My mother taught all her children, they could be anything they wanted to be in Life.
In memory of my mother Thelma Whitton Tarver, September 10, 2004, Eleven years ago today, I rolled your wheelchair/ wheel bed, outside the building. Reading to you all the months and years of memories you shared with me! I know you could hear me, even tho you never responded. Mother is the most beautiful name in the world. I was alone with you all day reading the stories you shared with me. I tried so hard to be strong but about 5: o’clock I couldn’t hold my tears any longer. Brenda and Bonnie, two of my sister, were on their way to spend the night with you. I thought I’d see you the next day. I saw you several hours later……. after you departed this earth accompanied by Angels. Bonnie and Brenda were watching “Fried Green Tomatoes” with you. When you stopped breathing. Bonnie called Wesley and told him mama is gone. I don’t remember the ride to be with you. I don’t even remember being alone with you. (They say I was). The memory of the gurney with squealing wheels coming down the hall with you, in a body bag, brought traumatic feelings slamming into my chest. You had left us; I felt like I was five years old again. I wanted my mama; I had to get outside. My three loving sister’s with their husbands, my husband and I stood looking up at the beautiful star filled early morning sky. Those few minutes were the only peaceful ones for me for a long time. I felt you were looking at us, with your beautiful smile ” no more wheelchair” I’m dancing with my daddy for the first time, across the stars, by moonlight. Your funeral was a blur mama; I didn’t want to be there. You couldn’t be dead. You who wouldn’t even speak of dying for eight years of cancer treatments, couldn’t be dead! The night after your funeral, I packed my bags and left home alone. Went to our lake place. Close to the Cemetery, so I’d be close to you. Days later Wesley and little Josh came up on the weekend. The first time I remember Wesley telling me he felt embarrassment when everyone at work asks him how I was doing. He had to tell them I was gone to the lake. He didn’t say I wouldn’t even talk to him. I had to be alone! It rained almost every day, but it felt like it should.Rain and tears all ran together falling onto that red mound of clay covering your grave. No headstone, just rain, tears, red clay and me, for four days I felt was honoring our history, as mother and daughter.I wanted to talk to you just one more time Mama. Our relationship was the foundation my life as a woman was built on. I never felt you loved any one of your seven children more than the others. However, each relationship was unique to each child. Being the first born, you and I were very close. I can only write about my and your relationship. What I write about my siblings and you, are my opinions. They each knew you by their history with you. I know without a doubt they loved you very deeply. Of course, you loved us all. —