Archive for the ‘Mom's Life Story’ Category



   Posted by: Mel   in Life, Mom's Life Story

Clora Mae Coates

Clora Mae Coates

Today is Mother’s Day 2015. Today is also my Mother’s 79th Birthday. We celebrated her birthday on March 3rd this year, because we knew there was a chance she would not be here on her birthday. I am thankful we had made plans to do that the day after she came home. The day before we would celebrate, I would be told she only had 3-5 days to live. Yesterday was two months since she passed. Many probably would say celebrating her birthday early was bitter sweet. I haven’t yet found the sweetness of it. Extremely grateful to those closest to our family, who could be there to help us celebrate our Mom. My Mom. My heart.

I had said when my Mom passed away that I didn’t have much to say, because anything that needed to be said, I had said to her. There was nothing left unsaid between her and I. She knew me inside and out and I her. There was nothing about my Mother I didn’t know. I had the honor and extreme joy of taking care of her during her last 16 years on this earth. I would not trade one second for the time I got to spend with my Mom. I wouldn’t change it and would have gladly did it for the rest of my life. God had other plans for both of us. Until my Mom took her last breath, I still believed God would heal her here. Nothing that anyone could say or do would have changed my mind. There is something to be said when it literally takes God to change your mind about something you feel so strongly about. Unwavering faith, it should be taught on more often. But no matter how much faith we have, sometimes God says no.

I am the youngest of 10 children to my parents. My oldest sister passed away in 2009, my brother and sister just older than I passed away at birth. So there is seven of us left, spread from California to Illinois. Today I thought I would post something for them to read and hopefully it will make them smile, maybe even laugh (I hope none of you are in public reading this).

To my Siblings:

Do you have any idea how much Mom loved you? She was extremely proud of each of you, your lives and what you had become. She prayed for you daily. Often times I would walk into the living room, she would be praying for you and your kids, grandkids, I have to admit, some of you she prayed for more often than others. I won’t mention any names (Mike). But she prayed. And she prayed deliberately for you and your soul. More than anything she wanted you all to serve Jesus. And live your eternity in Heaven.

About four days before Mom passed, she stopped talking. The day before she stopped, I came into the living room that morning. She was talking, eyes wide open. I thought she was mumbling. I touched her arm and asked her who she was talking to. No one was in the livingroom. She smiled, “Jesus. I was just thanking Him for all he has done for us. For all He has done for you kids. He’s so good to us.” Some of her last thoughts and words were about Jesus and her kids. That should tell us all something.

She was proud of each of you and all you had accomplished. She, better than anyone knew you were not perfect and had made mistakes along the way. But she knew the prayers she had prayed and knew Jesus had heard her. Therefore, you would be just fine as would your kids and grandkids.

I am not sure I can say anything to you on this day to ease the pain or discomfort this day has brought. Or the past few months for that matter. But if I could say anything that would give you some comfort I would hope it would be this. God knew who we would be long before the earth was formed. He knew the mistakes, the sin, the joy and the pain we would bring to a Mother from time to time. Though it is a cliche’, I believe it is true, He hand picked Mom just for us. He knew how long it would take her to get us all in line, how many times she would have to say no, yes or “you know better than that”. He knew the moments when we would need her most and He knew the times when we would be able to stand on our own two feet. But He knew we would only get there, with having the right Mom to lead us. That was our Mom.

No other Mom would have put up with all you people! Stealing watermelons, driving the Fiat through the fields, getting shot at, driving motorcycles off the side of the mountain, shooting at wild life with a shot gun! Mopping the floor with sponges on your feet and gallons of soap and water, not to mention all the times she waited by the door to flip the light on and off when it was time to come in. Only our Mom would have put up with all that, discipline you and then waited the appropriate amount of time before she would tell the story and laugh the whole way through it.

She loved being a Mom. But also loved being a Granny. And you guys did that for her. You made her a Granny, Great Granny and Great Great Granny many times over. And the way you raise your kids, also shows honor to her. She left a huge legacy, her family. But to her family she left the greatest legacy anyone could ever leave, she left us the Legacy of Jesus. What we do with that legacy is up to us. How we treat who mattered to her most (Jesus), is our choice. I pray your choice is clear on this day. As for me and my House, we will serve the Lord. Will you?

