May 8, 2013: Bobbie

~by Susi Pittman

Bobbie was my mother’s given name. Not Roberta or Barbara, but, Bobbie.

As a child growing up in the 1950’s, I was the oldest of three sisters, and my mother was the embodiment of motherly love. She was the fire that kept her family burning bright! We all depended on her for those material needs of clean clothes, great southern cooking and help with homework. But, most of all we depended on her spiritually. She was deeply spiritual. My mother was the most loving and giving person I have ever known!

As a Catholic convert, my mother chose to become Catholic and embraced the tenets and devotionals of the faith. I never heard my mother swear and it was next to impossible to get her to utter a bad word about anyone. She was absolutely dedicated to Our Blessed Mother and prayed the rosary every day. I can honestly say, it was her prayers that got all of us through the tough times. She was my father’s saint! He adored her all of his life and with good reason. She loved him deeply and nurtured their love with fidelity and commitment. He wasn’t always the easiest person to love, but that didn’t matter…she knew him only as her soul mate and committed her life to him.

One of the most remarkable talents that my mother had was the gift of growing the most beautiful roses I had ever seen. She grew them in honor of the Blessed Mother. I remember her first rose garden in 1963 in our backyard in Miami, Florida…it was elegant beauty. The living room, dining room and kitchen always had vases of fragrant, fresh roses, her favorite being the “peace rose.”

Mom taught my sisters and I, and then taught our daughters so much about roses. I remember summer treks out to her rose garden late in the evening, where she would share the latest new entry. Just listening to her talk about why she had picked that bush and how special the rose that bloomed upon it was, made me see how much she loved caring for it. Today, more than ever, I understand her stewardship.

When she and my father retired to Central Florida, returning to the family homestead, she grew a huge garden of roses. They were absolutely stellar. Many a sick family member or a much loved priest would be blessed by her arrival, as she presented them with an elegant vase of her roses, just to let them know she was thinking about them.

My mother passed away in 2003, and Dad followed her two years later. He never could find his place in life after Mom passed, and the Lord was good to bring him home to be with his beloved Bobbie.

I can never look upon a rose and not first think of my mother. And in doing so, be reminded how she loved and honored the Blessed Mother with them.

No wonder they were so spectacular!

Thank you Father, for my mother Bobbie who shared the beautiful side of creation with me. She was a mother that worked her whole life to insure that goodness and love continued to exist in this world.

And that it will Mom, I promise!


Susi Pittman is founder of and Owner-President of Twin Oaks Publishing; she is author of Animals in Heaven? Catholics Want to Know!; an advocate for the Florida Catholic Conference; a member of the St. Joseph’s Catholic Council of Women in Jacksonville, Florida; an Associate of the Sisters of St. Joseph, St. Augustine;a member of the Florida Publishers Association, Independent Book Publishers Association, the National Association of Professional Women, the ASPCA, the Humane Society of the United States and the National Audubon society.

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