This segment is dedicated to my dear mother, Brenda M Carroll. My mom was loving, caring, kind, and thoughtful…she was the best mom a girl could ask for. She overcame the challenges of having only one hand; her left hand was deformed from getting wrapped around her umbilical cord during pregnancy and never grew. If kids back then were as cruel as they are today I can only imagine the teasing that she went through; yet she was the face of popularity and was crowned “Miss Antler” in high school. She was a stay-at-home mom to my younger sister and me; she was a remarkable budgeter and financial wizard, always making sure we had the necessities and the “cool” jeans for the start of each new school year. She never once combined my birthday (December 22) with Christmas; always making sure my birthday was celebrated separately on the 22nd. Once my sister graduated from high school my mom went to work at a local daycare center, her expertise there was teaching all of the preschoolers how to tie their shoes before they went to kindergarten (remember, she only had one hand). Those day-care kids loved her dearly and when her two grandchildren showed up she treated them no differently than the others; but back at home she was their “Grammy” and was definitely taken away from them way too soon. Even though I know that it saddened her, she was nothing but supportive when I left my 17-year marriage and moved away to NY to “find myself”; she was always there for my sister and me as we struggled with our various life journeys. My mom thought my “Lost Soles of the Highway” project was a fascinating undertaking; she was my number one fan and one of these days I’m going to make her proud by doing something commendable with it. Upon her passing we found a notebook of poems that she had written over the course of the last several months of her life, many dedicated to specific people in her life. I took many of those poems and added some of my own personal photography to create a book in her honor, sending a copy out to close family and friends the following Christmas. We recalled how she once shared with us that she was baffled at this strange new desire to write poetry but we had no idea she was writing these poems or that she was so good at it. The book is titled “Love You Forever - Like You For Always” and is available as an ebook on Blurb. (https://www.blurb.com/ebooks/704325-love-you-forever-like-you-for-always) I am so proud to call her my mom and I will miss her every single day for the remainder of my life.
Me and my mom in Myrtle Beach, 8-10 years before her passing.