The Farmer's Wife: Celebrating the life of a friend . . . with her

When a good friend/fraternity brother died at an early age of complications of diabetes, a good number of “brothers” made the trip to rural Madison for the service. When we all gathered in his home after the burial, his mother commented, “Darrel would have so enjoyed this.”  I've always remembered that.

You all remember the old friend from Murdock who lived in a nearby facility last summer who called to say she was bringing over rolls after Mike died. I told her she would have to be quarantined! Her answer, “not if they don't catch me!”  She literally drove up, honked the horn, did not shut off the car, handed me a pan, and took off again!” I still laugh about it.

Well, now this friend, who turned 90 this summer, has moved FROM that facility back to Elmwood into one of the main street condos built for retirees. AND, she has decided to enjoy a party BEFORE her funeral, instead of..as she said, last year gave her time to think and reflect; it had got harder and harder to get her whole family together, but they all seemed to make time for a funeral.

SO, she sent a letter telling us she had rented four cabins at Mahoney for kids, grands, and greats on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday morning, they would be attending church in Murdock (9 a.m.!)  and then travel to the Wabash cemetery to learn about the ancestors. (I didn't know where Wabash was, either, when I moved to Cass County)  

Finally, they would all end up in a very nice, accessible venue in Weeping Water for Sunday dinner, catered by Annette. (caterer superb, I can vouch.) To this, she was inviting 150 of her closest friends! Well, when you get to be ninety, and you write a weekly column, hint, hint, you have a lot of friends! To boot, her deceased husband had been our rural mail carrier while living in the Bed and Breakfast.

I thought this was a splendid idea, and besides, I'll travel a bit for a free meal, so I headed there this morning. First of all, I do not remember WHEN I had last been to Weeping Water. When I started with Tabitha, in 1991, they had a satellite office there, in the basement (walk out) of the doctor's office. It was handy.

I'll tell you more about that next week; in the meantime, I think I will start planning my “celebration of life”, as one of the participants called it. It was fun!

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