Trudie Cleo Jordan Hancock

October 18, 1911-February 3, 2005 (93)

As my family stood in line speaking to family and friends just before my mom’s funeral, I could not believe that more than 500 people were in attendance–so many, in fact, that many did not get through the receiving line before the funeral was to begin.  It was a testament to my mom’s character and her helping nature that so many people’s lives were touched by her generosity and good humor.  It never occurred to me at the time that she was something of a celebrity, having dozens of friends who felt very close to her that I had never met.

 

A lot of the people who came through the line that day were Jordans and it reminded me again how Jordans gather around each other in time of need or family crisis.  Unfortunately, this was a scene I had witnessed too many times as various of my mom’s siblings passed on.  Although she was the second oldest child, she outlived her younger siblings by decades in some cases and she did this in spite of a difficult life, having lost her husband, Harley Maro Hancock, (October 24, 1956) and having buried her oldest son Harley Lester, (March 12,1954) named for his paternal grandfather, Lester Hancock.  She was left to raise four children with virtually no savings and only Social Security income.  (We later found the receipt showing that she was receiving only about $200 a month.)  Not only did she do that miraculously, but she carved out time to help others along the way–and doing even more of this as her children matured.

 

I was always much closer to the Jordan side of the family than I was to the Hancock side–I’m not sure if that’s because the Jordans were more extroverted, or simply because we had more interaction with them for other reasons.  However, my family’s life was inexorably tied to the Jordan clan: Aline and Kitty and their families would visit regularly; Nezzie and Doyle always provided us lavish gifts at Christmas and provided work for the children in their fish bait business; Blease, J.B., Bo, Wilson and Leonard were always checking on Mom, helping her in some way; and Bo, Lloyd, and Newsom dropped in whenever they were in the area.

 

My family went with Aline’s family frequently to the beach; we also joined Blease’s family at the beach–somehow getting all those children fed with a minimal amount of hassle and effort.  Kitty’s family always helped out as we brought in tubs of corn, limas, green beans, okra or other vegetables from my mom’s sizeable garden.  My sister, Darlene, worked in Leonard’s curb market for a number of years, and, before my grandfather’s death, I would visit his farm and spend time with Newsom and Ruby who were still living at home.  I would also spend time with my Aunt Ester in Ruby, South Carolina, making sure to attend Sunday School on Sunday morning (and getting documentation that I had attended to preserve my perfect attendance pin at Parkwood Baptist Church in Concord).

 

So there was never a question as to whether we would interact with a large number of Jordans–it was an assumption and a vital part of my growing up years.  I have always loved the caring, outgoing nature of this family and have been especially pleased at the tender hearted nature of the men in the family.  I have seen them cry on numerous occasions, many times simply happy tears. Of course all Jordans were hard working and my mom was no exception.  She taught her children the same valuable work ethic, perhaps stressing it even more because of our difficult financial situation.

 

I wish I could remember all the fun stories that my mom told me about her years growing up at Black Creek.  Mostly I remember it was a difficult life and the children were expected to forego school and help on the farm as the first priority.  With many hungry mouths to feed, it must have indeed been a difficult life, but her childhood memories were pleasant.  She talked a lot about her involvement with Cross Roads Baptist Church, where she met my father, Maro. My great aunt Ruth Purvis Baxley remembers Lon Jordan’s family had a flatbed truck which they drove to Cross Roads Church, and all the kids wanted to ride home on that truck.  I’ve also heard mom talk about the earlier days in which they drove a horse and buggy to church. It was a surrey with fringe on it.

 

Maro Hancock

After my mom’s marriage to Maro Hancock (11/23/29), they lived in the tenant house just up the road from the homeplace. Mom was confined to bed with pneumonia and her mom, Gabriela, had measles and pneumonia. Gabriela died February 27th, 1934 but Mom was too ill to attend her funeral so the hearse stopped at the tiny house up the road and brought the casket in for my mother to say goodbye to her mom.

