Sunday, March 17, 2019

A Brief History of A Life

My mother-in-law Carol passed away last night.  She thought she had a cold and found out she had cancer.  She was 87.  She was born in Oklahoma in 1932, the only daughter of a rancher who settled in the area when it only had a train depot and a general store.  She could tell you when they got plumbing and when they had to add on to the house because she was the only girl.   What I didn't know about being self-sufficient, she gladly showed me how it was done.  She met her Joe in college after the war, where he had parachuted into Normandy, was captured by German soldiers and spent the entire time in a prison camp until it was liberated.  He had a rough childhood growing up in railroad cars since his father worked for the railroad.  His father placed him and his brother in Boys Town and he was present there when they made the movie.  They ran away and road the rails until he enlisted in the Army.  Joe and Carol married and had two children.  Carol was a pioneer in the sense that she decided to go back to college and earn her doctorate in a time where women just settled down to have a family and raise children.  She didn't just juggle time but also distance.  She wouldn't kiss any one's ass and was sorely disappointed when she wasn't offered tenure at the college where she worked.  So, she opened the first kindergarten in her area.  After she closed the kindergarten, Carol excelled at all things domestic.  How could she not?  Her mother ran the 4H programs and Carol grew up learning to knit and sew and was winning ribbons at eight years of age.  She had a small double wedding with her brother with only 100 people invited to the reception but over 200 people showed up to the church just to see her wedding gown.  Her reputation as a seamstress was famous not just in her hometown but in states where she worked in department stores before her marriage while she was attending undergraduate school.  She was very cosmopolitan and kept up with the latest fashions for herself and her daughter.  She was an active member of her church and community.  She was an incredible sketch artist and a tough task master.  She was her own worse critic.  She loved her garden, that is where she was the happiest.  In her actions and deeds she was forever a teacher.  This post doesn't begin to describe her life with any justice, just sorrow at her loss.  

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