Saturday, May 11, 2013


This Sunday will mark 51 Mother's Days I've celebrated with my mom. She's been a mom 6 years longer than that, but I'm the caboose of 5, so I wasn't around for the early years.

I am around, however, in a very unique way, for these later years. My mom (Violet Marea Petty Vaughan) turns 87 on the 29th of this month and has been living with us since April of 2012. She had a serious illness last year that ended her days where she could live alone.

The days since April 2012 have been a gift. A good, hard, priceless gift. Maybe some time I'll write about some of the things I'm learning during these days. But not today.

Today, I want to express my gratitude to God for the mom He gave me.  Never once in my life have I doubted that she loves me. Never once have I not known that she was in my corner. Those are real gifts to a child. Those are real gifts to an adult. Thank you, God. Thank you, Mom. I love you.

I  also want to share some pictures of my mom. They are completely random -  just ones that I pulled out of some of her albums and some of my albums very quickly before we left for our weekend in Arkansas. I used to love looking at these when I was a child. I still love looking at these as an adult.

My mom grew up in the heart of the depression in the Bootheel of Missouri, the daughter of a farmer and the baby of seven kids. She has some stories to tell of desperately hard times. A favorite of mine is about her dad, Samuel Andrew Petty. Because meat had to go a long way around their table, he would tell them, "You guys eat that," pointing to the lean pieces. "I like the fat."

My grandpa died when I was three. I was always sorry that I never knew him.

Grandpa, Grandma (Minerva Bell), Victor Shirley, Ruth, Mom

The 3 sisters: Ruby, Ruth, and Mom 

Mom, Ruby, My Grandma, Ruth

In keeping with the season this month, here's Mom's high school graduation picture.
Campbell High School graduate
I think this next picture was taken when Mom was in nurse's training. It is also proof that everything eventually comes back in style. Saddle oxfords must have been "in" then, and they are "in" now.

My mom and dad didn't have professional pictures taken at their wedding, just a few snapshots. I always thought her dress was so pretty.

Love her smile on this one. And her skinny waist.

I picked this next one because she was holding me. I'm kind of a sucker for those pictures. The boy scout isn't one of us, and I can't remember his name.

?, Andy, Hugh, Mom, me, Kathy, Keith

Think the sun was a little bright the day this next picture was taken? And we've been Cardinal fans for a long time.

My dad's mom, "Mama Trudy," Mom, Dad, Keith, me, Andy, and Kathy

And now, fast forward a few years....

August 1, 1987.

I've always liked that picture of us. A happy picture on a very happy day.

I'm anticipating another happy picture tomorrow. I'm grateful that my mom is my mom.

Mom, you are a gift.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the comments and the pictures, Shelley.

    I've heard Mom say that about Grandpa, too. He was almost 85 when he died in 1964. I barely remember him. I hope he got to eat something besides fat later on. I wonder, though, if eating that fat was part of the secret of his longevity. Mom says he chewed tobacco, too. Days O' Work was his brand.

    I'll tell one story about Mom. Neighborhood of 1969 we went to a revival meeting at a gym in Brighton. The speaker was a visiting evangelist from somewhere else. I remember wanting to walk forward during the invitation, but didn't have the guts. Mom somehow must've sensed that because when we got home she called me into her bedroom to talk to me. She knew that Davy Crockett had always been my hero & she reminded me of Davy's motto: Be sure you're right, then go ahead. She went on to say that with God, you're always right. I've always looked back on that incident as the time I became a Christian.

    Be sure you're right and then go ahead
    At least that's what Mom and Davy said.
    I believed the good news
    'bout the King of the Jews
    that day before I got into bed.