She died yesterday about 5:30. I had been warned it would come within a few hours. The call came 20 minutes later. My sister said it was peaceful and quiet and -- as much as we could ask.
This morning I find myself strangely calm -- though tired and a bit overwhelmed -- Strong enough to handle what comes at me this week --
My heart continues to break in my marriage. My husband has yet to offer me a hug -- show me any compassion. Maybe he just doesn't know what to do. Thank God for his cousin Dan -- here visiting from the east. He has offered a hand to hold and a shoulder to cry on when I needed it -- cooked dinner and been very kind. I felt so bad last week, when I realized he would be here when she died. I haven't been able to be the tour guide I'd planned. I had so many things I wanted to do while he was here -- but very little of it will happen. I'm not sure what I would have done were Dan not here when the calls came in. It would have been very lonely indeed. Perhaps God had a plan afterall.
I find myself pretty impatient with people and things -- I have so much work to do around here - but I'm thinking I might be ahead to take the kids somewhere fun. I'm not sure where that would be at the moment -- Clem, his brothers and Dan are going to go play golf -- Maybe the kids and I will go to the fair in Jerome -- maybe we'll go to Glenns Ferry and do the craft project at the state park -- Who knows -- maybe anywhere is better than here.
So here's part two of the eulogy. You'll have to tell me what you think.
Eulogy cont --
My mother, as I hear tell, knew horses. I had always heard that she was the kind of woman who could tame a wild stallion. She always told us about growing up on the back of a horse -- riding around the family farm in Steam Boat Springs, Colorado –But according to my uncle Floyd, she didn’t start off on a horse – it was Buster the Billy Goat.
“She would ride that thing all over,” Floyd told me. “Buster would get lazy and wouldn’t want to go. Well, we only had one spur … we put it on her – Buster went sideways and she went the other direction.”
Her love of horses though – started early – Floyd says there are pictures of her in which she was so small – her feet just stick straight out.
Next to horses, my mom talked most often about music. Originally it was singing with Aunt Vera – later it was using her soprano to belt out more classic tunes. Most of us though remember the old hymns …
My dad said she bought a piano for $75 dollars at the music store in town – A man moved it out and unloaded it by himself using a board with two wheels in the middle. He sat it in the corner of the house and it wasn’t a week and she was just sitting there playing – “The notes and sounds were a natural talent,” Dad said. “She didn’t have to have lessons.
At night after they’d all gone to bed, she’d sit at the piano and sing – Old traditional hymns. Dad’s favorite was How great thou art. George Beverly Shay would sing it on the Billy Graham show – and mom would sit at the piano and play and sing it as well.
“It was beautiful,” Dad said. She made ol George Beverly Shaw sound like a chicken.”
For Don and I, she’s play and chord quietly every Sunday morning – it was our wake up call – we hated it originally – but both of us would give anything to hear those chords again now.
My mother was playful and silly – she could tease – when we were little it seemed she’d try anything – riding my bike – place baseball in the street with our friends – and my personal favorite – riding Gary’s skateboard.
But she was at her best when she was taking care of us – especially when we got old enough to really be taking care of ourselves.
When Marian was living in Denver – she got sick – really sick. Mom flew out bought her socks and fed her hot dogs.
Marian went to work the next day.
She was feisty – a force to be reckoned with when she needed to be – While she may have had an opinion or two about our choices – let anyone else question us and there would be hell to pay – she always believed in us – even when we were being self destructive – Maybe she was in a constant state of denial, but in her eyes we could do no wrong – even when doing wrong was exactly what we were doing.
My mother never made millions – even if she did she would have spent it all on obnoxious toys found at yard sales and given to the grand kids – she didn’t have some stellar career or hold a world record – But she accomplished what some people only yearn for – she gave us unconditional love.
I think Gary said it best – he told me she was what a grandmother should be.
He wrote: I loved her and I always felt as though she loved me. Throughout my life she has often been the first to praise me for my few accomplishments, and nearly always the last to scold during my numerous mistakes.
I am going to miss the "birthday" call. Gary said Since I joined the Coast Guard she has never missed calling me once. What more can you ask for as a grandchild, someone who loves you no matter what, with none of the parental responsibility-baggage, just positive support and undying belief in you; and by god someone who thinks your special enough to call you on your birthday even when your closer to be being a grandfather than a grandchild. She is my grandma, what else can I say."
And she’ll be missed.