PLUNK GENEALOGY -- see "Family" label on this blog and/or write Mike at

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Martha Petroff Holmes --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- April 19, 1925-August 27, 2009

My Mother died in the early morning hours of August 27 after a painful decline resulting from her early July fall. Mike and I were with her, talking to her and holding her hand. The end of her suffering was a blessing. But it won’t be the images of Mother in those last weeks back in the hospital that I’ll remember.

As you’ll see in some of the photos below, Mother loved to have fun. Mother made fun. Growing up, we had little monetarily, but Mother always made life an adventure. She always had challenges, but she always faced them and overcame. The happiest period of her life was her 31-year marriage to Ray Holmes.

In addition to the photo of Mother with her brother and sister, the one with Niece Shannon and me, and her cadet nurse photo, you’ll see Mother serving as a carnival clown, dressed like a beatnick and – well, there’s little explanation, but that’s one of my old dance recital costumes.

Special memories of Mother include the four years I was a high school majorette, and she was our Majorette Momma. She attended every football game, contest and performance at which we appeared. I clearly remember the last minutes ticking down to football game half-time shows on very cold nights when we majorettes clung to our winter coats as long as we could. When the time came to take our places and enter the field, we tossed eight winter coats and purses to my waiting 5’ 2” Mother. Sometimes she even had our fire batons, too. I’m not sure how she managed it, but she was there to help us.

Another distinct memory goes back even further. I must have been in the second grade. Mother didn’t learn how to drive until I was in the fourth grade, so we traveled by bus which was fine except in inclement weather.

On that day in my memory, it was extremely cold and there was a strong wind. The memory is so clear that I can almost feel the chill that had no difficulty seeping through my winter coat. Then Mother turned her back to the wind, opened her coat and pulled me against her warm body, closing her coat around me. It was wonderfully warm.

Throughout her life she figuratively pulled people into her warmth and love and wrapped them up in it – her patients when she worked for Dr. Fred Goldberg, her friends and her family. She was an amazing woman and will be sorely missed.


Zehr_Family said...

The photo of her, Granny and Uncle Pete is one of my favorites. It was the last one ever taken of them. Granny died not long after it was taken. Thank you so much for posting this, I have it some place but can't find it at this time and I really needed to see it. I love the photos of your Mom, most of them I have never seen. I truly love the one of her and Uncle Ray's wedding, I know there is a copy of it somewhere in Mom's stuff. I hope you will not mind, I copied the photos and have posted some to my remembrance album I am making on FB to share with all the family for all those we have lost. I love being able to share photos this way it is so much easier than getting copies and mailing them. I have been thinking of you and "Uncle" Martha. I will never forget her Bangdy Bangdy Bang Joke, if you don't remember it I will be glad to tell you it some day but won't be able to do her justice in how she told it. I love you!!

Scarlett said...

Kristi -
Of course you're welcome to copy photos from here. I'm happy that I put up pics you enjoy.
Oh yes, I remember "bangedy-bang!" I laughed myself silly the first time I heard it, I think on the Tonight Show, and I told it for years. We love to laugh.

Jenni said...

Diane, I am so sorry we weren't able to make the funeral. This tribute you wrote is beautiful and shows how special your mom was! I will miss her!
I love you and I am thinking of you and Mike..

Lacy said...

Diane, I am so sorry for your loss. What a wonderful woman your mother was! :)

Brooke D. said...

I heard once that by living a good life, you get to look back at it in later years and relive it all again through memories. I am so sorry to hear your mother passed, Diane. I am sending you lots of thoughts and love!

Marcy said...

Rest in peace, dear sweet Baba.
Marcy Belle

Scarlett said...

Thank you all for your caring. I know I'm not the first to lose a mother so I'm not trying to be special in this. Mike lost his mom three years ago next month, and I have many other friends who have already dealt with this. It seems that time plus the deliberate replacement of tears with laughter is the only path.

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