Terri was a kind, loving, caring, generous, mother, wife, and a friend to many people, always living life to its fullest. Her mantra was to love who needed love and help who needed help. Her favorite saying; and shirt, simply said, "BE KIND." She always said we were blessed and needed to make sure we were still mindful to share our blessings and "Pay it Forward" whenever possible.
Dean and Terri had a special bond as all mothers do with their children. Still, Terri and Dean, were even closer because he was our only child, and he got lots of individual attention from Terri. Dean would always say, Terri was a great mom. She's the type of mom that would make brownies for breakfast when dad wasn't in town. She's the kind of mom that would come to every sporting event and be a team mom even though her child didn't play. Terri was a great mom who always had everyone's back and made others feel like they were immediately a member of her family. This love and support also included our English son Lloyd Aitken, Dean's mate since High School, and his Best Man at his wedding.
The family was essential to Terri, both hers and mine. We both lost our parents too early, Ray and Irene, Harold, and Tommie, just like Terri, have left us all too soon. So, we made sure to purposely spend quality time with all the family still living wherever they were. We would even plan vacations around the possibility of visiting an extended family member. She had two brothers Alan & Gary, and she loved them dearly. Gary was her twin, so they spent lots of time together for 59 years. There was a special bond where I think they both could sense something good and bad for each other even though they were apart. They were "soul mates" as twin brothers and sisters. Terri loved spending time with Alan's family, Penny, his wife, and Christy, Keith, and Aidan on all the holidays. Especially Christmas, her favorite holiday, and sometimes with Hallmark's help, it was starting to become a yearlong season. Terri and Penny would start Christmas decorating plans in August. They would have all them up by October to kick-off the Christmas season on Halloween as Mr. & Mrs. Santa Clause. We would visit children, hospitals, charitable events, and parties to share the Christmas spirit with all that we could. If you look up when you pass her house, you might see a lighted Christmas Tree anytime.
Terri loved my family like it was hers. I have four brothers with lots of children and nephews and nieces. There is Joe & Ginnie, Johnny & Annette, Mac & Hillary, Terry & Wanda, and all their lovely kids who we loved like ours. We hosted many parties for our families, and Terri always did it with tireless effort and love. We did this for one single purpose to keep our families together and to learn and grow from each other and strengthen the family bond of LOVE!
Terri's hobbies were family, friends, animals, tennis, The Royal Family, and everything Christmas. She created some close, sincere, and trusted friends over time, and they held a special place in her heart. She also spent a lot of time playing tennis over the years, and she did it for one main reason, friends of which she met a lot hitting that fuzzy yellow ball. A quick fun fact about Terri, today, there are approximately 838 Hallmark movies and shows. She has seen ALL of them and some more than once. I enjoyed watching a new Hallmark movie once a week with her on the couch. I did it to be with her, of course. We even wrote over time our own Hallmark movie script. Stay tuned to see if it gets picked up, and you all may be in it with us.
Terri was also a big fan and supporters of animals, all animals. She had dogs and cats and ferrets and turtles, and fish, you name it around her growing up. In recent years we became the host for all the family dogs. For the last ten years, Harley, the love of our life, Hazel, Gary's dog, and Draco and Luna, which are Dean and Taylor's dogs.
We have a new person and family that entered our life four years ago, and her name is Taylor Davis. She and Dean are getting married on 10-10-20. We have worked on the engagement and wedding for two years, and we are so excited about their day. Terri loved Taylor like she was our daughter. We have also come to know and love her family over those years.
Terri and I were together for 35 years, and we lived every minute, hour, and day to its fullest. We fell in love and stayed in love. I would have to write a book to share how we felt about each other and the journey we had over the last 35 years. It was absolutely a remarkable life full of ups and downs, learning and teaching and loving, and loving, and loving, each other and Dean and Taylor and our families and friends.
Terri died from a head injury from an accident. The family had a private graveside service at Arlington Memorial Park in Sandy Springs, Ga. We will plan a "CELEBRATION OF LIFE" for family and friends in the future.
Terri supported many causes and charities over her life. She held children, animals, families, and seniors in a special place. If you would like to donate in Terri's honor, please do so at one of the charitable links below. They were all near and dear to her and our family.
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
One Step at a Time Recovery
The Charity Guild of Johns Creek