Today, I spoke at a funeral for my friend, Connie’s, mother, Nita. The words I used were not mine. They were the words of my friend and what she wanted others to know about her mother. Those words talked about a very strong woman who weathered time, hardship, love and motherhood through her life. This little lady was no quitter. She fought until the very end.
Nita’s words to me were that she wanted to be around to watch her great grandchildren grow up because they needed her. She was the glue that held that family together and now my friend, Connie, will have to fill those shoes. Though Nita was a little woman with tiny feet (I heard you Nita), hers are big shoes to fill. Connie says it all with the words below. I thought you might like us to share.
Tribute to Juanita “Nita” Layne
As written by her daughter, Connie Vines.
My Mom was a Grand Southern Lady; she gave love and guidance freely from her heart and showed us just how much she loved us in many ways with the talents she possessed with her hands.
When she was a young woman she picked cotton, pulling my brother, Gordon, along on the cotton sack beside her. Through her life, her hands became a symbol of her talents and love. She definitely had a green thumb. When she was 74 years old, she decided to design an English garden in her back yard. What an undertaking. After many months of placing each and every brick to form the outline of it and planting many, many flowers and shrubs, she finally dusted herself off and began the final tribute to this fabulous, beautiful and peaceful place. She strategically began to add statues of angels, and many forms of God’s little creatures (deer, rabbits, armadillos etc). With her hands she sewed many gorgeous things and was quite the perfectionist. Beverly and her would be on the floor for hours measuring and cutting fabric.
There were different phases in her life and she took on each and every one with a challenge and a smile. I know without a doubt we would not have been able to accomplish the task Larry and I took on by being the full time day care for our precious little girls, Brittan and Taylor, when they were 6 and 10 weeks old, without her. She not only made it easier but definitely more fun. And then here comes our little Tatum. She made us laugh on a daily basis. All our girls gave mom a great sense of joy and love. I know because she told me so.
Mom’s family meant everything to her. It was especially visible during the holidays when she put her love in the wonderful and delicious food and pies she made. And with all of the Christmas decorations she so dearly loved. She taught us to keep this tradition and move forward. What a grand memory?
Through the last few months, Mom talked in depth about when it was her time to go to Heaven. She said she would miss her friends and her family, and that she didn’t want us to cry over her. She fought a battle and won because she is no longer in pain and now in the arms of the Lord. She said she would be watching over us like always. And I believe her.
Remembering the ways she taught us to enjoy the small things in life will be her legacy. Like when the sun shines through the window making a rainbow and looking at the birds flying freely in the sky. These are gifts to enjoy. In tribute and honor to her, we will take the guidance, gifts and love she taught us and go forward through many generations to come.
Thanks Mom. You’re my little angel.