Can I just say one more thank you to all of the kind replies from many of you…and thanks for the good thoughts sent my way as well. Several of you said my blog made you cry…well, some of your words made me cry too.
It was a long week that flashed by last week….any of you who have dealt with the death of your last parent, knows all the stuff that has to be wrapped up. The final downsizing of someone’s life….and there was still soooo much stuff that had to be donated/given away/taken home/put in my baby sister’s attic(sorry Jan)…finalizing of the estate, closing accounts, etc…..it’s just a mountain of details. We found we had to keep making lists of what had to be done… right now and what could wait for later. It’s then you know the value of siblings. Really, I cannot imagine going through all that without my sisters. And my sweet daughter came down to help….she was so good, hauling stuff, cleaning, shopping, taking my (mental) temperature. She’ll never know how much I appreciate it.
And I’ve made a resolution to be better about sending cards to people who have lost someone….they really do mean a lot.
I want to share a story from my Mom’s earlier days…one I shared at her service, that spoke to 1. her stubbornness and 2. her standards. She and my Dad married january, 1942….she followed him to couple of cities until he was deployed overseas. In Abilene, Texas, she needed a job desperately, to be able to afford to stay there with him…but the town was awash in army wives, looking for work. So she picked the largest office building in Abilene, and starting on the bottom floor, went door to door, asking if people needed secretarial help(she was very good). Finally on the 4th floor, a bookkeeper said yes indeed, they were between secretaries, and while the boss was not in town, he would hire her, to see if it worked out.
Later that week, Mom’s new boss(name was J.D. something-I hate myself that I can’t remember his last name),an oilman who had been out in the fields, came in, walked right by Mom into his office, put his dirty boots up on the desk and said loudly, “Girl, get in here and bring your book!” For those of you too young get the reference…he meant her stenographer’s book.
He proceeded to dictate a letter…but what a letter! It was basically a string of disorganized thoughts, bad grammar, no punctuation or paragraphs, and full of curse words. When he finished, he said, “You type it up just like that.”
Mother took the letter back to her desk and pondered her situation….on one hand she really needed this job, and there was every indication he would fire her if she didn’t do as he said. On the other hand, a letter like that went against everything she had ever been taught, and everything she believed in. So, she turned his random thoughts into a proper business letter, with proper punctuation and grammar, and no curses….typed it up and quietly laid it on his desk.
A few minutes later, he cam storming out of his office, past Mom straight into the bookkeeper’s office(who must have been trembling in his boots)….and exclaimed, “Finally…..you hired a girl who can type the way I talk!!” They got along fine after that.
She was a strong bird, my Mom….and if she ever did something that went against her principles, I never knew about it. I had a moment this morning of missing her intensely….on my way to work, I would call her most every morning. And this morning, when I got in the car….I had no one to call. And thus it goes, life changing after someone leaves it. Sadder, but the better for having had known them. I know all of you know of what I speak. Again, thank you.