Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Special Birthday Tribute

Seventy-seven years ago today a very special baby girl was born to Willis and Dorothy Stout. They named her Naomi Stout. They did not give her a middle name. She was the sixth of her mothers seven children.

She grew into an adorable little toddler

Her family traveled a rocky path, and she lost her father and a beloved brother before she was six years old.

As the years passed Naomi grew into a lovely young woman.

In 1953 she graduated from Clinton High School in Clinton, Missouri. Shortly thereafter she married. Four children were born before the marriage ended painfully for Naomi. She raised her family alone for several years before meeting the love of her life. Wilford Cardwell. The two married December 26, 1970. Wilford filled a long-empty void, and quickly became "Daddy" to Naomi's children. Wilford and Naomi lived happily together until Wilford's death in 1989.

"Smoochie Face"
Naomi's children grew up, married, and had children of their own. She watched all of their triumphs and mistakes, and she guided them the best she knew how. Though disagreements and rifts sometimes occurred, those children never forgot where they could find the unconditional love of their mother.

David, Terrie, Brenda (my mom) and Ross with Naomi
about 1990

Some time in the mid-1980s two of Naomi's granddaughters learned she had not been blessed with a middle name. They thought this was a terrible injustice and took it upon themselves to remedy the situation. Forever after, Naomi proudly claimed the moniker Naomi Elizabeth Cardwell.

Naomi "Elizabeth" with Tiffany (age 7), Heath (2-3 months),
and Andrea (age 4). Summer 1983. 

Many more years passed. Naomi's grandchildren grew up, married, and had children of their own. She continued to rejoice in their triumphs and mourn their mistakes, still guiding the best she could.

On December 13, 2010, Naomi Elizabeth Cardwell celebrated her 76th birthday surrounded by her children and grandchildren. We decorated her Christmas tree together, as we had for more decades than I can remember.

On July 22, 2011, having buried her mother, her beloved husband, and all of her siblings, Naomi went home to Heaven.

Taken December 13, 2010

This year, Naomi celebrates her birthday with Jesus, and with all the loved ones who awaited her on the other side. Those of us who love her miss her terribly. Today we celebrated her life. We will never forget the legacy of love she left behind.

Happy Birthday, Grandma! 
We Love You!


  1. Sweet post. Thank you for sharing it.

  2. Beautifully done, baby girl. Grandma would be so pleased. Momma loves you and your precious heart. May GOD bless you always. Mom

  3. Thank you for blogging this. I haven't cried all day, but this did it. They are happy/sad tears. I love you and you did a wonderful job with this