 

Tincie Jordan

Not long after Gabriela’s death, Lon began courting Tincie Rodgers, a schoolteacher from Kershaw county whom he had helped recruit to the area while he was a trustee of the school board, according to my mother.  He courted Tincie at my mom’s residence because there were “too many children” at the homeplace and eventually married her (May 16, 1935).  Mom says she complained to her dad about “burning up her firewood courting Tincie.” Bo and J.B. who were still living at home, would mock Lon’s looking up toward the tenant house where he would be soon going to court and they spied on Lon’s courting. Tincie was born on June 29, 1901 and died March 14, 1969 of cancer.

 

 

Home Place Memories

My first memories of going to the old homeplace were for Christmas gatherings.  We would have our Christmas at home then drive to “the country” for Christmas with mom’s siblings.  I remember going into that dark house where the only light was an overhead bulb with pull-strings attached to the bedposts and the smell of hickory wood smoke emanating from the stoves as I made my way back to see Grandpa Jordan.  He would sometimes have a bit of tobacco juice around his mouth but he had such beautiful white hair and an inviting, gentle face.  Typically there was a lot of noise as children ran about the house, sometimes between the legs of grown-ups–the men gathering more toward the back of the house with Grandpa and the women congregating near the kitchen and the entry room.  As each new family would arrive, there would be lots of oohing and aahing and hugging, and retrieving food to be put into the kitchen for lunch.  Grandchildren would always receive peppermint sticks and a silver dollar at Christmas.

 

Before Grandpa died, a running water bathroom replaced one of the small bedrooms and this was a big deal.  In prior years, we had used the outhouse which left me confused because I couldn’t figure out how to flush it.  This of course brought a good laugh to all the adults when my dad told the story.  When Lon visited his children later in Kannapolis, he said they would become spoiled having indoor toilets. He did not believe toilets belonged indoors. There was also a well with a hand-operated pump at the back corner of the house.  This intrigued me that you could retrieve water in this manner (it was far more advanced than the “bucket” method that my grandfather Hancock used in his well.)

 

My other memories are mostly about reunions at the homeplace–unfortunately most of them after my grandfather’s death May 12, 1957.  There was always a huge amount of food put out on improvised tables made of sawhorses and plywood with white oilcloth tablecloths.  Typically women were busy shooing away flies and others were adding food to the table as each new family arrived.  The meal seemed to take a long time, but it was always followed by singing on the front porch.  By 1968 and later, I was expected to bring my electric guitar to provide the accompaniment as the Jordan clan and in-laws sang gospel music.  The main highlight, and usually the last song, was “Suppertime” in which J.B. would do the narration, usually with a moist eye (I have tapes of this and other reunions).  Afterwards, people would begin to pack up and leave, but there were always a few lingering Jordans in small clusters about the yard in conversation.

 

Lon’s truck to be auctioned

 

Buyers at Lon Jordan auction

After my grandfather’s death, there was a huge auction to sell his possessions.  I remember my brother-in-law, Gene Brooks, saying that even a bucket of bolts went for several dollars and most of the prices were very high (I still have carbon copy notations of many of the items sold at that auction).  We were all relieved that the house remained with a member of the family (J.B.) and we continued to enjoy reunions there for a number of years.

 

My last visit to the old homeplace (where you could see the house), unfortunately, showed it folding in on itself from disrepair and rot.  The property had been sold to a timber company. Trees had pretty well covered the area and the yard was virtually overgrown. (Now you cannot even make out where the house stood). That is a far cry from the homeplace I remember which was well manicured and kept in good shape.  The barns were old but always in good repair, housing nests from which I would retrieve eggs when I visited.  (The barn directly across from the house was rebuilt after a tornado picked it up and set it down in the nearby pond). The added-on front bedroom with its unique smell, was always of interest to the children because it contained a pedal-operated organ which we attempted to play.  Typically, during the visit at reunions, someone (usually Ruby) would actually play a song on that organ. It hurts me now to think of losing the homeplace, such a priceless piece of our family’s heritage.

