Heya Art! Sorry to hear about your mom passing. Glad that she's no longer suffering.
Random 7 Days to Die tips: At night you're kinda screwed. During the day, loot everything. Once you have stuff in your inv, stuff you're able to craft is listed there. Click on what you wanna make, then figure out what mats go in what slots - it's pretty easy. Once you've crafted something it's easier to do it again. For example, a torch: 1 Cloth over 1 Stick.
At night zombies run and are a lot more viscous, so try to find somewhere to shack up and stay quiet during the night. CTRL to go into "stealth mode" - it'll let you know if you're detected, etc.
When you die, all the stuff in your inv is dropped in a backpack wherever you died, so go back and get it.
Torches are supposed to slow down zombies at night, so if you setup in a house, put torches all over - but where Eric and I were last, the torches didn't seem to be working, so who knows.
You need to have bullets down in your quick item slots to be able to reload the approp weapon. Headshot zombies, duh. Eric makes a wicked crossbow - I can never remember the recipe but google or have him make you one. It's an awesome weapon.
Good mats to hold on to are scrap metals. Also, a lot of random stuff can be broken down into scrap metal (like hubcaps, etc). Wood is also really good. Chop down a tree to get logs. Logs to boards. Board to sticks. Then sticks are used for a lot of stuff.
You need to eat and drink (although you can also just die and respawn fully refreshed) - take empty jars to a lake or river to fill up for water.
Grab a bed from a house then place it somewhere (even right there) - that will be your new respawn spot. You can also make a sleeping bag with 7 cloth (i think) which also acts as a respawn point, wherever you put it down.
Have fun :)
Here's a beginners guide that's a little out of date because each patch changes a lot of stuff, but there's general guidelines in there that help: LINK