Saturday, December 10, 2016

Last of The Mo"Leach"ans

The oldest member of our family tree, Tillie died this past week after  suffering a stroke.

That's  my Aunt Tillie on the left and her husband behind the sofa. That's my own two parents on the right side. My dad and his brother almost look like twins in this picture. That's my paternal grandparents in the middle. Never met either of them but have heard many a story about them both.

Tillie was drop dead gorgeous and my Uncle Pont was always crazy about her just like my own parents were crazy about each other... all deeply in love. We lost my own mother when I was just seventeen and was quite a blow to the entire family. Pont went next, having a sudden heart attack while playing tennis with with his son, Shad and his friends one summer afternoon.

Shad went next and way too early, probably in his fifties. He was as handsome as his mother Tillie was gorgeous and both were extremely talented artists. Shad took a nap on his sofa one day and died in his sleep.

My brother is quite correct when he says "Our family takes the express checkout."

My own mother died suddenly, unexpectedly and in less than one minute. Shad never even saw it coming. Pont died with  his tennis racket handle still warm.

My own father went from perfectly healthy to being taken off life support in less than ten days after simply being bit by a mosquito carrying West Nile virus.

Yep, we take the express checkout and hope the lane is still open when my  own time comes.

Tillie lingered longer than most. She was healthy enough but lost her eye sight a few years back. What a travesty for an artist.

When I was a little girl, she one time gave me a calligraphy set. I was over the moon and that gift started me to love the written word as I still do today. I love writing in longhand. I have seven journals full from cover to cover and a freak about how neatly I write something. If I have to scratch something out, I start over instead.

My own mother was pretty artistic, handy and could do anything but Tillie was an artist.

She gave my mother this pastel she'd done (probably in the sixties) and still have it. It hung in my dining room back in Georgia and hangs in my living room now in Florida.

She did this ink of our family crest and is hanging on the wall I'm facing while writing this blog on my computer.

Here's a fun fact. Tillie painted every megaphone every cheerleader used at our high school for as long as I can remember. My own was donated to the East Point Historical Society and is still on display.

Yep, that's my 'Kelly' megaphone (like I ever needed one) on the top right shelf.

Tillie lived with her daughter for the past decade or so, maybe more. She still sent out hand crafted Christmas cards each Christmas and were always beautiful. She had more talent than life.

She may be gone now but her creations will live forever and be passed down from generation to generation.

I can remember Sunday School (back in the sixties) at the church, her having all the youth sit and watch her create a beautiful painting in less than five minutes while we all stared in disbelief at her incredible talent.

My uncle Pont, her husband would play music while she created her drawing on stage. I still remember the song he loved best.  He played it often.

It was also played at his own funeral.

I feel proud to be from such an eclectic, loving and accepting family. They are my bridge over troubled water.

They lay me down.

They are beside me.

Tillie was one of the most eclectic. Tillie lived the longest.

Tillie was the most talented person I've ever been  fortunate enough to love, and be related to.

This is a picture I saw of Tillie on her daughter's  FB wall during a visit to the butterfly house at Calloway Gardens.

Even when an artist is blind they sense where beauty is.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

We may fall like swatted flies when hit by destiny but when we soar we make a difference.

That's all you have to do for a successful life in my book.

Make a difference.

Til next time...COTTON

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