March Memories of Mama (& Papa!)

March is a month of precious memories for our family – the March 8th memorial of Papa’s passing, Mama’s March 15th birthday, and their March 17th anniversary.

50 roses on Mama & Papa’s 50th wedding anniversary

Every day I thank God for the gift of their lives, the legacy of their love and faithfulness – how Mama took such tender care of Papa through more than 25 years of quadriplegia in their 58-year marriage and how Papa loved her tenderly, too. (As shared previously, the mush police often ran out of ticket paper!)

Mama & Papa holding hands in their African outfits

My Mama was a steel magnolia, fragile like fine china on the outside but steely strong inside – in her faith, love, determination, encouragement and life. She sacrificed so much. An accomplished violinist when she met our Papa, she put her violin away when she started having us five kids. She would take it out on special occasions, but severe rheumatoid arthritis curtailed her playing in later years.

Mama poured her life out from the deep well of God’s love in her heart that overflowed with generous compassion and care for others.

She served selflessly. She loved and lived with unswerving steadfast devotion. She encouraged & inspired others. She gave of herself generously.

She loved chocolate!

I keep finding notes Mama wrote me over the years. When I worked overseas she sent many cards with encouraging words, written in her precious script. I put them in books & all sorts of places, but what joy to uncover them now.

Going through Mama’s things after she passed, I found several of her prayer journals. In honor of her birthday, here’s a quote and short prayer from one of them (circa 2004) to inspire our hearts today:

“My cloud of battle dust may dim

His vail of splendor curtain Him.

And in the midnight of my fear,

I may not feel Him standing near.

But when I lift my eyes above,

His banner over me is love.”

Gerald Massey

Thank You, Lord for this new day. Thank You for keeping us through the night, guarding our hearts in your peace and love. May Christ Jesus Your Son be my all today, enabling me to know You in my heart as Lord, love You with all heart, obey You & be transformed by You as You enable me to ‘lift up my eyes above’ and know ‘Your banner over me is love.’ 

Thank You, Lord – You are my everything. May I bring joy to Your heart today, pleasing you in all things.


(a prayer of Virginia Johnson Woodward, my precious mama!)

Mama, we love, love, love, love, love, love you (& miss you, LOTS!)

grace, peace & March memories

Virginia : )

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24 Responses to March Memories of Mama (& Papa!)

  1. brigette kirtley says:

    beautiful, Virginia

  2. TMH says:

    Anyone reading about your parents should gain inspiration to live with gratitude and empathy.

  3. Billy and Norma Burk says:

    Ginny, I remember one New Year’s Eve your Mother played the violin for the Virginia Beach Chapel, she did look like an angel. I will never forget it. Also during the Sunday night prayer meeting for ladies, we would start off our prayer time singing HIS BANNER OVER ME IS LOVE. Such special memories! Your family was so loved and you still are loved by Mr. Burk and I.
    He said to tell that beautiful little redhead girl hello!

    • Virginia says:

      You tell your Mr. Burk that he made my day (‘beautiful redhead?’) So much love in your special memories – thanks for sharing, Norma. Mama dearly loved playing the violin. I played the flute, but as an adult tried to learn the violin (to carry the tradition?) After lots of screeching, a violinist I was not to be. (It’s really hard!) Much love & hugs to you!! 💜✨🎻✨💜

  4. Carol-Jo says:

    Very precious…as your Mom…thank you for all the eloquent words of your Mama

  5. Garfield Hug says:

    Blessings to you Virginia on this day! Your wonderful parents are loving you from above in God’s kingdom and they are happy in heaven. Take care and I love this tribute you wrote of them. Garfield hugs 🙂

  6. Cindy Kranich says:

    Thank you, Ginny, for continuing to keep Mom and Dad fresh in our hearts and minds as you recount so beautifully their extraordinary lives❣️

    • Virginia says:

      Cin – there’s too much to say to fit in a blog post, but at least sharing a snapshot honors their lives & love & faithfulness. Love, love, love, love you, sis! ✨💜🌟💜✨

  7. My Carmel says:

    Amen! What a beautiful prayer, Virginia! Thank you for sharing those precious moments with your wonderful parents ❤ God bless you!

    • Virginia says:

      Blessings to you, Patty. I’m so grateful for Mama’s prayers. And, yes, I’m her namesake – Papa called us his ‘two Virginias.’ It’s a family name on both sides – Papa’s mother was Virginia Clare, Mama’s aunt & grandmother were also Virginias. ✨💜✨

  8. elvagreen123 says:

    Hi! Ever since I started reading about your mom and your Papa I have been so touched by their stories. Your Papa had such a sweet face. Thank you so much for your posts and memories.

    • Virginia says:

      Thank you Elva – I feel like I know your dad, too, with all you’ve written & shared these past few years. It’s comforting that although our fathers are not here, they still inspire us (& others.) Blessings!!! ✨🤗✨

  9. John Paine says:

    Great tribute to a great set of parents and a gracious, loving God. Thank you!

  10. I am at a loss for words to properly convey, how this post touched me. The first picture, truly captured some magic. so much . . .I wanted to cry. Your mam was a saint, make no bones about it-oh what treasures she left you.

    • Virginia says:

      Michele, Papa always said Mama was a saint (& the jury was still out on him.) I took that 1st pic on their 50th anniversary after serving as Papa’s procurement elf for those 50 roses (but his lovelorn expression totally captures how moonstruck they still were @ 58 years.) Much love!!! ✨💜✨

  11. Marykyn Taylor Friedmann says:

    Such a beautiful and heart full of love for your mama. Our whole family loved her as well as your dad and all of your kids. Our family and your family go way back to being in college together when your dad first met your mom and fell in love with her at ODU, my mom had told us.
    We are just beginning our journey of life after losing our mom 4 weeks ago yesterday (February 8). Your blog on “The Gift if Tears” especially touched
    my heart. Live you and the whole Woodward family!

    • Virginia says:

      Marilyn, so very sorry about the loss of your mom!! Our parents were friends so far back (when ODU was known as ‘The College of William & Mary, Norfolk Division.) When Mama was still a student there, Papa saw her singing in the choir @ church & asked Aunt Lolly for an introduction. We miss Mama so much – as I’m sure you must miss your precious mother. May the legacy of her love continue to fill your heart & the lives of your family. Much love back to you & all the Taylor clan. 🌹🌟💜🌟🌹

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