childhood was cut short when she married my dad at the ripe old age of sixteen. He was twenty six and home from the Air Force. They attended church together and the night they married they actually eloped and drove across the state line to tie the knot. I was born a year later and was described by many as resembling Elvis Presley because I had such a mop of unruly black hair.

My earliest memories of my mother involved my baby brother, Robert. I wanted to help her with him and looking back now I realize I wasn’t much of a help.  Having two children before you are twenty years old could not have been easy but years later the seventeen year age difference between us seemed to disappear and she became my best friend.

I have so many great memories of her that it’s hard to choose just one to share with you today. Some of my best memories of her are of watching her become a grandmother. She absolutely loved my children beyond measure.  She spoiled them with trips to Walmart  and Happy Meals. She took my daughter to the beauty shop with her and paid for her to get a manicure (Rachel was only four at the time). If my children were sick she went to the doctor with me or kept the others. She helped plan birthday parties and had enough pictures of them in her purse to plaster the walls of her house.

Unfortunately she never got to meet our twins or any of my brother’s children. When she was only 50 she was diagnosed with advanced colon cancer.  She insisted on taking us to Disney World the spring before she died. She was so thin and frail I don’t know how she did it but somehow she managed to get out of her wheel chair and go through the Swiss Family Robinson tree house. She enjoyed the trip and being with us and her grandchildren even though she was in terrible pain. That was in May, by the first of July she was much worse and on July 26th she went home to heaven.

It seems almost impossible that it’s been twenty years, but it has. Yet she’s always with me in my memories  and I carry her love with  in my heart.

A mother’s love lasts a life time and even though I miss her and always will, she’s still a large part of who I am.

This post is dedicated to her and to all the moms out there who love beyond measure! God bless you!



  1. Teresa, your mother sounds like a wonderful woman – and a real trooper: Disney in May can be brutal enough for someone who is at full health. What a beautiful example for you and your children to live life to the fullest and treasure every moment… and what lovely memories you and the children must have. I imagine that even if your children don’t remember these times first-hand, they have heard so many stories that the memories are still real to them. Thank you for participating in Making Memories Monday!

  2. That’s a really cool post about your mom. I hope my kids will feel the same way about me when they are older. That we will go from mother/child to an adult type friendship.

  3. Pam Sayne 27 Apr, 2010

    Shirley was a “one of a kind” mom. One day you will have to tell everyone how brave she was to take 4 (or was is 5?) teenage girls to Ft.Lauderdale Fl. in search of “Where the Boys ARE”. She read her book, didn’t give us “cooties” and most importantly kept us safe. I will never forget her giving us that opportunity–that we would never have had if she hadn’t been so brave. What a great mom she was (she was brave to the end)–and what a great example you had. Love you.

  4. teresak 27 Apr, 2010

    I’m not sure the world is ready for the story of that trip!

  5. teresak 27 Apr, 2010

    What a sweet thing to say! Thanks Lisa!

  6. Lee Ann 27 Apr, 2010

    What wonderful memories you have shared of such special times with your mother. I knew the teacher side of this delightful person you just described, as Mrs. Bell was my 6th grade teacher. Her love of reading encouraged many students to learn to appreciate it as much as she did. She had a way of making each child feel special with the many extra activities that were certainly not required in her job duties. Some teachers just go the extra mile in their passion to help children achieve more – your mother was one of those teachers.

  7. teresak 27 Apr, 2010

    Mom was a trooper. She taught me so much, even when she was dying, she was still teaching,,,She showed me how to face death with courage and dignity. She was amazing.