This is a beautiful photo of my mom when she was in her teenage years or early 20’s as I recall. It is a playful and fun picture. Mom passed on Friday, June 9, 2023 in the early morning hours. She was 91. I was not sure what photo to use in my blog honoring her, but this one speaks volumes about her fun side.

Mom was born on October 6, 1931 in Petersburg, Virginia. She had a good sense of humor about her most of the time and everyone in the home where she lived out her last years, Emerald Health and Rehab in Lillington, NC loved her. Her mom, my grandmother lovingly called Mother Goode by the grandchildren was a nurse for many years in Wilmore, Kentucky at Asbury College.

Mom graduated with double degrees in English and Spanish from Asbury College and believe me I was taught to speak correct English. To this day, I am a stickler for words spelled correctly and proper grammar. I’m sure my English teacher had something to do with it but when you grow up with an English major you pick it up by default.

Mom got married to my dad in her early 20’s and had four kids. They must have had a sense of humor because we are all named starting with ‘J’ and in alphabetical order. We are also spaced out evenly with boy, girl, boy, girl with about a year and a half from the oldest boy to me and five years in between then next boy and a year and a half when my sister came along. Dad always joked that Mom was the only one not named with a ‘J’ so he teasingly called her junior sometimes.

Mom was amazing as she was a Methodist preachers wife and we moved what seemed like frequently as a kid. But that is how it was done back then. I know she packed up the house and us no less than 12-15 times over the life of Dad’s ministry. That is a lot of moving around and it was all in the central part of North Carolina. To this day, moving is my least favorite thing to do and all the schools we all had to adapt to made it challenging.

Mom remarried and lived out in the coastal region of North Carolina. I always enjoyed visiting and going to the beach. We would go to a cute little town on the water in Beaufort, NC and eat seafood. It would just be Mom and me and we would take in a few of the shops around too. Those are great memories with her.

In about 2007, Mom and I took a trip back to Petersburg, Virginia. It too provided great memories visiting relatives Mom had not seen in years, seeing the old church and high school she attended as a child, going to grave sites of relatives who had passed including Mom’s mother, her Aunt Hettie and her father. Mom grew up without a father after 4 years old as he had congestive heart failure and died at a young age. Mom and her mother lived in Petersburg after that with her Aunt Hettie.

Looking back at old photos of Mom I realize how beautiful she has always been and right up until her passing. She was a beautiful soul with a heart of gold. We all have challenges in life of many kinds, but I have to say that Mom moved through much of her life with grace. Don’t get me wrong, she was not perfect but who is?

I am very thankful I was able to visit Mom in 2018 and 2019 for extended periods of time. Those are so full of sweet memories as well. She could not get out of bed by that time, but I got to visit and bring her her favorite foods and drinks. She loved a chocolate milkshake and cheesecake.

There is so much more I can say and share but I will leave it here for now as I know more memories will spark additional blogs and books. Thank you for reading and taking a trip back through time with me.

Here’s to my Mom, Ernestine Hall Taylor, 10/6/31 – 6/9/23! May your life continue to shine in the hearts of all you were blessed to know and they were blessed to know you!

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