Sunday Post 142: More Like Playdough

Ms. B died this week.  She was one of my mom’s best friends and as I was growing up acted as one of my significant parental figures.  I haven’t seen her that much since I left home thirty years ago, although there was seldom a visit to Fayetteville that she didn’t drop by with Mr. B for an hour to give me a hug and express significant interest in what I was doing.

Although not a daily presence in my life, she always sent me a birthday card, and I knew she was at her home on Dartmouth Drive in Briarwood if I needed her.

Didn’t think much about it – until now.

She’s not there anymore.  Neither is Mrs. Uzzel, or Ms. Martin or my 9th grade English teacher, Mrs. McNeil.  Sometimes it feels like you’re standing on a stone foundation but the pebbles are crumbling beneath you.  Perhaps one day I’ll be that huge square rock at the bottom providing support to a generation behind me.

To tell you the truth, I don’t want to be that rock.  I’m much more comfortable being on the top.  I like having my parents and in-laws and Mr. and Ms. B below to hold me up.  Often I feel more like playdough than granite.

I was sitting at her funeral this week listening to the minister, and I realized that it really didn’t matter to me what she’d accomplished in her life.  All I could think about, all I cared about, was what she’d done for me.

She loved me – and I don’t know why.

She was interested in me – always interested in me.

She was thoughtful, I mean 40 years of birthday cards for someone she wasn’t even related to by blood?

Maybe that was her legacy.  Her actions taught me how I should treat the stray kids who wonder in and out of my house – with unconditional love and genuine concern for them.

Leave a comment


  1. Sounds like she was a very kind soul. Sorry for your loss.

  2. Wayne

     /  November 3, 2013

    I’ve held it together through these months with Mrs. B’s struggle but this undid me. We just don’t know what mark we make on others, do we?

  3. caringsoul

     /  November 3, 2013

    I’m sorry for your loss. It sounds as if she was a wonderful lady.

  4. What a great lesson to come from a tragic event. My condolences for your loss and but I’m so happy that you have wonderful memories to associate with her.

  5. Aunt Susan

     /  November 3, 2013

    Condolences to your mom for losing her friend. and wake up kiddo you are the rock for the girls and doing an excllent job for the girls.

    see you friday!

  6. Michele Barrows

     /  November 3, 2013

    How true! Words my own heart feels, especially every time I go back to Fayetteville and someone else has passed. I too want them all back and visiting at my Grandmother’s house next to the VA Hospital. When I hear Miranda Lambert’s song, “The House That Built Me,” I always tell my family that is how I feel about Fayetteville… The Town That Built Me!! God Bless you – your writing is very uplifting!!

  7. CHall

     /  November 13, 2013

    This one really hits home with me. Although I’m entertained/amused/touched by your posts, I’m not a parent so I often feel that I’m on the outside looking in. But parent or no, all of us have had people who are our “rocks”. As I’m a few years older than you are, practically all my “rocks” are now gone; I attended the funeral of one of the last ones (a kindergarten teacher from waaaay back) a few weeks ago. I’ve tried/try to be a “rock” for my nephews and nieces, but not sure if I’m succeeding. I send my sympathy upon the loss of Mrs. B.

    On a happier note, I was at the Duke-Davidson basketball game last Friday night and noticed a familiar-looking guy sitting on press row. I wondered Who the heck is that… Then it hit me: Uncle Jesse!! I recognized him from his pix on this blog.

    • Danny Tanner

       /  November 16, 2013

      YES! He was there and a few other family members who did not invite me.


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