In January 2019, my father, Tim Schriver, asked my mother, Tammy Schriver, what her wishes were for her birthday and if there was anything special she wanted to do to celebrate.
She told him all she wanted to do was spend time with family, grandchildren and friends. For her birthday, they traveled to Boone, North Carolina, to spend time with her grandchildren and my husband and me. On the night of her birthday, we took her out to eat at one of her favorite places, Cracker Barrel.
While we waited, Mom looked all around and only this white pre-lit Christmas tree caught her eye. She told my father how much she loved that tree and desired to have it. My father asked her, "What are we going to do with another tree? We already have four." She told him with a smile, "This will be a very special tree next Christmas, you'll see."
It was time for us to be seated, so Dad told us to go sit while he talked to the manager. He told the manager how much my mom wanted this tree for her birthday, and explained to her my mom's condition of pancreatic cancer. The manager explained to my dad that the tree was a display model, and she was not sure she could sell it. She said she had to call corporate, who told her to sell it to him! The tree was full of ornaments that Mom did not want, so Dad asked if they could take all of the ornaments off.
Dad came to the table where we were all sitting, and Mom asked, "Were you able to get the tree?" He told her, "No, they were not able to sell it to us." I looked over at Mom who had a sad look and said, "Mom, what are you going to do with another tree? Where will you put it?" She answered me, "It will be a very special tree, you'll see. I know exactly where it will go." Dad gave me a quick wink, and I knew he had gotten it.
All through dinner, we kept it a secret. Mom continued to say how much she wanted that special tree. As we were leaving, the manager came over with three bags FULL of white Christmas tree. Mom's face lit up with excitement. She was so happy!
On May 30, 2019, my mother went to heaven. This was the hardest day of our lives. My dad told us after Thanksgiving that he wanted to put up "Mom's Special Tree" first. As we took it out and set it up, we found one ornament that had been left on the tree untouched. It was a crystal heart with gold glitter. There, in the middle of the tree where it was found, hangs what we now call "Mom's heart." Her heart was golden, strong and beautiful, just like the crystal heart on HER tree.
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Dad came to us with the vision of the tree covered with her pictures, her rosary beads and her special mementos. We chose three of her favorite, special dresses to create the tree skirt. We added a monogrammed crystal angel ornament that was presented to my dad at a special memorial service that Dukes-Harley Funeral Home held recently, which hangs beside Mom's crystal heart. My grandmother, Mary Rose, added red bows to Mom's special tree to represent her love for her family and friends. The tree topper is a golden angel that Dad gave her last Christmas, which represents that she is our angel.
To some this tree is just a unique tree, but to my family this is the most beautiful tree we have ever seen. As my mom spends her first Christmas in heaven, now you see, this tree is a very special tree as my mom said it would.
Jessica (Schriver) Crosby and my brothers: Joseph Schriver, Michael Schriver, Timothy Schriver
Always a nurse
Tamela "Tammy" Rose Schriver, 58, of Orangeburg, passed away May 30, 2019. She was the wife of Timothy Flinn Schriver.
She was a registered nurse and worked as a hospice nurse before becoming a clinical coordinator with Pruitt Health.
Shortly before her death, she was one of 10 nurses honored at a special reception by The Times and Democrat, along with sponsors -- nurses who exemplify the maxim, “Nurses are the heart of health care.”
The event was part of The T&D’s celebration of National Nurses Week, May 6-12. The celebration included a special section in the May 5 edition featuring profiles of the 10 honorees, also available online at TheTandD.com.
In an interview while she battling pancreatic cancer, Schriver said she was thankful for the support of her loving husband and the countless friends and family members (she has four children and five grandchildren) who encouraged her.
Some of them had reminded her of how she helped their families in the past.
"You don't realize as you walk through your life the seeds you're planting, the people you're touching, what one word meant to somebody. As people give back to me right now, it's because they tell me the stories of what I did for them at some point, or what I said to them,” she said.
"They'll say, 'You took care of my mother years ago when she was dying.' And so you pray that in your life, you've walked with Jesus and shown him that. I am only who I am because he is in me.”
About becoming a nurse, she said, “All my life I wanted to love and serve. In high school, I just kept knowing I was going to be a nurse. It’s just been in me since I was young.”
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