Mother Died Today but Her Love Lives On


Mother with Treva at her Wedding 1995

My mother, Exia Cawley,  died seventeen years ago today. It seems like last week. As I’ve written about love this week it seems appropriate to include a mother’s love. My mother wasn’t openly affectionate. I guess it was her stoic Dutch background or perhaps that her mother didn’t show love in an demonstrative way either.

Mom was a twin and she always felt as if she were the less attractive, less cute, and less charismatic of the two. I know that she was certainly the more intelligent. She had deep insight and a serious sense of right and wrong.

Mom was the best seamstress I’ve ever known. She would copy any ready-made clothing she liked. She would design my clothes and I was one of the best dressed girls in school-looking back on it. Of course, I thought I wanted to buy the Bobbie Brooks clothes like my friends.

She also made the best pies I’ve ever eaten. Of course she had lots of practice since she baked a pie everyday when Daddy worked in the oil fields. He ate an entire pie every night.

When I was divorced Mother had been a widow for five years. She became devoted to helping me out. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without her there to take up the slack, as we say in Texas. If one of the children got sick at school Mother would go get them, take them to her house and care for them until I got off work. She would let them sleep-over with her. She would call and say I’ll prepared dinner y’all can come eat over here. And it always happened on just the right day.

On the day I saw her walking back to her house just across the park from ours and knew that something was wrong-Parkinson’s never crossed my mind. When we learned the truth it was heartbreaking. The following years were some of the worst. She was such a healthy person otherwise that the Parkinson’s took over ten years to take her life.

If you still have your mom, give her a hug and let her know how much she means to you.


gail-smiling-in-purpleI raised three children as a single mother before I remarried. I have experienced the potholes, pests, and perils of being the single head-of-household. As an educator in regular and special education for twenty years I know a great deal about child development and how to handle kids. I am the founder of SMORE for Women, a nonprofit whose goal is Single Moms, Overjoyed, Rejuvenated, and Empowered. I’m also a Certified Professional Coach and my stories have been published in several Christian books and magazines. My book, Living Learning Loving is available on CreateSpace, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble online.


  1. Nicole Marijorie Felix · · Reply

    You’re such an open person Mrs. Gail, you have shared stories of your life in your book and on this site publicly as a way to help and advise others. Thanks for the stories, thanks for the sharing, thanks for the opennes, and thanks for the encouragement that you give to all of your blog followers. You’re mother and father truly molded a kind, caring, empathetic being and I’m thankful to have met you.

    1. Thank you, Nicole, for your kind words.

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