I will leave you with this. The last 11 days of Mom’s life, she began to tell those she loved, just how much she loved them, how much she appreciated them. Handshakes turned into lasting memories for those closest to us. And “I love you’s” seem to be said from deep within her heart. She wanted to leave no doubt to those who had chosen to be in her life, that she loved them and appreciated them. Some of our friends and family would have extremely special moments with her. Moments that I hope they remember for always. On this day, if I could have Mom back for just a few moments, I would once again tell her how much I loved her and how thankful I am that she is my Mom. As I am sure all of you would. But that isn’t possible, is it? So instead I present a challenge for you. I would like for you to take a page out of the last week of Mom’s life. Call or text (or however you choose to contact them) your family and close friends who mean the most to you, tell them just how much they mean to you. Do not wait for the moments Mom had, you may not get them. Tell them now and tell them from your heart. Leave no doubt as to how much you really love them. In the last days of Mom’s life, she let everything go that didn’t matter. And she chose to love and be loved by those who chose to accept it and give it. Why wait till your last days? Let it all go. And just love. It will change your life and the life of those you choose to love and be loved by.

Your Favorite Little Sister,


Clora Mae Coates Tribute Video


The Beginning

   Posted by: Mel   in Mom's Life Story

I was born Clora Mae Taylor to Ira and Margaret Elizabeth Taylor on May 10, 1936. I am the oldest of four children. My Daddy named me.

W.T. (Dub), Peggy Sue and Harlin Dee would follow. All being born by 1941.

I was born in Broken Bow, Oklahoma. My Daddy worked in the saw mills there to support our family. But we didn’t live there long after my birth. In fact I don’t remember it and didn’t return until 1991, when my Husband, Doyale took me and my youngest Daughter, Melody there on vacation.

We moved from Broken Bow to Adkins, Arkansas. My grandparents and great grandparents were well established there. In fact my great grandpa, Phillip Fronabarger had one of the biggest, if not the biggest farms in that area. It stretched over acres and acres of land. It is still owned today by my cousins son.

Back then, you tended to move where work was, so Daddy got word that there was work in Oklahoma and we moved. By this time Dub and Peggy had been born. We were stair steps in age. Once again, we didn’t stay there long. But long enough for my baby brother, Harlin to be born.

This time Daddy got word from my Grandparents, Grandpa McClure and Granny Fan (my Mama’s parents) that there was work in the orchards. Peaches and Oranges mostly. So we got on a Greyhound bus and headed out to California.

We didn’t have any money. And all we had to eat was a couple packages of saltine crackers my Uncle had given us. Daddy spent every dime he had on the tickets. And prayed that God would supply our needs.

Across the aisle in the bus a middle age black couple sat, they were married and then there was another younger man. Could have been their son or maybe a brother. They never said and we never asked. They had bags of candy. Some were hard candy, some were chocolate chips. We didn’t ask for anything, but it sure smelled good. The lady, I’m sure had noticed we didn’t have anything and hadn’t bought anything at the stops along the way. After one of the stops we got back on the bus, she reached in her bag and pulled out a handful of chocolate chips, leaned across the aisle and motioned to my parents to ask if it was alright.

Normally this would not be ok, we didn’t eat candy by the handfuls. But Daddy knew we were hungry, so he said it was fine. The couple would continue to give us candy when they ate it. I was thankful, because I was sure hungry. I never did know their names. But I pray the Lord blessed them for feeding four hungry kids.

We arrived in Corcron, California. Grandpa McClure came and picked us up in the horse and wagon. Mama and Daddy made sure to shake the couples hand and the young man who was with them before we left. I don’t know what Daddy said to them. But I’m sure he thanked them for their kindness. Pa took us to Exeter, 329 West Palm Street. Granny Fan and Pa had us a house ready next to them. And that’s where we settled down for the time being.

Daddy went to work in the Orange Orchard, he sure worked hard. I’m thankful for every orange he picked to feed me and my brothers and sister.

We went to the Exeter Assembly of God, Sis. Rhodes was the Pastor. Wonderful lady and minister of the gospel. Daddy really liked to hear her preach. Daddy became an Usher or Deacon as some would call it. We were faithful every Sunday Morning, Sunday Evening and Midweek too.

