I just wanted to share a word to my regular readers. I know I have been noticeably absent from all of you for over a month and a half. My absence has been because my mother, Frances Barefoot Royal, had been struggling with cancer and my brother and I, together with his wife and my father, had begun to devote every free moment to helping support her in her fight with cancer and, once it became clear the best option was hospice, helping her remain comfortable. This time took all my energy, and I was blessed, together with family and my partner, to be by mother’s side when she passed.
I am finally getting in the swing of life again, slowly and gradually. I intend to begin writing again by sharing some reflections old and new that connect with this time of grief and renewal.
I am very thankful for the many people in my life, both present right here with me and from a distance, who have come alongside me and my family. Most of all, I am thankful for the enduring lessons my mother gave me.
I am including mom’s obituary, written by my brother Matthew, as a tribute to the life she led.
Your progressive redneck preacher,
Frances Barefoot Royal, 72, of Durham, passed away on Sunday, July 23, 2017 at home. She was daughter of Herma Ellen Massengill of Four Oaks, NC, and her adoptive parents were Charles and Myrtie Barefoot. A graduate of Four Oaks High School, East Carolina, and Fayetteville State University, she was also an artist, a teacher, a musician, a devoted mother, and beloved wife of 52 years to Jerry. Together they reared four children, mostly in Fayetteville, with many summers spent in the North Carolina mountains. Frances was a La Leche League Leader for many years, providing support and encouragement for mothers in nurturing their babies. Her children Matthew and his wife Agnes, Amber Marsh and her husband Phillip, Micah, and Alyssa, and one grandchild, Mark, live in Durham and Indian Trail, NC. She is preceded in death by her daughter-in-law Katharine.