Her life was and is a vibrant force that will never be squelched. Here are a few favorite pictures that perhaps somehow, on some small level, communicate the vitality & sheer joy that she had for life, her children, her friends, her family.
And because there were so many wonderful pictures, and I couldn’t resist, I also created an additional photo album called “Remembering Mama” — here’s the link.
The Beautiful Life of Sarah Denise
I’ve posted this picture before, but am including it again because I love it so. Denise was 19-years-old when she married my dad. A hippie at heart, she picked her daisy bouquet that morning in the meadow near her house.
Easter morning before church, probably 1990. Mama was a stay-at-home mom — cooked dinner every night, kept a garden, tended her flowers, and taught smocking classes. As we got older, we were “too cool” for homemade dresses, so Sue is the only one wearing smocking above.
This picture was taken the day that Bobby and I got engaged in 2001. My mother was absolutely thrilled… she had dreamed of her girls’ weddings for years, and FINALLY, it was time to plan the first one!
In September 2004, Mama was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was devastated at the thought of the chemo taking her hair, so we decided to schedule a family portrait before starting treatments. I have no idea what we’re laughing at in this picture, but I’m so glad that the photographer captured it. Laughing in the face of adversity — that’s what Denise taught us to do.
And in November 2006, we were told that the breast cancer had returned. The four of us — Mama & her girls — headed to Charleston for the weekend. This was the last picture taken before we fully understood our battle… I remember feeling so hopeful and secure in Mama’s love. I knew, really knew, that nothing was strong enough to take her from us.
To all of you whose mothers are still with you, please squeeze her a little tighter today. If you aren’t with her, please be sure that she knows just how thankful you are for her — thankful that she gave you life and the opportunity to become who you are.
To all of you who have living children, I hope that you feel appreciated and honored today, because you truly are the center of your little ones’ world. I hope you (and know you will) give your babies extra squeezes, and love them so hard it hurts.
To any who have lost your mothers, I hope that the joy of your memories is stronger and more poignant than the pain of your loss.
And to all of you whose babies aren’t with you, I hope that you’re able to see a ray of light glimmering through the pain and sadness. I hope something makes you smile today, even if only for the briefest moment.