It's been a year and I still can't believe she's gone. I love you, Mom

Mortgage and Lending with American National Bank & Trust NMLS #268590

Today, February 20th of 2016 makes one year since I lost my Mom.   I started my day unable to sleep.   As the sun began to rise, I sat and cried as I thought about the day about to dawn before me.   As the house illuminated with the new day's sun, I thought I would do a FaceBook post to remember and honor my mother.   I had a picture in mind I wanted to use.

As I began to search my computer files to find that one particular photo, I began to dry my tears as I realized what I was trying to find was a happy shot of my mother at a special time in her life.   I had gone from file to file, catalog to catalog, page after page and couldn't seem to locate the one photo that I felt truly represented my Mom.

Low and behold, I finally found it.   It was from a couple summers ago.   We had a cookout on the back patio and were celebrating a friend's surprise birthday party on a warm August evening.   My brother, who is a musician, had come over and was playing guitar and singing to the group.

It was on that night that Mom was truly in her happy zone.   She loved music and loved to dance.   She loved gathering for fun occasions with family and friends.   That night, a picture was taken of her kicked back with a big ol' smile on her face, just absorbing the atmosphere of the moment.

I had just signed into FaceBook after finding the picture when my brother put up a post.   He, too, had been up most of the night reminiscing and thinking of Mom.   He had also decided he wanted to use a picture in his post that reminded him of Mom's best days.   I couldn't believe it but he had chosen to use the exact same photo.   He knew it was from a "happy time".

Knowing he was also awake early, I called him and shared my thoughts and told him I was using the same photo for my post.   We agreed it was Mom at her happiest and truly represented the woman she was in life.   As our conversation continued, we had a laugh or two, cried a bit and offered strength and support to each other to deal with our grief.

For those of you that don't know, my mother got me into the mortgage industry.   She was the office manager for a closing attorney's office.   When I complained about getting caught on the back end of a 12% negative amortization loan, she listened for a while and then cut me off.   She said, "I don't want to hear it unless you are going to do something about it".

I thought for a second, then asked; "What can I do about it?"   She said "I should learn about it, deal with it, then help others avoid the same dilemma".   I then got my mortgage license and 30 years later, I am still helping people get the best possible loan for their unique mortgage situation.

As the day went on, I once again followed Mom's directions.   My husband and I delivered closing documents to a very happy client for signatures so he can close next week.   As with every deal I do, it makes me feel good to help my clients and to bring my Mom's happiness to their lives.

This afternoon, my husband and I traveled to the grave site to lay flowers, daisies and yellow roses; her favorites, at my parents head stone.   My youngest sister is there with them.   We also honored my grandparents with flowers a short distance away.   It doesn't seem like a year has passed.

My mother introduced my husband and I through a quirky series of events involving his first mortgage in Virginia.   It was a mess and she told him she knew someone that could help him out.   But she said; "in full disclosure I have to tell you, it's my daughter".

He didn't come see me immediately because he was living out of state at the time and had to return home.   He was having his home built here for when he retired.   He decided to keep the construction loan in place but would eventually come see me five months later when he was back in town.

He decided on the spur of the moment to stop into my office one day to meet me.   Believe it or not, it happened to be on Mom's birthday.   From that day forward, nearly eleven years now; we have been a couple and will be for the rest of our lives; thanks to Mom.   Her passing was hard on him too.

This evening, we went out to eat at one of her favorite restaurants and talked over dinner about how lucky we both were to have her be a part of our lives.   We marveled at the fact that it was a once in a lifetime coincidental meeting that brought us together in the happiness we share every day.   And we have Mom to thank for this.

As the day ends my heart is full of joy.   I have been through a roller coaster of emotions, memories and feelings today.   But as the day ends, I say a prayer for Mom, the husband she brought me and the love she gave me during my lifetime.   Yes folks, . . . . .



It's been a year and I still can't believe she's gone.

Lillian "Candy" Martin Early

I love you, Mom




Deanna Early is the # 1 ranked Mortgage Loan Originator in Franklin County, Virginia as scored by the ActiveRain real estate site.   She is a Nationally Licensed Mortgage Loan Originator for American National Bank and Trust located near Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia.   She does both purchase and refinance loans throughout the state of Virginia.   She is a residential loan originator and provides home loans, construction loans and lot loans as well as second or vacation home loans and investor financing.

Please visit her website at   and learn more in the Virginia Mortgage Blog

You can contact her for your financing needs at (540) 721-2349 or by email at  ""

The views expressed in this post are mine only and do not necessarily reflect the views of American National Bank and Trust Company.   Any scenarios presented are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to refer to or represent any actual or specific clients, negotiations or financial transactions.


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Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning again Deanna. What a touching post. I think your Mom would be pleased. I lost my Mom 25 years ago and still feel the same way.

Feb 20, 2016 06:28 PM #1
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

Good morning Deanna. Your mom gave you the greatest gift of all and along the way many wonderful lessons that you can now share with others.

Thanks for sharing about her, it brought back many reminders of my mom as I read your post.

Feb 20, 2016 07:35 PM #2
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Deanna-A heartfelt post and one that would make your Mom happy. Sorry for loss.

Feb 20, 2016 08:00 PM #3
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

The first year is the hardest but what wonderful memories you have and the tribute was lovely. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts.

Feb 20, 2016 09:58 PM #4
Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty - Alexandria, VA
Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale

Deanna, what a wonderful tribute to your Mom. The happy memories always seem to bring comfort. I know she's looking down and always keeping an eye on you <3

Feb 20, 2016 11:41 PM #5
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Oh, Deanna, this brings up so much emotion on many different levels. This is one of those heart-on-your-sleeve posts and I am happy to have "bumped" into it. Your mom is one of your Guardian Angels, and I'm certain that you get that. The fact that it hit hard with your husband, too tells me a lot about him. I caught my breath when I read that your baby sis was beside them. 

Life is GOOD, even tho hard and those who've left it are telling us there is nothing but LOVE in the beyond. 

Feb 22, 2016 10:15 AM #6
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DEANNA EARLY - - ( NMLS # 268590 )

Highest Ranked Mortgage Loan Originator Virginia
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