45-50 years later my Husband and I would be the Assistant Pastors of that same church I grew up in and our youngest Daughter, Melody would play the drums in Church for the first time. But we aren’t quite there in the story yet. I still have a lot of trouble to get into first.

L-R Back Row: Peggy, Clora Mae and Dub

L-R Front Row: Margaret, Harlin & Ira

Picture was taken about 1945


The Wedding Day

   Posted by: Mel   in Mom's Life Story

The day before we were to be married, we went to the Courthouse to get our wedding license. Doyale and I and Mama and Daddy. My Parents had to go because I was only 16, they had to sign to say they agreed to let me marry Doyale.

Doyale didn’t have enough money to buy the license. We had never done this before so we didn’t know what the cost was. Doyale was $1 short. The license was $3. Daddy loaned Doyale the $1. But Doyale paid him back when he got his next check, which was that evening. He went and picked up his check from the Texaco station, went and cashed it and got change to pay the Preacher, Bro. Simpson.

Bro. Simpson didn’t want anything for marrying us. He said my Mama and Daddy had been faithful to God by being faithful in their service, tithes and offerings to our church. And they had been a real blessing to not only the church, but to him and his family. And he wanted to now bless their kids. Doyale insisted that Bro. Simpson take the money. Said a workman was worthy of his hire. Bro. Simpson agreed to take the money. So Doyale gave him the $10.

The next day we went to the Assembly of God, our church. We came in the back door of the church, walked down to the altar where Bro. Simpson was waiting on us. Mama, Daddy, Dub (little brother) and Peggy (little sister) were the only ones there.

Mama had made my wedding dress. It was lavender with white polka dot Swiss material. It was beautiful. Every stitch was hand stitched by my Mother. Material and supplies paid for by my Daddy’s hard earned money. I wore white ballerina shoes and a little silk flower capping pinned in my hair with a couple of bobby-pins.

Doyale wore his only pair of grey dress pants, white button up shirt, no tie, grey gaberdine zip up jacket, black patent leather tied shoes and a black belt. He looked spiffy!

We stood at the altar, Doyale’s Parents weren’t there. Mama and Daddy stood behind us both as a way of saying they supported us. Dub and Peggy stood kind of out in front of us. I suppose they would have been the ring bearer and flower girl of today. We said our vowels and our I do’s.

Our Church was in revival that week, so we went back to our “new” one bedroom house, it was across from Nickel’s Payless Store on Farmersville Blvd. We changed out of our wedding clothes, put our church clothes on and went back to church. I lead song service that night. I thought real hard about leading the song, “Love lifted Me”, but I thought Doyale and Daddy both would have whipped me. I knew my Mama would have. So I lead “I’ll Fly Away” instead.

We went home after service that night, got up the next morning and went back to church, we had made the decision (though we seen no other option), We were going to start off our marriage in church. Doyale put our tithes in the offering plate for the first time as a couple. He would continue to do so every Sunday for the next 45 years. Doyale passed away on March 13, 1999 almost 46 years to the day we got married (March 14, 1953). The Sunday prior we had sat in church together at Full Gospel Assembly in Turlock. Doyale had dropped our tithes and offering in the offering bag. I had sang. Nothing much had changed in 45 years. The next Sunday would be a different story and one for another time.


The Proposal

   Posted by: Mel   in Mom's Life Story

Doyale and I met in November, not too long before Thanksgiving in 1952.

We were on our way to church one Sunday, just him and I. We were talking about this and that. And he looked over at me and said, “Clora Mae, are you going to get married?” I said, “Yes, someday.” He said, “Well, when?” I said, “When you ask me! But you’ll have to ask Mama and Daddy before I can say yes.” He said, “Ok.”

When we got home my Daddy was in the kitchen. Doyale went in and spent a few minutes in there talking to him. A little while later him and Doyale came out of the kitchen, Daddy said, “I told him you can marry him. But he has to keep a job. You have to get your own house. He has to support you and your family. He said he would, I believe him.” Daddy knew Doyale wasn’t lazy, he had been working at the Texaco station. But Daddy needed to put it on the table so it was up front and in the open.

