Archive for July, 2013

Happy Birthday Mom =)

celtic tree of life heart

My mother, Beverly Jean Barrett, was born 18 July 1928 in Boulder, Colorado. She was the only child of Edith Mary Coons and Charles McWhirter Barrett. This past Thursday would have been her 85th birthday. She passed away 1 October 1995, at the age of 67, just a few months after my daughter was born. She had 9 children, and at that point in time she had 23 grandchildren. Rather than being called “Grandma” she preferred to be called “Nana”, although I’m not sure why. Her mother had also gone by “Nana” in her later years.

With friends, she went by “Jeannie” when she was a girl, and then by “Jean” when she grew older. Her 3rd husband used to get frustrated when he would call her name and both mom and I would answer, so he started calling her “Beverly” when she was in her 40’s.  She went by that until the day she died.

She was petite, about 5’ (and a debatable 1”) tall, with medium brown hair and blue eyes. Her hair never went gray, much to her chagrin, and she actually bought wigs to wear that had “silver” highlights in them.

She was incredibly intelligent, funny, beautiful and charming, and could strike up a conversation with anyone anywhere. She was a stickler for manners, table and otherwise.

Beverly Jean Barrett c1946 Beverly Jean Barrett c 1946


Mom was a talented seamstress and made a lot of my clothes (and my Barbie doll clothes) when I was little. She made my sister Annie’s wedding dress and her bride’s maid’s dresses as well. She was forever crocheting and knitting things. I remember a ski sweater she made for my brother when he was a teenager, which I got as a hand me down.  It was a beautiful shade of royal blue and had snowflakes knitted across the top of it. I wore it until it fell apart about 15 years ago. I wish I still had it.

She was also a good cook, and was famous for her tacos. I’ll just say that there is deep fat frying and Velveeta cheese involvement. They seem to be pure fat, and are so bad for you, but they are so good. When we were kids we used to have taco eating contests. My sister thinks the record was somewhere between 12 and 15 tacos. Some of my siblings still make them a couple of times a year for special occasions. More often than that, and you’re just begging for a heart attack.

When I was a girl, and I’d get sick, my mom would head to the store for chicken noodle soup and saltine crackers. She would also buy a new coloring book and a box of brand new crayons to keep me entertained.  Many years later when I was married, mom happened to call when I wasn’t feeling well.  I reminded her how she used to do that for me.  A couple of days later in the mail she sent me a package with…you guessed it, a coloring book and a brand new box of crayons.

Somewhere, in a box in the garage, I still have those.

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