Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Passage of Time and Wonderful Memories



I think that one of the hardest parts of growing older, is the fact that all of the people I looked up to growing up and through the years, are no longer here among us. Growing up in a small town, I was so fortunate to have so many people of my mom's generation who have meant so much to me. Coming back to Douglas after all of these years has really brought that home. Going from place to place and seeing homes that I spent a lot of time in over the years but now belong to someone else brings such a feeling of nostalgia. The memories I have are something that I will always cherish!!

A week doesn't seem to go by that I don't hear about the passing of one of these in what Tom Brokaw calls "The Greatest Generation."

On February 6, a great lady left this life after 95 1/2 years--Marge Littrell. Marge is the mother of my dear friends, Elise and Ann. I can't remember ever not knowing Marge. The Littrells lived down the street from us when we were all young. I remember playing "Cowboys and Indians" in the front yard with them. I remember playing in their second back yard which was so cool when we were kids.

When we were in high school, Elise and I teased her mom by calling her Phyllis for Phyllis Diller. My mom's middle name was Olive so we used to always say, "here comes Phyllis and Olive!" They never said a word to us about that and if you knew my mom, you would find that hard to believe.

Marge was very good friends with my mom and Teresa. They were bridge players together for many years. Because of this and the fact that "us kids" were friends, meant that we spent a lot of time together over the years. Last July, I took Teresa to Tucson to celebrate Marge's 95th birthday. She was as sharp as a tack and just as witty as ever!!

Last Saturday, we went to Tucson for a party to celebrate Marge's life. She didn't want a funeral, but wanted everyone to have fun. I love that philosophy. And she would have been thrilled to see everyone there to celebrate her life, just as they were there last July to celebrate her 95th birthday.

Pictures of the Littrell family were all around, along with a lot of "momisms" that Elise and Ann posted. They had a very nice booklet put together with a story of her life.

It concluded with Marge's favorite ditty that she even entertained the nurses at the CCU with. Here it is and I can still hear it being said in Marge's voice:

THE GOLDEN YEARS

I CANNOT SEE, I CANNOT PEE,
I CANNOT CHEW, I CANNOT SCREW,
MY MEMORY SHRINKS, MY HEARING STINKS.
NO SENSE OF SMELL, I LOOK LIKE HELL.
THE GOLDEN YEARS HAVE COME AT LAST,
THE GOLDEN YEARS CAN KISS MY ASS!!

And the final two lines, "Marge will be sorely missed by the many people who loved her. Que vaya bien, Marge!"

I feel so fortunate to have had people like Marge as part of my formative years and then into adulthood. I will miss her!

There is a Chinese Proverb that says, "One generation plants the trees, and another gets the shade."

I am so thankful for the "shade" in my life provided by the elders like Marge Littrell!!



4 remarks:

Jessie Toles said...

Sheila,

This is wonderful and it started the tears to run again but that is a good thing. Mum enjoyed her celebration and she was pleased.
Thank you.
Jessie

NP said...

There is nothing quite like those people in or lives that we have known our whole lives ~ It's hard to say good-bye. I love the celebration of life which makes you laugh and cry all at the same time. The playing cowboys and Indians cracked me up and reminded me of my childhood!
Love & hugs,
nancy

Alexis E. said...

What a beautiful post. I found your blog by accident but I'm glad I did. What a valuable lesson for me; appreciate all my wonderful elders!

MountainGirlVintage.blogspot.com

Susie of Arabia said...

One of the best things about growing up in a small town are the lifelong friendships and role models we will always have and always remember. The Littrell family was influential in so many people's lives there in Douglas - and it was all good. Great post, Cheela. xox