Mom, I will see you soon, but not soon enough.
October 7, 1950 – February 15, 2017
According to her facebook profile:
I am an artist! I draw with DMC threads, do mixed media art, working with papers and findings, make beaded jewelry working with beautiful colorful beads. I have created a mixed media dollhouse and lots of painted and decorated birdhouses. I love books – all types of books! The most important and loved the absolutely best is my Ray, our sons, daughter-in-law and grandchildren. All this is, of course, is given to me by my God.
Patricia Ann Hendricks
A coal miner’s daughter, from a holler in West Virginia. She was the first-born of maybe the strongest woman to ever live, Mamaw. Patsy, Mom played next to coal trains and dump trucks surrounded by dirt roads and black dust. She grew up quick in a tough environment from birth. Finding her teddy bear to save her, she married Ray, Dad at 16 years old.
Where do you start when talking about someone who is such a part of you that it is hard to separate what is her and what is me?
From my earliest memories, I was momma’s boy. We looked alike. Acted alike. Both loved to shop. Both expressed our emotions loudly or passive aggressively depending on how happy or mad you made us. We could talk about anything and I mean anything – she knew all my secrets. For hours on end we could debate anything – we loved to debate with each other – on any topic.
I remember one time I convinced her that the chickens we noticed behind Hardees were there because Hardees had fresh chicken and that is why it was so fresh. It took a long time of debating, but I won in the end and she believed me – at least that is what she told me to end the debate.
Most often Daddy would leave the room if we started debating because he did not like to hear us argue, but to us it was fun (most of the time).
She was fierce about the people and things she loved. Family always came first. Ray, daddy, Papa, was the center of her life. Her husband of 49 years. They both taught me that no matter what, you take care of family first. They have never let anything stay in their way even when times were tough, they were always there for one another in the end. Married before either of them had experienced the world, they overcame all obstacles and lived out the vow of to death do us part.
She gave me a note not long ago. It said “tell him I truly love him. He is the best husband any woman could have.”
She was so proud of her boys. Chris and Charles were her angels – if you ever talked to her you know there was little we could do wrong in her eyes. If you dared say something about us, you were on the “LIST.” And yes, she kept a list and if you got put on the list you probably did not get taken off the LIST. She was very proud of both of us for all that we have done and all that we will do in the future. She was the ultimate cheerleader / supporter / mom. I could ask her any question on any topic and she would give me a boost in the right direction – sometimes literally “so go do it” sometimes with a question like “so why are you not doing it yet” and sometime with encouragement like “you can do anything you put your mind to.” She had faith that if Chris or Charles wanted something they could and probably would achieve it.
There was nothing more important to her than her grandbabies. They will always be her grandbabies no matter how big they get. Jared was the first and made her Granny. She loved him so much. Just a few days ago, she told me how proud she was of how he was doing in college and at work. She always wanted to tell me how amazing Zachary was doing at school, sports, and of course how he is sooooo good-looking. Hannah was her first granddaughter, my how she wanted daughters and she finally got one. She tried to take her home every time we got together. She always gushed over Hannah being beautiful and smart. Then came Sophia. A grand-daughter that loved makeup, jewelry, shopping, clothes, dressing up, and I am not sure how this happened, but they even shared the same packing skills – in other words if you own it pack it. She loved that all her grandbabies enjoyed reading like her. She loved making art for you and with you. She wanted you to be with her all the time. She was very proud of all of you for what you have done and she had high expectations of what you will do with your lives. I can tell you, just like Granny Moore has always been with me, Granny will always be with you, watching over you, protecting you, and guiding you. Listen and you will hear her love all the way from heaven.
Outside of her immediate family few others were as close to her heart. However, there are a few that I know deserve mention. Mamaw, Tonya, Janie, Debbie, Martha, Bill, Blake, Karol, Kelly, Jon, Carter, Henry, Kayla, Elly, and Randy. She loved her family.
Other than family she loved to travel – mainly to the beach. She loved her crafts – all of them – no really, if you could make it she was probably working on it. She loved Elvis, country music, electronics – although they never worked for her, reading, playing games, flowers, and of course her dogs. She faced life with a fierce love that is rare to see. From driving down sidewalks to burning dinner to decorating for Christmas, Halloween, valentine’s day, and any other holiday where she could make or buy decorations, to painting walls, to dreaming of the future she lived life as fully as her body would allow. She tolerated pain like I hope none of us can imagine or must face ourselves. She was and is my hero.
Granny, Patsy, Mom you will be missed. You were the glue that held us all together and somehow always knew where that thing was in your system of organization. You will live on through all of us here and all those that you touched with your kind heart. I hope you found the heaven we talked about. I hope Debbie and Granny Moore were both there waiting on you as you arrived. I know you found Gunner, Yogi, and Mickey as soon as you arrived. I will see you soon, but not soon enough.