A Tribute to My Mom, Gerrie Raw


With the two-year anniversary of my mother’s passing just behind me and her birthday coming soon in February, I felt it to be a good time to remember some of the ways she influenced and encouraged me, both as a child and as an adult.  This remembrance is not meant to be all-encompassing; it’s just my reflecting on how she helped me become the woman I am today.


Mom encouraged my passion for arts and crafts from a very early age. One of my earliest memories is the going to the library and learning beginner needlepoint using huge plastic needles and yarn!  Over the years she has been cheering me on in all of my various endeavors – from multi-level marketing businesses in the mid-1990’s, to the dollhouse miniatures business I started in 1999, to my more recent adventures in selling at craft shows.  She signed up for my online newsletters, took my first class when I started teaching at dollhouse miniatures conventions, and attended every craft show she could.  All along I always appreciated her for her encouragement, but I know I took it for granted.  It means even more to me now looking back.


Mom was an artist and crafter of her own right.  She was an avid reader and loved to keep a journal.  She wrote several articles over the years that were printed in a wide variety of publications.  She loved to sew matching clothes for my sister and I when we were very young, and often sewed for her mother and herself, also (see the picture from 1976 above).  I love looking at old photographs from the early 1970’s and seeing myself in those umm…beautiful flowered print fabrics my Mom chose for our dresses. In more recent years she sewed a wardrobe full of beautiful doll clothes for her grandchildren.  Several years ago I taught her how to cross stitch, and she created many beautiful gifts with floss and fabric.


Genealogy research was one of Mom’s passions.  Passing on the family stories, photographs and memorabilia became very important to her as she collected more and more data about our ancestors over the years.  Mom enjoyed displaying family antiques and photographs in creative ways (see the spoon in the picture above).   She loved to create scrapbooks about family, friends and travel.  She got me hooked on scrapbooking in the late 1990’s and later digital scrapbooking when she gave me a digital “This is Your Life” scrapbook on my 40th birthday.  Bookshelves of creative scrapbooks were there for her children and grandchildren to browse through after her passing.


You may wonder if all of the work you put into your art, crafts, scrapbooking, writing and collecting will ever mean anything to anyone in the future.  I wonder, and I know my Mom did too.  There is joy in the doing, to be sure, but what about those who come after me, will it be special to them?  The tangible things my Mom left to me are special because of the intangible things she lived and taught while she was here.  The things she made or were special to her are special to me now because it gives me something to hold on to.  They remind me that we are all on a journey together; we are meant to appreciate and learn from one another.  They remind me that the past, present and future are woven together and that I am a part of a bigger picture that I can’t quite see yet.  I haven’t figured out life, of course, but I know it has a lot to do with relationships – knowing God and knowing others; and through them, knowing ourselves.

Growing Up

There are things about my Mom and the things she created that I didn’t fully appreciate or acknowledge while she was with me.  I supposed that is human nature.  I went through the guilt and the regrets that most people do upon losing a loved one.  Mom passed away at a relatively young age of 66 of non-smoker’s lung cancer.  I sometimes wonder if she had lived another decade if I would have grown up enough to fully appreciate her and really thank her from my heart for who she was to me and to those who knew her.  I hope so.   The events surrounding her illness and passing, though, helped me grow up like no other event in my life up to that point.  I now find it a little easier to trust Jesus, a little easier to forgive, a little easier to be kind.  Through the grace of God I hope to be the kind of person that is grateful for who and what I have in life – sooner rather than later.


Copyright 2012 Kathryn Depew

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9 Responses to A Tribute to My Mom, Gerrie Raw

  1. Judi Fikes says:

    Kathie this is the sweetest tribute you could have done for your mom! How proud (in a good sense) she would have been of what you have written. It made me reflect on my mother, too, and the gifts she has given me..and that is the way God has us honor our mothers and fathers.
    Thank you…I have been thinking of my good friend and my mother also lately with moist eyes! What joy they are experiencing right now! Love, Judi

  2. Kathie says:

    Thank you Judy, for being such a good friend to my Mom! I still miss her!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I loved reading the tribute to your mother! She will always be loved and memories of her treasured by those who knew her! Love, Alice

  4. Alice Keel says:

    I enjoyed reading the tribute to your mom! She will always be loved and memories of her treasured by those who knew her!

  5. Debbie says:

    Oh Kathie, This is so beautiful! I dearly loved your mom as my sister in Christ. We laughed and cried together with hearts of love for over 9 years! She was an amazing encourager in Gods word. Her testimony of love and service for your dad touched my heart as I was encouraged to do the same for my own husband. I think of her often and I still miss her. Thank you for sharing this with all of us. I dearly loved your mom, MDF is how we used to sign our cards… “My Dear Friend”…❤

  6. Aunt Sandee says:

    I did not see this until Kim posted it today (1/31/17). Judi is right–it was a wonderful tribute. It was a privilege to read all that you shared.

  7. Cousin Joel Evans says:

    Very touching tribute to you Mom. Thank you for sharing. I have saved this beautiful picture of the three generations and the dresses to add to my collection.
    Although your Mom and I are second cousins I don’t recall spending any time with her family growing up, although I’ve seen pictures that they did visit my family when we were quite young. So I didn’t really meet and know her until 1997 when we started some Evans family reunions in NY – which only lasted a few years. From that time on we communicated frequently by email and snail mail and quickly established a friendship that felt like we’d known each other all of our lives. Much of it centered around our mutual passion and inquisitiveness about our family history – and anything family. I surely can’t claim to have felt the same sense of loss that you and your family did when she was promoted to Heaven, but I did feel a great sadness and empty spot in my life upon losing her – sadness for myself I guess – I knew she would never again feel sadness or tears.
    After her Graduation I went back through my old emails and purposely saved as many of our communications as I could find. Fortunately I had grouped most of them in a “Genealogy” or “Family” folder as they took place, and I now have them in my digital journal program. I refer to them once in a while when I need a smile, a chuckle, or a good laugh. A short while after we started communicating back in 1997 we discovered we shared a similar sense of humor and observation of the world around us. Reading back through some of them I notice how often we both noted how the other’s “missive” (as she called them) cheered our day or made us laugh. If we didn’t hear from one another for a while I would get an email one day just asking if I didn’t have “just a little bone” for her to chew on – meaning something new in my family research – a newly discovered old photo, or obituary, or missing link – anything.
    You will probably remember our last visit almost exactly one month before she left this earth – and the family pictures by the Christmas tree with your new gift. Even then, as I read back over our emails planning our visit, I am cheered by her humor. It was a delightful but bittersweet visit, and as we parted the hugs lingered just a little longer, and as we smiled our farewells we all knew this could quite possibly be our last meeting this side of heaven.
    But…We have memories – and we have Hope!
    She used to say, when we were wrestling with some new mystery in our family tree research, “Trust me, we WON’T care about any of this when we get to heaven!”

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