♬ Hey baby, why don't ya' hang around for a while and we could grab some soda's?
I heard this place is just stuffed to the brim with The King Of Rock 'n' Roll do-dad's! Let's take a look? Then we could hit the drive-in after. ♬
On August 14th, 53 years ago…
Gladys Love Presley (1912 - 1958) passed away from a heart attack from being stricken with hepatitis. She died at the age of 46 in Methodist Hospital, Memphis. It was Elvis’s Army years at the time and was stationed in Fort Hood with the family living off-base in the nearest town Killeen. The family noticed Gladys was weak and looked extremely ill. She was sent back to Memphis and was submitted into the Methodist Hospital on August 9th. Elvis was granted emergency leave on August 12th, flying straight to the hospital with his father.
It raised Gladys’s spirits to see her son by her bedside but it wasn’t enough to cure her. Elvis and Vernon took turns staying by Gladys’s bedside during the days and nights but she was slowly fading away. Elvis was begged by his weak mother to get some rest and it would only make her happy if she saw her son not worrying so much about her. He refused repeatedly but eventually he went home to Graceland to get some rest.
On August 14th approximately 3:15 AM, Gladys was struggling and gasping for breath as Vernon was by her bedside. Soon after, she was announced she had passed and Vernon phoned Elvis to tell the tragedy.
The service was held at Graceland with around 400 invited guests, yet the Graceland gates were surrounded by a thousand mourning fans as well. The Blackwood Brothers were one of Gladys’ favourite spiritual groups and they sang her favorite songs, “Rock of Ages” and “Precious Memories” at the service.
Guests claimed Elvis was so in shock and was almost hysterical with sobs as he choked out, ’Goodbye, darling, goodbye. I love you so much. You know how much I lived my whole life just for you.’ Vernon had to calm him down several times as Elvis wept so violently. The guests never saw Elvis this way; they thought he would never be the same after… and he wasn’t.
Elvis was so attached to his mother as a little boy and he always was as he grew up. He just wanted her to be happy and he did his best by bringing happiness in her life. Gladys was always so proud of her son and always was filled with happiness when he was by her side.
"My mother, I suppose because I was an only child, I was a little bit closer, I mean, everyone loves their mother, but I was an only child and my mother was always right with me, all my life, and it wasn’t just like losing a mother, it was like losing a friend, a companion, someone to talk to. I could wake her up any hour of the night and if I was worried or troubled about something she’d get up and try to help me."
Engraved into the marker that stood five feet in front of a ten-foot marble statue of Jesus Christ standing before a cross, arms stretched out with two kneeling angels on either side of Him was written:
GLADYS LOVE PRESLEY
APRIL 25, 1912-AUG. 14 1958
Beloved wife of Vernon Presley and mother of Elvis Presley.
"She was the sunshine of our home."