Touching Eulogy for Catherine Cocke by her mother

posted by Laura Anderson -

Posted by S. Dickens - "Be true and you shall live dreams most will never know...This is beautifully written by Holly...

For her daughter..."

I was told to write my daughter, Catherine's obituary. I don't know how. What I do know is she was one of the most beautiful things I have ever created... the other is my son who is here by my side now.

Some of you may have known her when she was a baby being jostled in a big, blue baby buggy all over downtown Savannah. We had a bad bout of colic, and this buggy seemed to be magic. Passerby’s would often stop and comment, "Why, she looks like a little porcelain doll", and she did. I researched how to be the best mother that I could be. I turned to books and the rocking chair, which I still have, although it has been reupholstered many times. It was apparent way back then that she was a whippersnapper. She couldn't read the books or nursery rhymes, but she had all of them memorized page by page, word for word. I stacked them in the crib at nap time, and she was quiet for hours. Her love of reading has lasted a lifetime. In high school when I thought she was asleep, she was reading "Gone with the Wind" under the covers, and the light bulb melted her pillow and almost set the house afire.

She was beautiful, feisty, passionate, determined, and smart - all the attributes that it takes to be a good actress. She stared in "The Diary of Anne Frank" and perfectly captured her role and the audience too. My heart swelled in my chest I was so proud of her. She continued acting and was chosen for Theater 15 while at SCDS. Some of her school years were difficult. She marched to the beat of her own drum, not to any other mold someone carved out for her.

I believed that travel was one of the best forms of education. We started our mother daughter travels to France when she was only six years old. After our month long trip traveling by car, I asked her what her favorite part was, and she replied "Inside the pig pen at Chateau Maillebois" in Normandy. I believe this was the beginning of her life long love affair with France where she studied, traveled, and lived for a while with Byron and three of her children. They returned home to Decatur when she became pregnant with Estella. "Stellie" proudly claims that she is from France. I have had to gently correct her that she was in her Mommy's tummy in France but didn't pop out until they were settled back in Decatur.

My daughter was "an earth mother"; she home birthed all but one of her children in the bathtub. Amidst marrying her soul mate, Byron, and birthing babies, she launched her decorating career at Bill Musso Designs in Atlanta, then her own company, Catherine Cocke Interiors.

Sometimes she was my harshest critic, "Mom, please no more leopard or animal prints. Something solid - stick to black and white." I don't think she ever understood my Boho style of dress or my house full of family pieces and antiques that I cling to.

On one occasion she said, "Mom, you have UADD."

"Yikes, Cat, what is that?"

"Under Arm Dingle Dangle!"

As I look in the mirror at myself today, I am not worried about my UADD but wonder if a trip to the plastic surgeon and many sessions with my clergy can ever remove this grief from my face.

Catherine and my wonderful, talented Son-in-law are gone now, but they are together. Where they should always be.

What a legacy.

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This is a link to a website created in memory of Catherine and Byron Cocke.  It includes information on funeral arrangements, as well as how you can honor the couple:  https://www.byronandcat.com/in-the-media/



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Laura Anderson

Laura Anderson

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