ANN BAILEY: Remembering a life well-livedTen days ago, I said good-bye to my mom, Marcia. She died Sept. 9 at age 87. During my career at the Herald, I have written a lot of columns about my mom, who was the ultimate mother, grandmother and farm woman. I wrote about her kind, gentle nature, her devotion to her grandchildren and how much she enjoyed her chickens.
By: Ann Bailey, Grand Forks Herald
Ten days ago, I said good-bye to my mom, Marcia. She died Sept. 9 at age 87.
During my career at the Herald, I have written a lot of columns about my mom, who was the ultimate mother, grandmother and farm woman. I wrote about her kind, gentle nature, her devotion to her grandchildren and how much she enjoyed her chickens. I wrote about what a great cook she was and how she made meals of beef, pork or chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, garden vegetables and from-scratch pie for our family every day of the week when I was growing up on the farm.
I wrote about the fact that she was a lady on both the inside and outside, choosing her words carefully and never forgetting to say “please” and “thank-you,” and how she always wore dresses, whether she was mowing the lawn, feeding the chickens or cows or hoeing weeds in the garden.
I wrote about her strong faith in God and how she strived to live her life in a way that modeled Jesus Christ’s.
After I had children, I wrote about how much they looked forward to spending time with grandma and how she would treat them like royalty when they were at her house, keeping a stash of their favorite ice cream in their freezer. When it came to any of her eight grandchildren, the word “no” wasn’t in her vocabulary, as long as the requests they made posed no safety concerns.
She rocked and read to them for hours when they were little, served them lunch in front of the TV so they could watch their favorite shows and never refused a request to play with her.
Whether it be a board game, a pretend camp-out in the woods or climbing the stairs to the hayloft my mom was game for anything her grandchildren wanted her to do with them (as long as it was safe, of course).
A few years ago she even climbed over a fence so she could accompany my three children and nephew into a pasture. My son, Brendan, was so impressed that his 82-year-old grandma could still scale fences, he wrote an essay about it for school.
Through the eyes of a child
During the two weeks before my mom died, my family and I spent a lot of time at her bedside. On one of our visits, my daughter, Ellen, age 8, wrote down some thoughts about her grandma. She read them at her funeral for the eulogy.
I’d like to share what Ellen wrote with readers because it really sums up who my mom was.
Here’s what she wrote.
“She’s kind loving and caring!
“Good with animals.
“She’s a great person!
“She’s a good cook!
“And she’ll say yes to anything!”
Out of the mouth of babes.