Rest in Peace

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:

Being an award-winning artist:

Being a goof:

Being elegant:

Being a bathing beauty:

Being flat-out gorgeous:

Being a daughter:

Being a wife:

Being a friend:

Being a sister:

Being an aunt:

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

Being a Mama and Mom-mo:

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.

8 thoughts on “Rest in Peace”

  1. Although I did not know your Mother, I feel like I do now because of the beautiful way you described her. What a wonderful tribute to her. I know you miss her terribly. Love, hugs and know I will be thinking of you. Martha and Barney


  2. So sorry for your loss, I’ve always been impressed with your descriptions of your mum here. Is it offensive that the picture above in which I can think I can best see the family resemblance between you and her is the one which you’ve called “being goofy”? 🙂


  3. It’s so hard when your mom leaves, but soon enough you realize she’s always gonna be there- over your shoulder, in your heart, and never far away.


  4. Laurie, this is a wonderful tribute to your mom. I’m very sorry that she has passed on, but I don’t think she’ll ever be far from you. I can see all the love and warmth in these pictures, and those bonds don’t break.


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