Sunday, January 22, 2012

She Loved Everything Pink

On January 19, 2012, my mom, Annie Louise Urvan passed away.  Plagued by memory and physical problems for her last few years, she nevertheless leaves behind a legacy of love, generosity, beauty and an amazing sense of style.

The memories I have for her will always include the color pink.  She didn't just have pink dresses, and sweaters and lipstick, she loved everything pink.  I believe if she could have painted the world pink she would have.  She decorated our house in pink and purple, even her sofa was a muted shade of pink.  At one point in my childhood, she not only painted the kitchen pink but she also spray painted the refrigerator pink.  It was definitely cause for wonder and amazement whenever my friends came over.

Throughout her life, my mom had an amazing sense of style and beauty.  She loved clothes, fashion, make-up and jewelry.  In her younger years, she was always dressed in the current fashion.  I remember in my teenage hippie days when all of us sported white go go boots, my mom bought herself some as well. Her closets were jam-packed with clothes.  Of course many of them were pink...

We moved to Florida when I was around eight years old and my mom absolutely loved the beach.  She baked in the sun for hours, nurturing her tan.  This of course was before the days of sunscreen and worry over skin cancer and she paid for it in later life.  She loved to walk on the beach and at one time or another collected everything associated with the beach.  She collected seashells, filling jars and baskets full of them. She collected drift wood and displayed it on the wall.  At one point, she dug up and collected sand dollars which dried in rows on our back patio, bleaching them in the hot Florida sun.  Later, she discovered a beach where she could collect sharks teeth. My step-father crafted a sifter for separating the sand out from the blackened teeth.  When I began sorting through her house in the mountains of Georgia, I found jars of the sharks teeth, boxes and boxes of sea shells and sand dollars wrapped in tissue paper, all momentoes of her beach days carefully preserved in her home miles away from the ocean.

At some point, after I left home for college and career, my mom developed a love of gardening.  I don't really remember her doing much of this when I was a youngster.  In fact, yard work was a huge family chore with her mowing the grass and trimming bushes while my sister and I picked up the trimmings.  We ALL hated the hot sweaty work of that.  But my mom developed quite a backyard garden.  She had fruit producing trees, orange, grapefruit and papaya.  She would always bring bags of home-grown produce to Georgia when she would visit.  Then there were the flower beds.  Every spare inch was covered in a wild assortment of flowers blooming and vines trailing over fences.  When she moved to the Georgia mountains, her first order of business was to start planting flowers and transforming the landscape. Now each season, I am surprised by the flowers that she planted that continue to bloom and grow.  Right now in this warm Georgia winter, she has jonquils that are pushing up and threatening to bloom.  She spent endless hours potting, replanting and nurturing her flower garden.  It was truly a labor of love.

Just as she loved nurturing her flowers and creating a lovely environment around her, my mom loved nurturing her children.  She was loving, encouraging and generous.  She might disagree with your plans, she might give lots of unsolicited advice, but in the end she was always there to help.  Once I had kids, she and my step-dad came for every Christmas and loved being part of the festivities.  Mom would bring her huge containers of Chex Mix to share and whatever her current sweet obsession was.  An extremely picky eater, she claimed almost everything hurt her stomach, but somehow anything sweet was tolerated.  She loved cakes, cookies, ice cream and chocolate.  Like a kid, her favorite part of any meal was dessert.  She was never too busy to help.  She baby-sat my daughters for endless hours when I returned to graduate school.  She looked for things to do while visiting.  Folding clothes, sweeping the porch... I could count on her to be busy working somewhere all the time.  She was always eager to upgrade my lifestyle, buying me a new refrigerator, helping with the purchase of a van for easier transport of the kids.  On a regular basis, she and my step-dad would arrive for weekend fixer-up projects.  "Just make a list of what you want done," she would say.  They'd show up and there would be a flurry of activity, hanging pictures, putting up shelves, John fixing everything and Mom supervising... and then just as quickly they'd be gone. Like the energizer bunny, she kept on giving and giving.

There are a lot of things that I will miss about my mom.  But mostly I will always miss her love of beauty and sense of style, her smile, her encouragement, her generous loving spirit.  Oh yes... and her love of the color pink.


  1. As I read your post, Lynne, my heart went into a meltdown of sensation, feeling in my soul your soul, so filled with memories of your precious, pretty in pink, mother.
    I know I am truly blessed to still have my parents with me on this side of the shore. I don't know for how much longer . . .
    Your words in tribute to this marvelous and beautiful woman have certainly jarred reflections in my own sphere of being and understanding of the wondrous gifts our parents bestow upon us.
    Thank you, Lynne, for sharing this personal story and enlightening the lives of others through your mother's spirit.
    Blessings always!

  2. Lynne, such beautiful memories of a truly loving and generous lady! May they comfort you in the days ahead....and may she continue to live on in you and your children. ♥

  3. Lynne my deepest condolences for the loss of your precious mom... Your mother was indeed a special person in your life and her memories will always be a part of your life...
    Thank you for sharing this very personal loss with us...

  4. Lynne, you were certainly blessed with wonderful memories of your mom. I'm so sorry for your loss, but may her love for you be of comfort to you. Her spirit will always be with you :)

  5. Lynne,
    So sorry to hear about your mother's passing. I always liked your mother and thought she was so pretty. I just looked through some old pictures of your mother and father at...the beach! I especially like the last picture you posted. I can only hope my own daughters can say such lovely things about me.

  6. Lynne i am so sorry for your loss..but I see you have some wonderful memories to hold onto...and the color pink remains....As always...XOXOXOXOXO

  7. @Martha--you are blessed to be able to continue to share your life with your parents. They add such richness and meaning, Blessings
    @Corinne.. thank you so much for your kind words
    @sparklemezen---just writing the memories and sharing them was a great way to honor her life. Thanks for reading
    @Mary, you are right... I could feel her spirit looking over my shoulder as I wrote...

  8. Joanna, I think the earliest pictures I have of her are at the beach... she did love it! Thanks for reading.

  9. @Bongo...They are wonderful memories! Thanks for reading!

  10. Lynne, What a great Tribute to your Mom! I wish I could have known her. She sounds like a Lovely Person. These are wonderful Memories that you can always Cherish and hold dear to your Heart. I know that she will be missed. I pray her Love and these great memories give you Strength and Joy as you Celebrate and Remember her life and all of her, that is reflected in your Life. Love and Prayers to you and your family. Becky M

  11. Your mom sounds like a wonderful lady. I so enjoyed this tribute to her, and I send my condolences, dear Lynne, to you and your family who have lost such a beloved and amazing soul.

  12. Wonderful remebrance of your mother. I never met her but I already knew she was exceptional because I know her daughter.
    Sara A.

  13. @ Becky M--Thanks Becky for your comment. She was a wonderful caring person.
    @Debra--thanks Debra for your comment as well. I know she would be amazed at the attention she has been getting!
    @Sara--so sweet, thanks!