 

Trudie’s Family

Lester Harley Hancock

Harley Lester Hancock was the oldest son and was named after his dad (Harley Maro) and his grandfather (Lester).  He was born April 14, 1931 in the little tenant house up from the old homeplace in Chesterfield County.  My memories of Harley are sketchy, but according to my sister, Ginny, there was a fair amount of friction between him and my father and he was frequently running away from home and being retrieved and disciplined by my father.  I’m not sure about the source of that friction, but Harley apparently was a sensitive guy.  According to my mom, largely because of the discipline issues with Harley, my father signed papers allowing him to join the army at the age of 15.  He later met and married a woman named Helen in New Jersey and John Lester Hancock was born of that marriage (February 17, 1950).  That marriage did not work out and Harley returned to live with my mom. Ginny and Harley went to New Jersey to retrieve John and he came to live with us as my brother. Later Harley committed suicide March 12, 1954, over a relationship with another woman.  This was the only time I ever saw my father cry.

 

 

Virginia Cleo Hancock (Ginny) was also born at the Chesterfield County residence on May 31, 1933.  Later my parents moved to Concord where they built a house at 29 Willowbrook Drive in 1936 and worked in Cannon Mills most of their working lives. (My dad earned a “20 Year” pin of which he was very proud.)  I always regarded Ginny as my “Big Sister.”  She graduated from Winecoff High School in 1951 and married Eugene Colin Brooks on December 23, 1951.  They have three children:

 

Robin Ginene Brooks Little was born on January 24, 1956. She graduated from A.L. Brown High School in 1973 and graduated from NC State in 1982 and now works in the insurance business in Charlotte. She married Tracy Alan Little on September 8 1979.  They have two children, Brooks and Jenna.

Brooks Alan Little was born on May 9, 1984 at Northeast Medical Center in Concord. He graduated from Northwest Cabarrus High School in 2001 and will graduate from NC State with a degree in Animal Science in 2006. Brooks was in the Beta club in High School and founded the group AWSUM (Athletes Who Share Unselfish Moments).

Jenna Elizabeth Little was born on July 27, 1986 at Northeast Medical Center in Concord. She graduated from Northwest Cabarrus High School in 2003 where she was a cheerleader and a member of AWSUM and will graduate from UNCC in 2008 with a degree in Psychology.    

 

Ginger Aline Brooks Glenn  was born September 8, 1957 at Cabarrus Memorial Hospital in Concord, NC. She was named after Aline. She graduated from A.L. Brown High School in 1975 and from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a degree in Elementary Education in 1979. She is an elementary school teacher at Winecoff School in Concord, NC. She married Douglas Wayne Glenn on April 5, 1980. They have 2 children, Brandon and Amanda:

           

Brandon Douglas Glenn (named for his father) was born on July 16, 1983 at Northeast Medical Center in Concord. He graduated from A.L. Brown High School in 2001 and will graduate from UNCC in 2006 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

 

Amanda Diane Glenn was born on June 10, 1987 at Northeast Medical Center in Concord. She graduated from A.L. Brown High School in 2005 and is attending UNCC.

 

Lanas Jean Brooks Calloway was born on October 12, 1959. She graduated from A.L. Brown High School in 1977 and works as an Administrative Assistant at Jackson School (a reform school) in Concord. She married Joe Melvin Calloway on September 23, 2005. Lanas and Joe enjoy motorcycling.

