|Carolyn Marie Blacketer ca. 1943|
How does a daughter say goodbye?
I remember most mornings you woke me up with, “Top of the mornin’ to ya and the rest of the day to me.” And that always woke me up because you made me giggle. And no matter how much I tried, I never, ever could beat you to saying it.
I remember your big smile and the twinkle in your eyes.
And your fierce loyalty. I may have been completely and utterly wrong about something, but you were always there to back me up – no matter what. Do you know how rare that is?!?
I remember Saturday morning shopping at the mall and your generosity to everyone. No one ever caught you on Christmas unawares - even if they showed up on Christmas Day. You always had a present for them. And what about the Christmas where you made up all those rhyming clues and made me hunt for each of my Christmas presents? Oh, how I loved that.
I remember your stories and pep talks. How could I ever, ever forget the life-altering story you told me of our long line of managing women? Or when I turned thirteen you said, “Now, Caroline, I’ve already been through three teenagers. So, I’ve heard it all. I don’t want to ever hear you say you want to do something just because everyone else is doing it. Would you jump off a bridge if everyone else were doing it? No. No, you wouldn’t.” [The 'Duh.' was understood.]
I remember watching our T.V. shows together. I still watch them. When I'm watching Designing Women and The Golden Girls, you’re always right there laughing with me.
I remember watching you cook, learning how to measure ingredients in my hand, and now I can’t make Gran’s potato salad, Gran’s sausage stuffing, Gran’s peanut brittle,Gran’s refrigerator cookies, and Gran's pralines without thinking of you and Gran while doing it.
|Carolyn Marie Blacketer 1954-1955 school year.|
I remember all those times you took me to the library. And now I can’t walk into a library without thinking of you. [And considering what I do, that happens a lot.] And what about all those romance books you used to read? I somehow picked that up from you.
I remember your big strong hugs when I needed them the most. And every time you said, “I love you.”
I remember being grounded by Dad numerous times and not being able to go outside or watch T.V. for a week. And how while we’d read in the living room together after dinner during that week, you’d stop reading and say, “When is your father going to learn taking away your reading would be a better punishment?” And I’d answer, “I dunno.” Then we’d go back to reading. *snort*
And your other words of wisdom? “People in hell want ice water, Caroline. Doesn’t mean they’re gonna get it.” And, “If wishes were horses, beggars could ride.” And the sayings I know you got from Gran: like saying “God bless America and all the ships at sea,” when all you wanna do is damn whatever it is that’s upsetting you. And the ever-so-wise, “’To each his own,’ said the old lady when she kissed the cow and the old man who peed in the sea to keep the boat from sinking.” And now whenever I'm upset or stumped, I can't help but think of blessing America, of blessing her ships at sea, of an old lady who must have really loved that cow, and of an old man with creative problem-solving skills.
How does a daughter say goodbye?
|Mom & me in a Ghost Town in West Texas in Jul 1977.|
The answer, of course, is...
She laughs some more.
Then she cries again.
Then she tells.
And then cries some more.
And then she says, “I love you. And I’m gonna miss you somethin' fierce, Mom.”
Then she sighs. And smiles with tears in her eyes as she says,
“Top of the mornin’ to ya and the rest of the day to me.”
Carolyn Marie (Blacketer) Marshall
b. 3 Mar 1939, San Antonio, Texas
d. 28 Sep 2012, San Antonio, Texas