I wrote this post in 2010:
So on to some family updates. I posted a few months ago about the book, Saving Cee Honeycutt, by Beth Hoffman that I enjoyed so much. The story reminded me of my childhood days of living and being raised by my great aunt Helen and her daughter, Tootie. My sister still lives in Pennsylvania (that's where we were raised) and a few weeks ago she invited Tootie over for a picnic...actually, from what I understand my sister was trying to fix Tootie up with her 'rich' neighbor! But that's probably another blog post! So back to Tootie...who was such an amazing woman to me as a child...living on the farm, raising a family, taking us to horse shows and just teaching us everything!
Here is one of the most special people in my life! This is Tootie!!
She is a young 80 years old! but is slowing down now a days and only rides her horse 1-2 days a week and walks 2-3 days a week!! Yep, that's slowing down for her!
Is she a doll or what!! I only hope that I can be half the woman she is now! When you meet her, she'll make you think she's known you all your life! Tootie is the sweetest lady around and I feel as fortunate as Cee Cee that I was raised by two special woman.
I still remember going to the fairs and of course all the 'workers' at the fairs would 'hoot' and 'holler' at Tootie. She was a fox in her day and for 80 she is certainly a 'silver' fox! Thank you for all you did for me, Tootie!
That was 10 years ago....And, with a heavy heart, today I am posting on my blog that Tootie passed away last night!
A year ago, November, my daughter and I flew to Pennsylvania for a surprise 90th BD party for Tootie! You can read that post here! I am SO glad that I did get to attend and surprise Tootie! You can see by this picture she was very surprised as she hasn't seen me in years!! My sister lived in PA until a few years ago and would visit with Tootie and my sister's daughters would visit and check on Tootie!
This is my sister, MaryAnn, with Tootie at the party.
I can't express the impact Tootie had on my life. She always had a smile and was one of the hardest working women I know. Tootie and her hubby Bub lived and worked their farm every day. That was their job. I can remember helping them from picking strawberries, grabbing chickens at night to butcher, to shucking corn for the horses and just playing on the farm! Yes, we would get in trouble but you were always given a smile (or cookie!) a few minutes later! I can hear Tootie's laugh even to this day.
I last talked with Tootie on Christmas Day....she was so cute, she said "Rob, I have to put my sweater on to go out as I get better phone reception there".
Tootie was lucky to live on her daughter, Wynna's property in South Carolina. Wynna built Tootie an apartment attached to their home for her to live...and Tootie could ride her horse, as Wynna still has her horses. This was taken last March...Tootie told me as soon as she got to SC she was going to ride and by gosh she did! Wynna posted this on FB and said their combined ages were 119! This is Tootie's horse that was around 27 or 28!! So glad Tootie got to ride a few times this past year!
This was back in 2016 at Quarter Horse Congress, I think! Wynna, Tootie's daughter, is in the middle...she's as cute as Tootie! And just as nice!
This is Tootie with her dad and Wynna!
So funny...when we were kids, we would ride just about everyday in the summer except....Tootie would never let us ride with a saddle unless she was riding with us. She said this way if we fell off, we wouldn't get a foot hung up in the stirrup(s)...we'd just fall off! And we did fall off quite often! HA
Tootie's health has been failing the past several months but Wynna continued to take such good care of her. Tootie often talked about how great Wynna was and the care she gave her. I have so many stories in my mind and so many great memories of life on the farm and held Tootie high as a wife, mother, friend and mentor! She wouldn't hold back, even when we were adults, on what we were doing with our lives and what we should think about! A wise woman who I will shed more tears for but will replace those tears with a smile as I think about the funny memories. Thanks for giving me love, Tootie! Time for you to rest.