16 December 2015

Birthday's & Deathdays

Happy birthday to my father, the first man of my life.  Yesterday, he completed his 69th year, having been born in 1946.  Dad, I hope your 70th year is frabjous, you deserve to enjoy each moment.

Also yesterday morning, my mother~in~law, Carolyn, died.  We'd been expecting this, so most of us had the time to be somewhat prepared.  She'd been home with us since last Tuesday.  There was such a hurry up and wait, start and stop, quiet calm and chaotic fervor all through the week that all of us are now slightly stunned, sorta tired, and a lil absent brained.

So it was a great idea to have written the obituary beforehand.  She had prearranged her funeral just months after her husband had died in October 1991.  There were only a few details to see too.  Welch's Funeral Home has an online book of memories and they've used the obit as I've written it.  It's slightly unconventional in form, but lives start with birth and end with death; and it's not about whether the readers need to all the details of the services immediately, it's about Carolyn and her life.

Here it is:

Minnie “Carolyn” Wolf, nee Sanders

On Tuesday 5th March 1935, a baby girl was born to Grover and Jenny Sanders {nee Hunt} here in the Starkville area. She was named after Jenny's twin sister, Minnie; but everyone would call the little girl “Carolyn”. An only child, Carolyn grew up on her parent's small diary farm, just west of Longview. She attended school near what is now known as the Longview Opry. In the 1940s, area schools consolidated and Carolyn finished her high school years at what is now the Greensboro Center.

Carolyn married Fred Wolf and moved to Macon, Mississippi. Their son, Jerry, was born in 1955. Daughter Barbara was born in 1957, completing their family. In 1960, they moved to McKee Street in Starkville and Carolyn lived there for over thirty years.

Over the years, Carolyn greeted seven grandchilden, five are Jerry's children and two are Barbara's. Along with welcoming future generations, Carolyn had to bid goodbye to some of the most important people in her life. In October 1991, her husband Fred died due to lung cancer at the early age of 56. This changed her life in a myriad of ways that she did not fathom at the time.

In 1998, Carolyn moved back to the homestead where she grew up, so that she could take care of her aging parents. Her son had retired from the military and returned with his family to the Longview area as well. Soon, Carolyn's daughter moved back to the homestead and rejoined the rest of the family. So Carolyn was able to be present for her mother and father, as well as her adult children and their children.

In 2003, Carolyn's father, Grover “Big Daddy” Sanders, died. Just two years later, Carolyn's mother, Mama Jenny, died as well. Grover was 98 and Jenny was 97. These losses were devastating for the entire family, Carolyn most of all.

As Carolyn's own health worsened, she became focused on how much she missed Fred, and her loving parents who were pillars throughout seventy years of her life. She loves her family, as it has expanded over the years. Carolyn is now eighty, with two children, seven grandchildren, thirteen great grandchildren, and her first great great grandchild is on the way.

On Tuesday 15 December, Carolyn died at home, surrounded by the soothing, peaceful love of her family. Now, Carolyn has gone to rejoin her Fred, Big Daddy, and Mama Jenny. Visitation, followed by the services will be held at Welch's Funeral Home, beginning at 11a on Thursday 17 December. Carolyn will be interred at Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church's cemetery, next to Fred, near her parents. She will be missed.

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