As I walked through the breezeway for the first trip back to Atlantic Beach my heart was heavy. I turned the corner to walk into the kitchen and she wasn’t there. It is where Mema normally stood awaiting our arrival to the beach from Raleigh. Normally busy making macaroni and cheese, scalloped potatoes and turkey to fill our tummies. She would stand near the stove and clap her hands and practically bounce up and down at any of the families arrival. There are so many memories that fill our hearts with love from her and the legacy she has left. Now that Christmas is here we try our best to remember and not forget the love that she has given. We now try to pass that along to our children.
Here she is beautiful as ever. This photo was taken during her last walk on the beach with Pops.
Her beautiful hand with the shells she collected. One of her most favorite things to do.
Thoughts from Dot’s granddaughters, Kellie MacDonald and Lauren Ward:
While many of our sweetest memories can’t be conveyed in words, some of them materialize in wonderful ways…
She would bring towels hot from the dryer out to us as we climbed out of the pool.
She would politely request that I hold my shoulders back and tummy in (even while pregnant!)
There was always an abundance of back rubs, sweet rolls and grammar corrections to be had in her kitchen.
She would underline and bold the writing in every greeting card to let you know she meant every word.
She only called us by her nicknames “Kel” and “Lar Lar”.
She filled our stockings every Christmas and included her home-made fudge.
Her Mac and Cheese was out of this world good.
I remember watching the summer Olympics and Duke games with her. She was so much fun to cheer with.
I learned how to garden by watching her. She let us help her fill the bird feeders and bird baths.
She always smelled of her White Shoulders perfume and had an arm full of bracelets that made a very distinct noise. She let the little girls play with her bracelets.
She. Was. Elegant. Even over the past few weeks. I have never known a more elegant woman. She always patted her knee with her hand to every song. She danced so beautifully.
She adored her husband. He adored her. I could tell. Everyone could tell.
They would sit on the deck together and watch us play on the beach. She would collect shells with us and tell us their proper names.
She would prepare our rooms with cookies, milk, chips and pop tarts before we came. And send us on our trip back to Raleigh with snack bags full of turkey and cheese roll-ups.
She believed Apinol could cure any skin wound or sore muscle and would offer it to us on any “boo-boo” occasion.
She quietly trusted her God. In her last days she said “I always knew He loved me. I didn’t know He loved me THIS much.”
He loved us often through her. We will miss our Mema.