To Mama and Papa T

When we moved to Georgia, I had just given birth to our #2 child.  Seriously, I gave birth on Saturday night, got out of the hospital on Monday and we moved on Tuesday to Georgia.  Let me clarify.  My husband’s  foster mother was terminally ill with lung cancer and we had asked for a transfer closer to home (Augusta, GA) so that he could be nearby when the inevitable occurred.  We just had NO IDEA that they would literally wait until I was 10 months pregnant to transfer us!  

Mama T January 1985


The week before she was born we had no idea WHERE we were moving… only that we were not staying in New Orleans and it would be a southern city and they had told us most likely Greenville, SC.  Hubby called his home office after he got me home from the hospital on Monday morning and they told us THEN that we’d be moving to a suburb north of Atlanta.  We loaded up the truck and we moved to Beverly…. No… sorry… that was someone else… We loaded up the van, and drove all night on Tuesday with Hubby, myself, #1 (19 mos old) and #2 (3 DAYS old…. Yes…. DAYS).  So, we drove all night and got to Augusta to his foster brother’s house at about 8 AM Wednesday.  

Let  me back up for a second.  We had found out that Hubby’s foster mother had terminal cancer the year before and by the time they found it I believe it was already stage 4.  They had told the family that she was not long for this world.  We had fully expected her not to last through Christmas the year prior to this (#2 was born in early May).  We had told her that if we had a little girl we would name her after her.  So, Christmas came and went and she hung in there.  Then we thought she wouldn’t make it through her birthday…. And she did…. Then her anniversary… and she did…. Then Easter…. And she did.  The doctors had called the family in several times telling them she was NOT going to make it through the night…. Yet, STILL she hung on.  I now firmly believe she was waiting for her namesake!  

As I said, we arrived in Augusta early that Wednesday morning and were at the hospital that afternoon.  Mama T was so weak she could barely hold #2.  In fact I had to hold her arms around her.  She was so happy she cried.   All she kept saying was her name over and over and then “my baby… this is my baby”.  But, she was SO weak.  Hubby brought the kids and I back to his foster brother’s house and then they went back to the hospital and spend most of the night there.  The next day he drove to Atlanta to find us a place to live while I stayed at his brothers.  Hubby got back and again spent most of the night there and took me to the airport the next morning so I could fly to Virginia to stay with my parents for a few weeks while he flew back down to New Orleans to get our furniture.  She passed away that night. So, yes, I believe she was just waiting for her namesake to appear before she left us.  She was a great woman. 

Mom T 01/85


My husband had gone to school with her sons and worked with her at the PX at the Army base where his dad was stationed.  She saw a young teenage boy in need of guidance and took him in, no questions asked even though she had 3 children of her own.  Hubby lived with them until he left Augusta.  He called them Mom and Dad and they considered him their son.  In fact once, she and I got into a verbal “tiff” over Hubby’s birthday and she turned to me and said “I guess I should know when my own SON’S birthday is!”   In her obituary he was listed as her son. Papa T felt the same way she did.   They  treated  him no differently than their biological children.  To me that is a testament to their ability to love unconditionally.  They don’t make them any better than that.  Here’s  to you Mama and Papa T. 

#1 with Papa T January 1985


About pegbur7

South of the Mason/Dixon Line
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16 Responses to To Mama and Papa T

  1. Hadassah says:

    I can so relate to this post!!! First, the doctors kept sayings the same things about about my mother when she had breast cancer. She hung on just long enough to hold her first grandson – from my older brother.

    And I was just texting my Papa B. (The man mom was married to when she passed away in 1992.) He’s every bit a father to me!

    Thanks for sharing.

    • pegbur7 says:

      Thank You and thank you for reading! I loved those two people. I just wasnt’ able to have enough time with them. I so appreciated the love they had for my husband.

  2. suzicate says:

    So sweet! Didn’t know #2’s first name was after her, and middle is after Mama…named after both grandmothers – that is wonderful.

  3. Angelia Sims says:

    That kind of love to another is precious and awe-inspiring. He was very lucky to have them both and they were lucky to have him.

    I can imagine how much it thrilled her heart to hold that baby, her heart’s last moments a complete circle of love.

    Thank you for sharing this gift today. May we all embrace unconditional love in our lives.

    • pegbur7 says:

      Thanks Angelia. Your comment brought tears to my eyes. I know Hubby had a hard time reading this but I know he appreciated that I honored someone who meant so much to him

  4. Spot says:

    What a great tribute to someone who was so special. We also have a “foster” son that we obtained in much the same way. And I call him my son and my children call him their brother. He has the same rules as our other kids and the same privileges. Sometimes you do get to choose your family.


  5. I am so glad she lived to hold the baby! That means so much. She was a special woman and this was such a heartwarming piece, Peg. Thank you!

  6. Ron says:

    Oh, Peg…this post made me cry.

    (in a good way)

    Mama and Papa T sounded like GEMS!

    My own mother died 5 years after I was born, and then my father remarried two years later to the woman who is now my mother. And even though she is my stepmother, she always excepted us kids as her own.

    “To me that is a testament to their ability to love unconditionally.”

    You said, dear lady!

    And that’s exactly how I feel about my mother.

    Thanks for sharing such a beautiful post, Peg!


    • pegbur7 says:

      Oh, ron. I am sorry for the loss of your mother at such a young age. I couldn’t imagine. I’m glad you got a GOOD stepmom.

      This post made hubby cry too. And me while I was writing it. And she truly was a great woman!

  7. Aw, you’re making me cry Peg. Stop that!!
    As a nurse working with both the elderly and terminal, I would never say when someone might die. I’ve seen people hold on for everything under the sun. There’s not a doubt in my mind she was waiting to see that baby. Okay, gotta go; need a tissue…

    • pegbur7 says:

      I’m sorry I made you cry but I’m glad it touched your heart! You are a wonderful person in a noble profession. I used to want to be a nurse but don’t know if I could handle the emotions. Don’t know what would be worse… to be in that profession and constantly have that sort of thing tugging at your heartstrings or get so used to it that it didn’t bother you anymore, ya know? I admire you.

  8. gregjohn says:

    beautiful story of a beautiful woman. God bless her.

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