 


 

Linda Faye Hancock Staton was born on January 31st, 1944.  There was a substantial time gap between Ginny’s birth and Linda’s.  Linda graduated from Winecoff High School in 1962.  She married Joseph Evan Staton on December 9, 1962. Linda has worked at Sears in Carolina Mall for 36 years. Their children are Sherry and Leslie:

 

Sherry Arlene Staton Cochrane was born on November 26, 1963 at Cabarrus Memorial Hospital and graduated from Northwest Cabarrus High School in 1982. Sherry married Charles Kevin Cochrane on April 22, 1989. They live at 1917 S. Main St. in Kannapolis. She attended RCCC and is a Pharmacy Technician at Eckerd’s where she has worked for 24 years. Sherry has two sons, Ryan and Sean.

 

Ryan Patrick Cochrane was born on March 9, 1993 at University Memorial Hospital in Charlotte, NC. He has made the honor roll every year since the third grade. He enjoys playing soccer, and playing the guitar.

 

Sean Kevin Cochrane is named after his dad and was born on June 25, 1995 at University Memorial Hospital in Charlotte. He also has made honor roll every year since the third grade and enjoys playing all sports, but basketball is his favorite. He also enjoys playing the drums.

 

Leslie Darlene Staton Henderson (named after her aunt Darlene) was born on May 4, 1967. Leslie has 3 children: Jennifer, Jordan and Zachary. She works at Snyder Packaging in Concord.

 

Jennifer Nicole Brown was born on March 6, 1988 in South Dakota. She will graduate from South Rowan High School in 2006.

 

Jordan Wayne Henderson was born on January 23, 1992 in Newport, TN and is a student at Northwest Middle School.

 

Zachary Evan Henderson was born on February 8, 2002 at Northeast Medical Center in Concord.


 

Jerry Truman Hancock was born on August 16, 1946 at Cabarrus Memorial Hospital in Concord. Contrary to rumor, he was not named after President Truman but rather after Mom’s obstetrician, Truman Monroe (I guess she couldn’t come up with a name). Jerry graduated from Winecoff High school in 1964 and from UNCC in 1968 with a degree in English and secondary teaching certification. He married Doris Linda Freeman of Kannapolis on November 22, 1964 and their two daughters are Melissa and Kristi.

 

 

Melissa Christine Hancock Ratliff was born on November 20, 1970 at St. Mary’s hospital in Decatur, Illinois. She graduated from West Charlotte Senior High in 1989 and from Davidson College in 1993 with a degree in Chemistry and Pre-Med. She took time off to have children and is now in Medical School at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, VA. She was ranked 6th of the class of 400 in her high school class; won a gold medal in the National Latin Exam and won a Dow Chemical Research Grant in 1992. She is married to Stephen Michael Ratliff, Associate Minister at First Presbyterian Church in Virginia Beach, VA. Their two sons are:

 

Jacob Christopher Ratliff born on July 9, 1997 in Stanley County, NC

Benjamin Nelson Ratliff born on November 14, 2001 in Norfolk, VA

 

Melissa says she and Jacob inherited the Jordan nose and chin and she says her first memories of the Jordan homeplace are the long dirt road and driving forever to get there. She remembers lots of food outside on tables and worrying that another tornado might hit! She remembers stories told about her father, Jerry, such as having to bury his own dog and leaving the tail sticking up so he would know where he buried him; and that one year Santa brought Jerry switches—literally.

 

Kristi Michelle Hancock was born on October 31, 1973 at Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte, NC. Having been born two months early and weighing only 3 lbs., 6 oz. Her doctor later said, “I wouldn’t have bet a nickel on her making it.” Much to everyone’s surprise she did make and went on to graduate from high school from the North Carolina School of the Arts and also received a bachelors and Master’s degrees in music education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1997 and 2003. Kristi spent 10 years living in Massachusetts finishing her education and teaching music in Springfield, MA and Longmeadow, MA. In 2004 she moved to Memphis and is the string teacher at several elementary schools and is also the orchestra director at Overton High School, a performing arts high school in the Memphis City School system.

