Sorry I haven't been by in a while. Seems I haven't had time to sit down & read or write anything if forever. More bad news. We lost Richard's mother, Clara on January 3rd. She was 95 years old. Up until the last year she had been in good health for a woman of her age. She had a type 2 diabetes controlled with medication. She was losing her eyesight slowly due to macular degeneration. Yes, she was frail. She was 95. Yet she could still drive herself to the store or the senior center or care center to visit the residents there up until about a year ago.
She was mother of 8 (2 daughters & 6 sons), grandmother of 16, greatgrandmother of 37 and great great grandmother of 3 with 2 more on the way. One of her older sons, Fred was killed in VietNam. Richard, (who became my husband in 1972), was in the Army at that time & had orders to leave for Viet Nam. Clara got on the phone with the government and got his orders changed. She got some senator involved.He chose to go to Alaska for his tour of duty. A place he loves. A place I am grateful he got to go to. I know too many who came back different young men from Viet Nam.
About 18 mos later, her son Bobby, his wife, Janet & their children-2 yr old Karen & 3 yr old Joe were returning from a funeral. Clara told me that for several weeks a "woman had come to Janet in her dreams and talked to her about death." Clara told her to sleep with her bible and the dreams would stop. I don't know if they did. But Janet was afraid of dying. The funeral was for the father of her best friend, she didn't want to, but had to go. A man ran a stop sign and Janet was thrown through the front windshied and was killed. The kids were thrown to the floorbard, Bobby was injured though they lived. After Janet's death, Bobby & the kids moved home with Clara & Ray (my father inlaw). They lived there about 8 or so years until Bobby remarried.
I could write pages about Clara. She was a homemaker, babysitter, mother to whole neighborhood, and sold Avon over 30 years.
In late October (I believe it was) she was at home fell (in a dark bathroom-we still don't know why she didn't turn on the light) hit her cast iron bathtub & broke 3 ribs. She spent a few days in the hospital then we put her in the Care Center to recover & get stronger. Richard's retired sister, Mary who will be 72 in March was remodeling a bedroom in her house so Clara could move in with her. It was becoming obvious that she needed someone with her all the time. Rich's other sister who lives in MO was out here all summer staying with her, but she has emphysema and is on oxygen. While I was in the hospital in November Clara got pneumonia also. She was in a different hospital. Even then she was still worrying about me and praying for me. She went back to the Care Center but went downhill quite rapidly. She began to refuse to eat. They were feeding her pureed food because of her aspirating her food. She started talking to her deceased husband and son & talking about how she wanted to go to be with them. I think she knew it was time.
Her only disappointment in me (I THINK) was that I wasn't Catholic. Some of the other children didn't marry Catholics, so she was always hoping. I wanted to go back to church, so when Chad was just a toddler, I went through Catholic instructions. We were going to be baptized and everyone got very sick that weekend. We had to postpone it. Richard (who is a lapsed Catholic) said it was a sign and maybe we should go to another Church. Anyway. I always felt close to Clara and would go to Mass with her when I could.
For years and years Sundays at her house was Open house. We were ALL invited to come to Sunday dinner. And a lot of us showed up for years and years. We went to her house every Thanksgiving until she started getting on in years then my sister in law & I started taking turns. Same with Christmas Eve.
We had Rosary on the 6th and funeral Mass on the 7th. Both of our sons were pall bearers. The Catholic Daughters put on a lunch after the funeral. There were a lot of people from out of town. More of the grandkids than I thought would be able to come.
Our lives will have a hole in them where our beautiful Clara was. We're going to miss her tremendously. Below is a picture of her taken just a few months ago. She certainly doesn't look 95 does she?
Rest in peace.