The Widdershins

Archive for July 23rd, 2012

And yes dear mother I still miss you a great deal.

Lux aeterna luceat eis, Domine,           Let eternal light shine on them, Lord,
cum sanctis tuis in aeternum,              as with Your saints in eternity,
quia pius es.                                   because You are merciful.
Requiem aeternum dona eis, Domine,    Grant them eternal rest, Lord,
et Lux perpetua luceat eis,                    and let perpetual light shine on them,
cum Sanctus tuis in aeternum,              as with Your saints in eternity,
quia pius es.                                            because You are merciful.             

It’s been two years since you’ve passed and I still think about you.  And when I do, I think of the life you lived.

You were a daughter of the South and a child of the Depression.  You knew what hard times were.  I remember the stories you told me of going to great-granny’s farm down in Dothan Alabama where you worked the summers on the farm.  You told me about shaking peanuts, and picking cotton….how great-granny told you “Congratulations darlin’ you made your hundred”, after you had picked a hundred pounds of cotton and how she saved your money for you.  You worked out in those fields right alongside the croppers that worked for great-granny.  And then when you got back to Birmingham, that’s how Grandma and Aunt Flossie used the money to buy the material at the store to make your dresses for the school year.  But as you told me one time, you were always more comfortable in bib-overalls than in those dresses for school.

You told me about how you and grandma too both worked in an aircraft plant during WWII.

I remember the story you told me about how, when you were pregnant with me, you drove from dad’s mom’s house in Kentucky by yourself, to the base in Virginia where you were to meet dad coming back from an unaccompanied tour.  There were no Interstate highways then and you were driving an old pickup truck.  LOL!  There were no King’s Ranch editions or Silverado deluxe editions or whatever.  It was just a plain pickup truck on old state and U.S. highways back then.

I remember the time you were having some kind of cardiac episode and me getting you into that huge Grand Marquis that Dad bought for you and then me flooring the thing going down Judge Perez just telling you to buckle up and hang on so I could get you to the hospital.   I have no idea how I didn’t kill us both!

I remember when you had to have the cardiac surgery because of that calcified heart valve.  We were all scared to death about it and whether you’d make it through or not.  Then the doctor came out and told us you did great and said “She’s a tough old bird; she broke the saw when we were cutting her chest.”.  😆  Me, dad and the neighbors all just let out a sigh of relief.

I remember the two of us sitting in a hotel in Meridian Mississippi after Katrina when some of the first tape was being shown of all the flooding down there after the federal floodwalls and levees collapsed and you asking me what we were going to do then.  I remember saying I didn’t have any damned idea.

I remember the day you died.  I got a call from the nursing home asking me to please hurry and get there.  I had spent the night before with you and saw you having trouble breathing and me holding your hand saying it was okay and telling you how much I loved you.  I didn’t get there before you died, but the nurses had taken care of you.  You had a clean gown on and your hair had been brushed.  You were still warm to my touch.

The nurses asked me what funeral home I wanted you taken to and I only knew of one so they called them.  I stayed with you until the funeral home guy came for you but I couldn’t watch them put you on that gurney thing and wheel you out.

Later that day I went to the funeral home here and spoke with the director about making arrangements to take you back home to St. Bernard.  The next day he called me and told me everything had been taken care of on this end.  Later I spoke to the director at the funeral home down home and made the rest of the arrangements.  I picked out the clothes for you to wear and took them to the cleaners and then after they were ready, shipped them to Louisiana.

I remember walking into the funeral home; there were final papers to sign and such.  But the funeral director let me go in to see you first.  You looked so much at peace.  You looked so much at rest.  And I thought:  “All the hard fights and battles are over Margaret; you’ve earned your rest and I got you back home to be next to Daddy.”  Your services were informal and simple.  The folks that you knew, and others, came to say their goodbyes and we also had some laughs and chuckles.

At your graveside, Lordy it was hot that day in August!  We kept things brief because of the heat and humidity.  Typical August day in southeast Louisiana.  Everything went well until…

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