Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Reflections From A Mother's (& Daughter's) Heart

I planned on having a guest blogger for you to meet today, but things didn't quite go as planned. This first "guest post" is in memory of my Mama, Frantie Voiles, 1927-2006.

{house that Mama's father built ca.1930 when she was a little girl}

I bought a journal for Mama several years ago. It had daily questions for her to answer throughout the year. She filled in several pages with her tiny cursive handwriting, but so many pages were left empty, not because she didn't want to write in them, but because she was so busy with life: church, family, grandchildren, always helping neighbors, constantly doing for others. Sometimes when I see those empty pages I can't help but cry. I want to know the answers that she would have penned in that book, but I already know them in my heart. The blank pages are just that, blank pages. What really matters is that my heart is over-flowing with memories of a wonderful, kind, caring, unselfish, beautiful person that she was and always will be.

The following is an excerpt from her journal. The question is followed by Mama's reply:

What scent or sound immediately takes you back to your childhood? Describe the feeling it evokes.

"When I hear the sound of a lone airplane going over, I'm immediately taken back at our old home place at Little Crab and I'm in the front yard watching a plane go over.

The sun is shining and everything is so peaceful.

The skies are blue and you can see the mountains all around. I'm so content in my own little world.

When the sound of the plane has faded, everything is so still and there is not even a movement except a butterfly going from one flower to another or a bird flying by. Our little valley was such a happy, peaceful place to grow up in.

When I hear someone singing "Shall We Gather at the River" it always takes me back to the river down below where we lived at Little Crab. I can see the big open place just before you get to the river, and all the people are standing there except for the preacher and those wanting to be baptized, and they have waded out into the river. It is a really beautiful scene. I seem to feel that something sacred is taking place. The feeling is almost over-whelming."

Mama and I often went back to Little Crab. We'd drive down the little country roads and she'd point out the field where the cabin used to stand where she was born. She showed me the old country church that she attended as a little girl and where Daddy later was ordained to preach.We'd stop and walk around old homeplaces where nothing was left but a stone foundation or a few rows of daffodils in what used to be a yard. We'd always stop by the cemetery where generations of Mama's family were buried and where Mama and Daddy eventually made their resting place. The cemetery sits atop a little knoll in the valley. It's always peaceful there. The skies are always blue. Just as Mama described.

{all photos were taken by me in the Little Crab community near where Mama was raised}


Please check back next Wednesday for our first guest blogger.

Take Care & God Bless,


  1. Beautiful post! I have a book like that... my mom also didn't find enough moments to fill it... she was busy living life! She's been gone since 2003 and I still miss her...

    Nita Jo

  2. What a beautiful place and what sweet memories!

  3. Beautiful post. My all-time favorite to date. Destiny

  4. what a lovely tribute to your beautiful, sensitive
    mama. i loved each photo, too.

    i'm getting a tiny bit nervous. :)

  5. Nita Jo, Angela, Lorrie, Destiny, and Lea ~ Thank you so much for your comments. I questioned myself about posting it. I didn't want it to be sad, but I just let my heart speak for this post.

    Lea ~ don't be nervous... I'm excited! ;)

  6. Lana, this post is so beautiful. Your mother's heart comes out in her writing. You are so blessed to have what she had time to write amid all the demands of life. I know that you appreciate every word of it.
    Your pictures tell a wonderful story as well!!!

  7. Beautiful.
    It's just like we're there watching it all happen.