Remember to love every day

Published 8:16 am Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A dozen eggs, a dozen doughnuts, a dozen roses. Twelve, is such a nice round number and used everyday.

Sometimes it seems like a lot, like when I think of all the family things that have been missed. Sometimes it seems like yesterday, when I think of how much we miss him.

You see tomorrow is the anniversary of the passing away of my late husband, David, and it has now been 12 years.

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His children have grown up, his mother has passed away, we’ve moved several times, things have changed and yet the one thing that has stayed the same is how much we miss him.

This week two wonderful women here in Natchez passed away, Cindy McSwain and Deborah Cowart. I have very few words of wisdom to offer their families and nothing that will take away the pain and loss anytime soon. I can tell them this, and at some point it will mean a lot to them.

One advantage to living in Natchez is people don’t forget good people here, and both of these women will be remembered. People still talk to me about David and things they remember about him and it will be the same with Cindy and Deborah.

Cindy will be remembered as a loving wife, mother and grandmother by her family, quick to smile and hug. By her family at Bug Busters she will be remembered as their mother figure, quick to smile, hug and crack the whip. She helped us every step of the way the year Ricky Smith and I were Mardi Gras royalty. She helped decorate, plan, clean and have fun.

My youngest child, Emily, played with Elly Smith at Bug Busters many afternoons with Ms. Cindy turning over her dry erase board and office space to them.

My son, Matthew, worked at Bug Busters one summer and since almost everyone there is a LSU fan, Cindy was glad to see him. She figured the only team that LSU folks hated worse than her Mississippi State Bulldogs was his Ole Miss Rebels. When he and Lizzie married and moved to her neighborhood she was the first person to stop and say hello and welcome him to the neighborhood.

I can’t think about my children being little at Cathedral School without thinking about Deborah Cowart. As a pre-school teacher she was just wonderful. When Holly, my oldest, moved up to 4 year-old preschool it was Ms. Deborah who hugged me and then shooed me out of the room that first day. Holly thought she was a big girl when she left Ms. Huff’s 3-year old class and moved into the “real” school building and went to Ms. Deborah for 4-year old class.

She told our children everyday that they were wonderful, smart, funny and the most precious gifts from God that had ever sent.  It was Deborah who had Matthew, Jordan Farmer and Cole Bradford in one class (God love her), and it was Deborah who made them stand outside the fence on Aldrich Street with their arms through the fence holding onto her while another teacher ran around to get them. It seems that while playing football one of them booted it across the fence. It only made sense to 4-year old boys to pull up the fence and wiggle under to get it. She managed to smile through the whole year, and still say to each of them everyday, “I love you.”

So this week please say a little prayer for our family, the McSwain and Cowart families and all the people you know who have lost a loved one. Take a minute and hug your family and tell them you love them because I promise someday you will wish you had one more chance to do so.

Christina Hall writes a food column for The Natchez Democrat. She can be reached at