The Cornerstone

Summer 1965 – Ann Marie, mother, Dotty, David and Tommy, Alameda, California

Often, recollections from days gone by take up residence in my thoughts as I remember my childhood. Days of warmth and fun-loving doings flow full circle. Yet, each innocent recollection eventually comes to rest on the woman that rendered care for her family, the loving matriarch of my family, my mother, Dotty Allen Reeder.

This woman gave me so much strength, hope, and courage. She taught me to laugh and rejoice at each extraordinary occurrence that took place in our lives. It was the simple things that found a home in my heart, words of encouragement, cuddles on the couch on rainy days or endless board games at the kitchen table. Or, it was summer tournaments of baseball and kickball with brothers and neighbors with mom in the middle of it all.

Always my closest confidant, we shared stories and laughter and silly gossip while doing kitchen chores or sharing a Dr. Pepper, her favorite soda, and now mine. She was the hub of our home, the very foundation that provided prudence and understanding on how to live in a world that was not always kind. She reminded everyone to find joy in each incredible moment and take nothing for granted. As my biggest cheerleader, the world sometimes feels so strange without her. Still, I find her in the shared stories with her granddaughter. I see her smile in my granddaughter, her kindness in my grandson, her ornery humor in another. Her legacy has continued and found residence in each generation that has followed; the cornerstone of our family still stands.

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