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Dayna’s memories of her mother, Fawn

Most of these memories were recorded by Dayna Taylor Gillespie, Fawn and Dean’s second child.

Trip memories:  Every summer we would travel from Reno to Provo, Utah for the Taylor reunion.  The reunions were always so fun.  We would stay with a different uncle each year and got to know our cousins.  The interesting part was traveling to Utah.  Dad always wanted to get an early start, so we were on the road bright and early, usually leaving before it was light.  One year we made the trip in dad’s Volkswagen, all 6 of us.  I know it is hard to image, but Linda and Michael rode all the way in the back cubby hole of that tiny car. Dad was not big on stopping to eat, so mom had saltine crackers, cheese and a thermos of juice, which she had to hold between her feet all the way.  She would make us a sandwich of 2 crackers, with a square of cheese in between.  I have told my children about that trip, and they can’t believe we all traveled that far in that car.

Entertaining:  Mom and dad had lots of friends and mother loved to entertain.  I remember many parties she would host and the delicious food she would serve.  On one occasion, mother had put a plate of brownies in the dryer, maybe to keep us children from getting to them before the party. She forgot they were in there, threw a load of wet clothes in and turned on the dryer.  She heard her silver platter clanking around and realized what had happened.  It was not a pretty site.  Mom was famous for hiding boxes of chocolates, so she wouldn’t eat all of them at once, and then finding them months later in the strangest places.

BBQ:  Whenever we would have a barbecue at our house, mom would always say the same thing after having her first bite of her hamburger.  “Dan, this is the best hamburger I have ever had in my life.”  We had many fun parties, mom loved board games, and especially liked playing Tripoli and having a glass of Pepsi.

Tops Club:  Mom was a member of TOPS all the years she lived in American Fork.  TOPS stood for ‘Take Off Pounds Sensibly’. She was very successful in losing her weight and keeping it off over the years.  She was an avid walker and would go almost every morning.

Deer meat memories:  Dad would go hunting almost every year, whether in Reno or American Fork and would usually come home with a deer.  Mother would then proceed to cut off every piece of meat on the animal and pressure cook it and store it in the basement.  Why she did this remains a mystery, because none of us could stand eating the foul beast.  When she would cook a roast that was deer meat, she would tell us that it was beef, but we could not be fooled by the smell.  Sometimes she would try to hide it in chili, but that didn’t work either.

Old food in fridge:  Mom would always bring home doggy bags whenever she would eat out, but usually didn’t ever get around to using them again.  She loved to save cottage cheese and kool whip containers and had many of them.  When living by herself, a lot of her things would get old and out dated.  After trying to make chocolate chip cookies several times and not having them turn out, she finally asked me if I would just make cookies for her when needed.  I think it was just cause her ingredients were expired and not fresh.

Dad’s passing:  Mother never got over the loss of dad.  She tried so hard to fill her life with good things and keep busy, but she missed him so much.  We children tried to help fill the void when possible, but it was hard with our young families.

Hit by car:  On December 15th 1984, mother was hit by a car while she was crossing the street on main street in American Fork.  It was late afternoon and sun was in the eyes of on elderly driver.  She was in the cross walk and he didn’t see her.  She was seriously injured and taken to American Fork Hospital.  She had a fractured pelvis, internal bleeding a cut on her head and many bruises and cuts.  She was in intensive care, and a large hematoma formed on the side because of the bleeding.  The doctor cut a 15″ incision about 4″ deep to relieve some pressure and blood.  The medication they gave her made her lose her memory.  On one trip to see mom, Linda and I asked her if she knew who we were.  “Of course,” she said, “You are 2 lords from Etheopia.”  There you go.  Jan 26, 1985 mom was transferred to Heritage care center  in American Fork.  She was in Utah Valley medical center for 6 weeks.  Mom left Heritage the first of June.  During June, Angela Davis stayed with her.  After Angela left, mom improved rapidly.  Considering the extent of her injuries, she did very well.  The doctor said one of the reasons she recovered as fast as she did was because of the good condition that she was in.

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