this thing is still about things

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Mildred Brock Burnley
(June 16, 1921 – November 2, 2010)

Mrs. Mildred Brock Burnley, age 89 of Calhoun, passed away Tuesday, November 2, 2010 at Quinton Memorial Health and Rehabilitation in Dalton. She was born in Bradley County, Tennessee on June 16, 1921, daughter of the late William and Cordie Amanda Lewis Brock. In addition to her parents, she was also preceded in death by her husband, Clarence Burnley; brothers, Clarence Brock, D.C. Brock, Cecil Brock, and Carl Brock; sisters, Onie Marie Keith, and Elsie Morrison; and a grandchild. Mrs. Burnley was retired from OJ Mills and was a member of the Belmont Baptist Church.

Survivors include five sons, Leon Isenhower, Adlai Isenhower, Dwight Isenhower, and Ben Isenhower, all of Murray County, and Roger Burnley of Calhoun; four daughters, Oma Jean Brown, Georgia Hudgins, and Elsie Pandessi, all of Calhoun, and Joyce Thomas and her husband Billy of Plainville; and two sisters, Maggie Dooley of Chatsworth, and Kathleen Cantrell of Dalton. Seventeen grandchildren, twenty-three great-grandchildren, and five great-great grandchildren also survive.

The Mr.’s grandmother passed away after a stroke many years ago. Honestly, I think most of the sadness and mourning came first at the beginning when she had her stroke, and then secondly when her memory began to fail. The tragedy is that it all seems very unnecessary. Wasteful. There are lots of “if only”s.

I feel selfish because aside from the fact that it was the Mr.’s grandmother that passed, I keep thinking about what I’ve lost. Selfish, huh. She was a true family matriarch, and unlike some people, accepted me from the beginning if for no other reason than the fact that the Mr. loves me. She reminds me of the true Grandmother type in my mind: makes the best food, makes things with her hands, probably has a garden, great stories, lets you eat a midnight snack when you’d NEVER get to do that at your house.

She made the most incredible quilts. Old school, by hand. I think we have one quilt that saw some machine stitching on. She puts everything I’ve ever cooked or sewn in my whole life to shame. Here are a few examples of quilts that we are honored enough to have:






The above quilt is a wedding ring quilt that was made for us when we got married. It’s my second favorite. This one is my favorite:


I put it on my bed recently and Josh came in and literally stopped in his tracks because it’s beautiful and breathtaking. It’s hard to see it all; I think it’s be a more “true” picture if I got it outside in natural light but let’s face it: this quilt is never going to touch anything outside of this house.

There’s so much more to say and nothing left to say. I miss her very much.

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