This is my mother, Joann Loftis, in 1976. This picture was taken the night I graduated from high school.
Today she would have been 68 years old. But we lost her 6 years ago. She was an amazing woman; she got married when she was 15 years old, had me and my brother when she was still a teenager, and yet she managed to raise a happy, loving family, work her way up in the county government, be active in community service and maintain innumerable friendships. She was the Administrative Assistant to the county judge for many years (and heaven help anyone who called her his "secretary.") She was smart and funny, an awesome cook and she could crochet circles around me. She was my inspiration, my number one fan and my best friend. She still is.
She also smoked from the time she was a teenager, and so even though I am a major live-and-let-live kind of person, I hate cigarettes and I want everyone who smokes to quit. It breaks my heart that some of my nearest and dearest still smoke, and I celebrate and praise those who have managed to quit (a big pat on the back and a hug for you, especially, Robyn!)Mama, me, baby Robyn and my Daddy, Paul on May 26, 1976
Happy Birthday Mama. I love you and I miss you everyday.