 

Kristi says, “I don’t remember much about the old homeplace although I know I was there when I was very little.  I mostly remember hearing my father and his family discussing it and talking about memories visiting there and hearing my grandmother Trudie talk about her life and growing up there. I always enjoyed listening to my grandmother talk about her life and learned a tremendous amount from her. Some people even say I resemble pictures of her when she was young in her late teens and twenties. She was a hot ticket then! Some of my fondest memories of her are when she would count my ribs and tickle me when I was little, sitting on the little step ladder that was the passing right of each toddler of the family at the dinner table, having her tease me while I ate her okra and cornbread, and her smile as I would leave with a hug around the neck. She would always say, “Come when you can.” My grandmother Trudie was an amazing woman who touched so many people while living a very simple life and she is terribly missed by those who knew her.”

 

Jerry is married to Emmie Hay Alexander Hancock, who was raised in Charleston, SC. They have a consulting/training business (AlexanderHancock Associates) in Davidson, NC. They provide training and consulting to companies worldwide.

 


Patricia Darlene Hancock Easley was born on March 28, 1949 (a birthday she shares with her grandmother Gabriela!) at Cabarrus Memorial Hospital in Concord, NC. She graduated from Northwest Cabarrus High school in 1967 and from UNCC in 1971 with a degree in English and secondary teaching certification. She married Darrell Easley on June 11, 1972.  Her two children are Hannah and Matthew. She is school librarian at Odell Elementary School, a position she has held since January 2, 1995.

 

Hannah Elizabeth Easley Pao was born on May 9, 1980.  Hannah graduated from University of North Carolina at Greensboro and taught French in Greensboro, NC for 3 years and married James Hing-Chung Pao of California in June, 2005. They live in Mountain View, CA.

 

Matthew Darrell Easley was born on April 1, 1983. He graduated from University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a degree in Business in 2004 and now works as a supervisor for FedEx Ground near Charleston, SC.


John Lester Hancock was born on February 17, 1950 and is the son of Harley Lester Hancock, Trudie’s oldest son.  After Harley’s death in 1954, John came to live with Trudie’s family as one of her own children and grew up with that family.  He graduated from Northwest Cabarrus High School in 1969 and spent four years in the Navy.  Later he worked for Kemper insurance before going into business for himself.  Currently he owns restaurant franchises in Holden Beach and Shallotte N.C.  He married Sheila Barringer and their son is John Daniel Hancock, born in Lake View, Ill on January 3, 1980. Johnny graduated from West Brunswick High School in 1998 and is in the landscaping business in Ocean Isle, NC. John married Theresa Freeman in April of 2001.

 

John’s memories of the Jordan family …

 

My first memories of the Jordan homeplace were eating of course, rocking on the front porch, sitting under the shade trees, taking long walks down the dirt roads.  I always looked forward to every summer going to the beach with Tommy Jordan and Uncle Blease and walking through the chicken houses in Tommy’s yard.

 

After Maro died, Trudie (my grandmother by blood but always my mother by heart) raised us kids from what little social security she was entitled to.  My fondest memories are of the sisters and aunts coming to our house at harvest time and all sitting around the backyard and under the shade of the apple tree, shelling peas or shucking corn.  At some time during the day, all of us kids would ask for a nickel so we could walk down to Blackburn’s store and get a pushup.

 

We had no air conditioning, but Mom would turn on the window fan to bring cool air in at night.  I loved to fall asleep with that fresh air streaming across the bed.  Mom would always make sure we were at church on Sundays and Wednesdays.  We used to joke that if the doors were open just to clean the church, Mom would make us go.  Of course we did occasionally go and clean the church.

 

I’m so thankful that Trudie took me in and raised me as one of her own.  She gave me a family of brothers and sisters and memories to treasure forever.

 

John Hancock, May, 2001


IT’S A MATTER OF LIFE…(Charlotte Observer Column 2/14/05)

Mom’s love made up for little money
Trudie Hancock took care of her children, church, community
GERRY HOSTETLER

Even at 1950s’ prices, it’s still hard to see how a widow could raise all those children on $200 a month. But do it she did.