We found a house, Doyale moved into it and after we were married I moved in. In 45 years of marriage, Doyale never once didn’t have a job. And we never had to move back in with Mama and Daddy (we did live next door to them once). Doyale kept his promise to my Daddy and to me and you kids. Didn’t have all we wanted. And we had some very rough times, but he always provided for us as the Lord showed him what to do. Doyale believed a man ought to work and support his family. I did too. Still do.

Doyale asked me to marry him just a couple of weeks after we had been officially dating. Sometime right after Christmas, we were married 3 months later. He was a good man.

I never did say yes, But I guess after 45 years of marriage and 10 kids later, I’d made my decision. Besides serving Jesus, it was the best decision I ever made.

Thomas Doyale Coates Sr.

Thomas Doyale Coates Sr.


The Meeting

   Posted by: Mel   in Mom's Life Story

Your Daddy (Thomas Doyale Coates Sr.) came to church one night. We had them old theater type seats, wooden with slats. I would take my jacket off and put it over the back of the seat, so if I got cold I could slip it on my shoulder easily, so I didn’t disrupt service by standing up to put it on.

Well my jacket would start to slip through the slats of the chair, that night your Daddy, your Grandpa Coates and Charles (I think that was your Daddy’s cousin), was sitting behind me. Your Daddy started pulling my jacket through the slats, till he had it through, then he’d put his foot on it and drag it backwards till he had it out. I would try to hang on to it, but he was stronger and he won the tug-a-war.

He’d pick up the jacket and hand it to me. He would say, “Here, you dropped this!” I would snatch it from his hands and say, “Thank you. Now please leave me alone. I don’t want to get in trouble for talking!”

A few minutes later it started all over again. I finally got tired of it about the fourth or fifth time. I turned around and gave him a look and said, “Will you please stop it! I’m going to tell my Daddy if you don’t!” He stopped. After Church him, his Dad and Charles stuck around for fellowship. We got to talking, he wasn’t such a bad guy.

The next day they showed up at Whoolworth, I was a waitress, wasn’t yet the cook. They sat down and I went over to wait on them. I don’t know how they found out I worked there. I didn’t tell him or the other two. But some how they found out. We weren’t allowed to keep tips at that time. I was only 16. But they would have me walk around and refill their coffee, each one would slip coins in my shoes. I had blisters every night from walking on the coins all afternoon.

Every day they would come in, one day Doyale asked me, “Do you work every day?” I told him I did. My family wasn’t rich and every penny helped. “How do you get to work if your Dad goes to work so early and takes the car?” I told him we didn’t own a car. And that my Daddy walked to work. And I took the Orange Belt City Bus everyday. The coins they had given me had came in handy for that. “Can I give you a ride to work each day? I work at the Texaco Station just up the road, I have to come by here everyday anyway at that time.” I thought that would be ok, so I said yes. I got off at 5:00 p.m. and he had to work till 7:00 p.m. So He would take a break at 5:00 p.m. and come pick me up and take me home, so I didn’t have to walk home either.

Asked what her Daddy thought about him giving her a ride?

Well, He didn’t say anything at first. Mainly cause he didn’t know for a long time. But when he found out, he said it was ok. Even though Doyale was older than me. But he kept going to church and was proving himself to be a good man. He would stop by and give me rides to church. After a couple of times of giving me a ride, he asked if my Parents would like to ride, it was cold out and it would be warmer in the car. Faster too. I told him no, they would walk. I thought I was smart, till Doyale told Daddy that he had offered a ride and I told him no.

Your Daddy proved himself to be a good man. He went to church, accepted the Lord into his life. He left one option on the table when we started getting serious. Marriage. There was no other option of moving in together. No option of just dating the rest of our lives. When he realized he wanted to be with me, he asked me to marry him. And he expected the same thing out of the guys you girls married and out of Mike as well. Your Daddy was a great example of a husband and father. I am so glad I said yes. We had our differences. But we loved each other.

Thomas Doyale and Clora Mae were married for 45 years. Thomas passed away on March 13, 1999 at 8:45 p.m. 3 hours and 15 minutes short of a 46 year marriage. Their first date was on December 8, 1952. They married 3 months and 3 weeks later on March 14, 1953.

My Parents: Thomas Sr. & Clora Mae Coates

My Parents: Thomas Sr. & Clora Mae Coates