ImageThis past week has been a rough one in my family and friend group, as we had to say goodbye to one of our beloved mothers. Darla Dolton is the mother of my best friend, Kristi, whom I have known since she and I were five years old. None of us expected to be losing her when we were in our twenties, but it seems that that was God’s plan for her.

Darla was one of the most supportive, giving women I have ever known, and I consider myself to have been blessed to have had 15 years of her love, and I know that she’ll be watching over myself as well as her two daughters, Kristi and Taylor, and her son, Brandon. I know she’ll be there in spirit at Taylor’s baby shower, and when her grandson, Brayden is born.

Something her sister said at Darla’s funeral was, “Darla never met a stranger.” and that is so true. People who met Darla while she was working at the bank ended up becoming good friends with her, even though they were just technically her clients to start with. Darla always made sure everyone else was taken care of before she’d even think of herself, no matter what was going on with her. She always had an open ear and a hug to give to anyone who seemed like she needed one.

She also loved to tease everybody. Her favorite thing to tease me about was the time I got sick in her car. We were on our way to Busch Gardens, and I didn’t know it at the time, but I am allergic to apple juice, which of course I’d had with breakfast before setting out. About halfway there, I started feeling ill, and ending up getting carsick all over the backseat of the car that she’d had for less than a week, freaking Taylor and her friend out horribly. From that day forward, I’ve never gotten in any of her various cars without a teasing remark about getting carsick.

Darla, we know you’re in a better place now, but we’ll miss having you in our lives on a day to day basis. I’m glad I was able to be there when you passed, and I am blessed to have had you in my life. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me, and the rest of my family, over the last 15 years. We love you, and look forward to seeing you again someday.

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