birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Sally King

A "Mississippi Lady" were the words that headlined Sally King Brakmann's obituary in summer of 2011. These words encompassed what I and so many others had experienced in the presence of this woman. She was particular about the little things like her weekly blown out hair at the salon, setting the dinner table and behaving respectably. There are few things that I remember about my dear "Dee Dee" versus what my family tells me about her. The thing that I remember the most though, was that I was her favorite. The night after her memorial service, I walked into my parents' bedroom with glistening eyes as I told them that with Dee Dee gone, I was no longer anyone's favorite. In hindsight, there was some 13-year-old dramatics behind those words, but the deeper meaning of that moment was that Dee Dee was the type of woman that made everyone feel like they were her favorite. If she liked you, she told you and she loved you tenderly and passionately. She was one steel magnolia. She was passionate about her distaste for white flowers because she always said they looked like crumbled up tissues, which she always kept tucked up underneath her three-quarter length shirt sleeve, in case of a sneeze or teary-eyed moment. Sally King was the apple of my grandfather's eye, the woman that we all desired to please and the grandmother that taught me the importance of loving in such a way that the receiver has no doubt that they are your favorite.

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