Trudie Jordan Hancock of Willowbrook Drive in Concord died Feb. 3 in an auto accident. She was 93.

On Jan. 31, she turned her little red Mazda off Dale Earnhardt Boulevard in Kannapolis and into the path of an oncoming car. Trudie was a good driver, daughter Ginny Brooks said, and her mom’s drivers license was good up until 2007. A doctor confirmed she’d had a heart attack that day, but it’s uncertain whether that contributed to the accident.

Trudie, widowed in 1956, devoted much of her life to her children. Ginny was married and gone when her father died, but Trudie still had daughters Darlene (Easley), Linda (Staton) and sons Jerry and young John at home. Actually, John is the son of Trudie’s late son Harley but she raised toddler John as her own.

The family always had a big garden, said Linda. “We were expected to shell and snap the beans and shuck corn. We worked hard in the summer and up until the last seven or eight years, Mama tilled her own garden. Mama believed in working; if you’re up, you’re working.”

What hard times?

Darlene recalled that there were no such luxuries as soft drinks, candy or store-bought cookies. “That was considered an extravagance,” she said. Many suppers were vegetables and cornbread. Country style steak was reserved for Sunday dinners. Breakfast was sausage, grits and homemade bread.” There was always plenty of food and we raised our own hogs that we had for breakfast every morning,” said Ginny. She didn’t know there were hard times until she married and left home. “We never had much, but we always had what we needed,” she said.

“She put the focus on people,” said Darlene. “I remember she’d cook our lunch, then scoop out a couple of bowls for us to take to somebody else in the community. We’d walk down the road carrying those bowls. Even though she had a huge responsibility here, she always seemed to minister to other people.”

She kept them straight

John’s friend Jimmy Brewer was just one beneficiary of Trudie’s sway. “She opened up her house to me and was probably the biggest influence in my life about church. She helped raise me and kept us absolutely straight, I’ll tell you she did,” said Jimmy.

She was very active in Parkwood Baptist Church, said Jerry, “and I promise you we were always in church if the doors were open.”

John agreed. “If the church was open for cleaning, we would have to go. She always had us in church.”

Trudie served on the church search committee that brought the Rev. Darrel Coble to Parkwood 33 years ago. She once told him she’d never serve on another search committee. He asked why and she said, “Well, we’ve got this one preacher and we can’t get rid of him.”

Her wit was only one thing the minister admired about Trudie. “When you meet somebody like Trudie, you can count them on the fingers of one hand. She was 93 and there were about 500 at her funeral, and that says a lot,” the minister said.

“In a crisis or when there’s a loss in the family, people are around you a week or so. Trudie kept going back — she cared. That’s what she was like.”

The world was the richer for Trudie’s presence here and the poorer for her absence. And we can get an “amen” on that.

Gerry Hostetler


Mrs. Trudie Jordan Hancock  

(From Independent Tribune 2/4/04)

CONCORD – Mrs. Trudie Jordan Hancock, 93, of 29 Willowbrook Drive, passed away peacefully into the arms of Jesus on Thursday afternoon, Feb. 3, 2005, at NorthEast Medical Center.

She lived a Christ-honoring life and her family and church were most important to her. She enjoyed visiting shut-ins and in her earlier years volunteered for the Cabarrus Memorial Hospital / Northeast Medical Auxiliary.

Funeral services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 5, 2005, at Parkwood Baptist Church. The Revs Darrell Coble, Steve Davis and Stephen Ratliff will officiate. Interment will follow at Carolina Memorial Park.

The family will receive friends from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. Saturday in the Family Life Center at Parkwood Baptist Church. At other times they will be at the residence.
Born Oct. 18, 1911, in Chesterfield County, S.C., she was a daughter of the late Lonnie F. Jordan and Gabriela Purvis Jordan. She retired in 1984 from Bangle Brothers Hosiery Mill. She was a member of Parkwood Baptist Church.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Harley Maro Hancock, and a son, Lester Harley Hancock.

