mama-Laurie-1963 or so

My mother, Willye Kate Parham, passed away on June 15, 2014. She was 90 years young. I haven’t known how to post it but I’ve written about her so much here that I thought I should announce it. She left us quickly and peacefully in the hospital at Chapel Hill after a procedure the night before to drain some fluid from around her kidney. She seemed to be fine and the doctors were not overly concerned about the procedure being risky, but it had to be done. The next morning she told the nurses that she had chest pains, then as a nurse held her hand, she said, “I hope you have a good life,” and she passed away.

Here is one of my favorite photos of her from just a few years ago, being a farmer:

Good Friday planting, April 10, 2009

Being an award-winning artist:

Mama at the art show

Being a goof:

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Being elegant:

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Being a bathing beauty:

grace owens katie jones parham

Being flat-out gorgeous:

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Being a daughter:

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Being a wife:

Willye Kate and T.C. Parham Jr., prob. 1943

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Being a friend:

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Being a sister:

Mama, Uncle Wilton, and Aunt Delaine in Mama's back yard.

Being an aunt:

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Being a cousin (and Grace is the other bathing beauty in the photo above):

Jones family reunion

Jones family reunion

Being a Mama and Mom-mo:

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Mama, Thad, and me before I walked down the aisle

Mid 1990s - clockwise: Mama, me, Lisa, and Brooke

Lisa, Mama, and Me

Thanksgiving 2012

My childhood and adulthood friend, JoJo Hammond (aka Lisa Jo Spivey) sang this song that she composed for her the morning of her funeral at the memorial service. She is working on making a video, which I will post when it is available. Here are the lyrics:

The thing I remember the most
Is her pretty little smile.
She’s been in my life
since I was a child.
She loved me just as I am
She was a good wife, mother and friend
someone told me the last words she said

I hope you have a good life
Sunny days, starry nights
The one you love by your side
Just have a good life
Love your neighbor, be his friend
Walk an extra mile with him
I hope you have a good life.

As long as I can remember
Her daughter’s been my friend
She’s been there for me
Through thick and thin
I can see her Mama’s eyes
and that pretty little smile
I know just like her
She goes that extra mile

I hope you have a good life
Sunny days, starry nights
The one you love by your side
Just live a good life
Love your neighbor
Be his friend
Walk an extra mile with him
I hope you have a good life

She lived one of the best lives I can possibly think of, and I have been privileged to be her daughter and inherit her genes.