StoryCorps at SHC: Shelly Cox and Ona Okoro

Out of this little body came this big personality that just filled up a room.


Shelly Cox (SC): My mom was 5'1". She walked very, very fast all the time as if she was determined to get somewhere quickly. And she did not have a bashful bone in her body. She would see somebody across a parking lot that she knew and would yell to them, "Hi, Ono."

Ono Okoro (OO): That's, that's definitely Carol.

SC: And out of this little body came this big personality that just filled up a room. And just hearing that unquenchable spirit, yeah, that's what I miss the most about her.

OO: We never ended a phone conversation, no matter what it was, big or small was, "Thank you so much. I appreciate this. Catch my hugs and kisses." Her gratitude was overflowing.

SC: So we have to talk about that, too, the catch my hugs and kisses.

OO: Oh, yes.

SC: That is every single person that she cared about she said, "Catch my hugs and kisses. Catch my hugs and kisses." And that's how we ended her service by yelling out to her, "Catch my hugs and kisses." That's her caption, the caption of her life.

OO: There was a time where her cancer had come back. And at the end of it, it was like, "Okay." You could tell that she was upset about it, but she stopped and said, "Okay. Well, that sucker changed again, but we'll try this." And again, at the end of this, spun it in a positive light. And then just said, "Okay. I'm taking this on. It's back. But what's the plan? I'm ready." And just that positivity, that tenacity, that spirit about her... I'll keep that with me forever.

SC:  Yeah, she never let anything get her down, and you would never have known she had cancer. When things were getting tough for her, we took this beautiful walk up to this waterfall. And I videotaped the whole scene. And then I spanned my phone over to the path where she was. She turned around and waved at me. And it's like a picture of heaven in my mind for her. And I treasure it. Thank you for everything you did for her. And thank you for inviting me to do this story about her so that her memory can be kept.

OO: It was really a privilege to care for her.

SC: Oh, we have to finish by saying...

OO: Ready?

OO and SC: Catch my hugs and kisses

Sound Editor: Carolina Correa

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