"Memories of Momma" — A 71 Day Photo Tribute (Day 48)



Here's another proud Momma moment, my masters graduation in 2010.  About six months earlier, my Dad had passed away, so it was just Momma and me at the graduation ceremony. It was a bittersweet milestone, and I can only imagine how hard it was for Mom, sitting alone in the audience and surrounded by smiling families.

Earlier that day, I had coached Mom on how to use my complicated camera. I wanted to make sure we had good quality pictures of this once-in-a-lifetime moment, and Mom was eager and nervous to learn. She did great though and now I cherish those special pictures even more.

I remember us talking the ceremony staff into letting Mom go backstage with me beforehand to take pictures and help me with my regalia. At some point, she asked when I would start my Ph.D., and I emphatically told her, "No way, fat chance, not gonna happen!" I sometimes joke about how Mom could have run the travel agency on guilt trips, but really, she always just wanted the best for me.

After graduation, we took a short vacation at the beach to celebrate being finished with school. We stayed at the Perdido Beach Resort in Orange Beach, the same place where as a family we had spent the holidays together for so many years. We kept with our traditions and ate at all the same restaurants we'd usually visit from year to year, like the Original Oyster House and Niki's Seafood. We had a champagne celebratory toast at the hotel's piano bar — Mom's favorite spot. She always requested "Red Red Wine" — that was her song. And as the lyrics go... "Stay close to me, Don't let me be alone, It's tearing apart my blue heart..." 💙

Here's a cheers to you, sweet Momma!

*It's Day 48 of my 71 day photo series in honor of my dear sweet Momma who passed away on 03.21.2016 after a harrowing 71 day health battle. Those 71 days do not define her. Oh no. What defines her — and me — are the incredible 66 years that she lived her life. I hope you enjoy these snapshots of the beautiful moments and memories of her life.