My best friend in High School was a girl named Cathie. I met Cathie in seventh grade…her last name a W and mine a Y meant that every class where the kids were seated alphabetically I often sat right behind her or very close to her.
Being a farm kid having a friend in town had it’s perks. I had a safe place to go after school and a place to stay all night if needed. I loved going there…I no longer had to be the oldest and most responsible… Cathie was the middle child, Cathie’s brother was older…and her sister the youngest. I also didn’t “have” to do dishes although I often did. The girls had their own bathroom and didn’t have to share! What a perk…at home I had to share with four other people and Cathie just had to share with her sister.
Cathie’s mother was Marilyn. Marilyn made you feel like you were just one of the family.
Marilyn would set the breakfast table the night before…it must have been the last thing she did at night. In the morning grapefruits would be cut in half and the sections would be cut so they were easy to get out with your grapefruit spoon. I had no experience with a grapefruit spoon until then. She was a good cook too, sometimes she would get out the white tablecloths and extra tables would go from the dining room straight into the living room…and there was no “kids” table. Gravy in a boat…and real napkins. “May I be excused?” Sometimes she was kind of formal…no one was excused from the table until they asked to be excused.
Marilyn always had time to listen to what you had to say…sometimes if my point of view was a bit skewed (which it often was) she would put one hand on her hip and say “Now Connie…” and then proceed to give me some input that may or may not change my mind.
Marilyn and the kids were in church every Sunday…it was nice to have a friend held captive on Sunday mornings just like I was.
When my sister was born, my Dad went back to the Cities to work until Mom could come home from the hospital. It was Marilyn that drove out to the farm and picked us all up to go and see our new baby sister in Detroit Lakes Minnesota. I was fifteen and could have driven to Detroit Lakes myself…but Marilyn was happy to take us….it was probably safer too!
Marilyn was a working single mother for a number of years…until she met Bob and remarried. When all the kids were gone from home, Marilyn and Bob were in church most Sundays in the wintertime…Bob worked on the Ore Boats out of Duluth. He belonged to a different church but after the kids left home he most often attended with Marilyn.
Bob died in 1991. An aneurism took him quickly. Marilyn left for her heavenly home and joined Bob on November 5 2015. The funeral was yesterday. It was a very nice service with some wonderful messages. A granddaughter talked about “The Dash” and read the poem along with some heartfelt sharing of her Grandma’s dash.
Cathie has been her mother’s caregiver for years.
Cathie will have some time on her hands now, being strong like her Mother she will carry on. My hope for her is that she will concentrate on her grandchildren and be the best grandma ever.
Cathie and her brother read my blog just about everyday. I would like to thank them for sharing their wonderful mother with me. A honest woman of faith, strength and laughter who made a great impact on me in my teenage/young adult years.