Submitted by Jimmy Phillips
If you would like more information on this Phillips family contact Jimmy
Vera Laverne (Farmer) Phillips
"The Only Grandmother I Ever Knew, She Only Held My Hand For A Little While,
But My Heart Forever"
Laverne as she was known to her many friends and family, was just Mamaw to me.
Vera Laverne (Farmer) Phillips was my paternal grandmother whom I loved dearly!
Mamaw was a very special person. She would come to our house almost every day and always brought me a
package of M&M's when she came over.
I spent a lot of time with her at her house as well.
She always loved animals and birds were her favorite.
She would raise canaries and other exotic birds to sell or give away.
She had a small aviary in her laundry room and it was always a pleasant sound to hear all those birds singing.
She was an excellent cook also, and my favorite things she made were cherry pies (cherries from her mother's tree)
cooked apples, fried chicken and the finest biscuits ever made.
She also would can lots of fresh vegetables and fruit, she was famous for her home made pickles
(not like Aunt Bea's)
and the finest canned peaches ever made!
She also loved to garden, and her yard was always full of flowers and plants.
The last time I saw her she was going into the hospital and I was really upset about it, but she hugged me and kissed
me and told me not to worry Jesus would take care of her. It was the last time I saw her and I have never forgot that last
kiss from the only grandmother I had ever known. She died suddenly at the hospital.
She had joined the PTA that year at my school and her membership card came as well as our school pictures while she was
at the hospital, and I knew she would want them. And at 10 years old I did the only thing I thought was appropriate.
When I went to see her at Kennedy's Funeral Home I walked down front while everyone else was talking.
When I saw her, I just wept, but I took her membership card and my school picture which I wrote a special note on the back of
and I gently placed it under her two hands that were crossed at her waist. They were hidden out of sight, so no one else knew it but me,
it was my way of dealing with such a tragic loss.
I was never quite the same without her, every Christmas, Birthday, Easter, and Thanksgiving there was a void in our lives that remains
still today. I always enjoyed everything we did together, although at times I remember upsetting her.
One time when I was about five she had a flower garden around the front porch and one of her beautiful green ferns was filled out nicely,
I took each stalk and pulled on it until I had stripped all the leaves and all that were left were stems, boy did I get it for that one.
Today in honor of her I have ferns planted all around my house and I always think of Mamaw when I see them, I like to think she is looking
down on my flower garden and smiling.
I also loved her cooking and canning one of my earliest memories of her was helping her pick cucumbers and make pickles. We all had a hard time
dealing with her death, but I think it was harder on Papaw and me. With the love and support of each other we were able to slowly move on.
About a year and half after she had died, I can remember that Papaw said he had a surprise for me after dinner. When we finished eating, we went to his
bedroom where they had a cupboard for their canned vegetables, fruits, & jellies. He reached in through the curtain and pulled out the last jar of Mamaws
canned peaches, he said he knew how I loved them and he had been saving them just for me. We sat down at the table and without speaking another word we
ate those delicious peaches with tears streaming down our cheeks. It was a very memorable and cherished moment of my childhood!
My Mamaw and Papaw were two of the most precious and extraordinary people I have ever known, and I miss them deeply.
Sometimes when I think of when my time on earth has ended, I can picture them both along with the rest of my family members with their arms stretched out wide open welcoming me to Heaven.
That thought brings me a lot of comfort and although I don't want to leave my family here, part of me looks forward to the day when we will be together again.
Mamaw, I love you!