In LOVING Memory… Martha South

IMG_2493Early on Thanksgiving Day my father phoned to tell me that my mother had died, after a courageous year-long battle with ALS. For those of you who weren’t blessed to know her, my mom was a lifelong artist and encourager of all things that are important -faith in God, finding and following one’s purpose, loving and caring for others, nurturing one’s creative gifts, and living life to the fullest.

Even after her diagnosis and the months of physical decline that followed, she remained positive, giving thanks for the gift of each day.  She found joy in the little things and taught me to find good even in difficult situations. Even towards the end, when she could no longer speak or draw  -it’s her lovely banner that graces this blog – her mind remained as sharp as ever and her eyes sparkled with love, humor and wisdom.

Now, in honor of her life, I’d like to post a few snapshots that capture her spirit.  I miss her deeply, but pray her spirit will live on with me as I follow her great example of  living life to the fullest with courage, faith, and love.

Image 3

Here’s how I remember my mother when I was a child. Note how she’s wearing her apron and I’m pretty sure there were probably some decoy onions sautéing in the kitchen so my sister and I would think dinner was in the works, when really she was just buying a little extra time to finish one more leaf.

Here I am as a child writing at my mother's drawing table in the living room.  Notice her paintbrushes.  My mom was always working on some creative project.  Like mother. Like daughter.

Here I am as a child writing at my mother’s drawing table in the living room. Notice her paintbrushes. My mom was always working on some creative project. Like mother. Like daughter.

This more recent picture captures perfectly my mother's creative side. Over the years she designed hundreds of pencil and ink cards featuring her signature birds. No occasion was complete without one of her delightful creations.

This more recent picture captures perfectly my mother’s creative side. Over the years she designed hundreds of pencil and ink cards featuring her signature birds. No occasion was complete without one of her delightful creations.


33 thoughts on “In LOVING Memory… Martha South

  1. What a lovely tribute Laura. I’m so sorry for your loss. I didn’t know your mother, but as you know, I had the pleasure of working with her a little and am honored to have two or her beautiful drawings gracing lessons in my writing course. Her name will be remembered with admiration every time people look at those drawings.

  2. Oh Laura, I am deeply sorry for your loss. What a lovely smile your mother had and what a wonderful, creative spirit! I’ve always loved your banner. Now it has even more meaning. I will think of her warm smile when I look at it.

  3. Laura, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. Your mom sounds like a vibrant, wonderful person–someone who gifted the world with her spirit and talents. She leaves a living legacy, as you are that kind of person, too!

    And what a beautiful picture of the three of you at the beginning of the post. You all have such lovely smiles.

    I pray for comfort and hope as you grieve your loss.



  4. Hello,
    Losing a mom is so hard, but what a wonderful life she led. Those of us who have had the joy of great moms are a lucky bunch. Please accept my condolences, and keep your good work going-she knew of your success, and you will keep that in your heart always.

  5. I’m sorry for your loss, Laura. I didn’t know your mom, but her positive attitude and bright outlook certainly shine through in you AND in your artwork. Prayers for your family to weather this with strength.

  6. Laura, I’m sorry to hear about your mom 😦 There’s something very poetic in the fact that she passed away on a day set aside specifically to call attention to giving thanks. seeing as she lived her life gratefully 🙂 How fortunate you and your family were given such precious gifts through her, the way she loved and lived.

    Her artwork looks so beautiful, and I’m sure it thrilled her to know you were going to be a published author, and with a book that’s faith-based. How wonderful 🙂

  7. What a beautiful tribute to your mom, Laura. I wish I’d had the chance to meet her. I’m sure I would have been inspired by her love of art. And is that a little Julie lounging behind you on the couch circa 1970-something? Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your mother’s life. A beautiful lady indeed.

    • Yes, that is a little Julie, back when she actually was shorter than I am. Good observation and thanks so much for stopping by. I wish you’d had the chance to meet my mom as well.

  8. Laura,
    What a nice tribute to your mother and what wonderful memories to share with us. The glimpses of her art are wonderful. It is clear to see where you get your beautiful smile, blue eyes, and deep caring for others. Many prayers and hugs!! xoxo

  9. Laura, so sorry to hear of your mother’s death. Thanks for sharing the exuberance of her life. Like mother, like daughter!

  10. What a beautiful post, Laura! Again, I’ve been praying for your family and for God to surround you with His love. It’s neat that your mom’s creative spirit lives in you, which you can pass to your kids.

  11. Thank you for honoring your mother’s memory by sharing these lovely reminiscences and photos. It is obvious her beautiful creative spirit lives on in you. It was wonderful getting a sense of who she was via your caring words. So sorry for your loss. Sending lots of hugs and love to you and your family.

  12. Very sorry about your loss, Laura! I remember when the doctors couldn’t figure out what was going on! Then, the actual diagnosis came in! I know she is in a better place with wonderful company!! And she is looking down on her family on earth! Lots of love and good wishes for you and your family! Elpida

  13. This hits home right now for me. My mother-in-law is near the end of her own healthcare battles with cancer. She is a lovely, kind, God-fearing lady. I will miss her greatly. I feel your pain. My mother went when I was eight. My 92-year old grandfather went the other day. When it’s my turn, what a joyous reunion! I am sorry for your (Lord willing, temporary) loss. I am not at all looking forward to my own temporary loss.

  14. I’m very sorry for your loss, Laura. This is a beautiful tribute. Sounds like she was a wonderful and talented lady. I love the painting she’s working on in that photo. I might need to use that onion trick! Thank you for sharing this. Sending condolences and hugs your way.

  15. One of the best things about blogging is that we can share, publically, such preciousness as we have had and you have done here.
    Your mother was beautiful, and she made beautiful art. Your banner has never looked more glowing to me as it does today.

  16. I’ve always loved your banner(huge fan of whimsy) but now I’ll love it even more, knowing its story. Mirka described it well! So sorry about your mom, they are always somehow ‘home’ to us, so when they go, it can hurt so much. Prayers for you and all your family.

  17. Laura, I’m late in reading this and wanted to send my deepest sympathies. I’m so very sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing such a moving tribute. You are in my thoughts.

  18. What a wonderful and creative life your mother led. I have long admired the illustration on your banner and wondered who had designed it. I’m so sorry for your loss but at least your mom is now in God’s hands.

  19. Laura, I just found your blog and stumbled across this touching tribute to your mother. She sounds like an amazing person and I’m so happy that you share her many talents and graces.

  20. Oh, Laura, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. I’ve always loved your blog banner. Your mom sounds like an amazing artist and person. I know you must miss her terribly. You’ve given her a wonderful tribute here. All my best to you.

  21. Oh, Laura, I thought I had replied to this and I’m just realizing now that I didn’t. I am so, so very sorry for your loss. Your mother sounded like an amazing woman–her spirit will live on in you and all the people who’s lives she surely touched. Sending love, strength and hugs.

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