Survivors include three daughters, Ginny Brooks and her husband, Gene of Kannapolis, Linda Staton and her husband, Joe, of Kannapolis and Darlene Easley of Concord; two sons, John Hancock and his wife, Theresa of Sunset Beach, and Jerry Hancock and his wife, Emmie, of Davidson; three sisters, Aline Haithcock and Kitty Haithcock, both of Kannapolis, and Ester Baker of Ruby, S.C.; 11 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.

Memorials may be made to Parkwood Baptist Church Library, 1069 Central Drive, Concord, NC 28027.


Essay by Amanda Glenn 9/05

 

On February 3rd, 2005, my great grandmother passed away at the age of 93 as a result of a car accident. Yes, she was still driving at 93 years old. This was one of the hardest days I’ve had in a long time. Mamaw Trudie, as we called her, was very independent to say the least. She had the biggest heart of anyone I know. Anytime one of her friends was sick and couldn’t do for themselves, she always cooked them a meal and took it to their house. One of her old lady friends couldn’t walk very well, so Mamaw would go get her paper and take it in to her every day. This was her way of ministering to people. I can honestly say that she continuously helped people until the day she died. In fact, right before she had that wreck she was on the way to visit her sister, which was a weekly thing for her.

 

It all started on the Monday before she passed away. Saturday was her day to go out and visit friends and family, but that week on Saturday there was a lot of ice and snow on the ground so she couldn’t go out. So, she went out on Monday this time. She had already been to see one of her sisters and was on the way to see the other one when she stopped to put gas in her car. As she was leaving the gas station, she tried to make a left turn. Unfortunately, she pulled out in front of another car that didn’t have time to stop before it hit her. She was immediately rushed to the hospital. That evening, when I got home from school, we got a phone call from someone telling us that Mamaw had been in an accident. My heart dropped to my feet. I knew it couldn’t be good. We arrived at the hospital a few hours later and joined the rest of our family and friends. There were so many of us that they gave us a private room to wait in. We all just sat there, many of us crying, and waited for the doctor to come in and tell us what was going on. Eventually we got to go in and see her a few at a time. One minute she would be awake and talking, and the next minute she was pretty much unconscious. She kept losing blood, so they would keep giving her more. We had no idea what was going on or what was going to happen to her. I was so scared. Later on we learned that she could have possibly had a stroke, which caused her to wreck. Our thoughts then were “If she had been at home instead of out driving around, would she still be in this hospital bed on the verge of death?” I went in to see her one last time before we left that night. She was talking to me and she seemed to be better than she was earlier, so I thought she was going to be ok. Little did I know that was the last time I was ever going to see her.

 

She remained in the hospital in ICU for the next two days. On Thursday, when I got home from school, my mom told me the bad news. Mamaw Trudie had passed away. I stood there in shock for a couple of minutes before bursting into tears. That night my whole family got together at her house and made the funeral arrangements. I stayed out of school the following day and went to Mamaw’s house again to be with the rest of the family. Throughout the course of the day, people stopped by to see how we were doing and so many of them brought food. The kitchen was completely full.

 

Then Saturday came, the day of the funeral. We had the visitation and the funeral on the same day, both at our church. So many more people than we ever expected showed up. Over 500 people were there. That just goes to show how many people’s lives she made a difference in, and how many people loved her. As sad as the preceding few days had been, it all ended on a good note. The funeral went really well. People were even laughing at some of the stories that were told about Mamaw.

 

This Christmas is going to be pretty hard for my family because we always get together at Mamaw’s house to eat dinner and open presents. One thing that’s for sure though is that we will always have the wonderful memories of her in our hearts. She is in a better place now, and even though I miss her so much, I couldn’t be happier for her. To this day, people still talk about what a kind and giving person she was. My hope for my life is that I can be the kind of person my Mamaw Trudie was, and leave a legacy the way she did.