Thursday, October 25, 2012

A once in a lifetime experience

Yesterday Dennis and I attended the funeral for a woman who was 105 years old. 
I have never even known someone close to her age. 

Since I am married to a man who believes
"it is better to be a half hour early than 1 minute late," 
the Methodist church looked like this when we arrived. 


So to back track, about a week ago my Dad called to say that Marie Carnahan died. 
I had to think for a minute who he was talking about. 
Wasn't she a friend of Mom's? He said, yes, they had been friends since the 1940s. 
Then after emailing my Uncle Don, I learned that Marie was actually
close friends to my Grandma (who died in 1984) 


So after we hung up I found her obit in the paper and noticed that Marie Carnahan was 105 years old!! 
She became a widow in 1942. So she outlived her husband by 70 years! 
She also outlived her 2 children. And she never had any grandchildren.

I was interested in attending her funeral. 
I felt certain my Mom and my Grandma would have wanted me to. 
But I had one problem with that. The twins had slept over the night before, 
and Amy was counting on me to keep the twins all day since she was up at 6th grade camp with Macie.
 So, I sat them down and explained what a funeral was all about.
As it turned out, Kylie ended up being able to care for them.
I mean no disrespect at all by saying this, and I'm quoting my 3 year old granddaughter, 
and remember she is only THREE....
but when I told her about the change of plans,
and that she was not going to the funeral with us after all, she looked disappointed and said, 
"But I want to see the dead girl."  
For that reason, and many more, it's best she and her brother were not there. 
Much as I love them!


With all her children gone, and no grandchildren, she is survived by her son in law, Lloyd. 
When Marie's daughter was dying back in 2005 he promised that he would look after her Mom. 
And he did. There will surely be a special place in heaven for a man like this.
(I hope it is not my camera that is upsetting the woman in blue.)

My Uncle Don (see him standing in the midst below) spoke at the funeral 
about how he milked Marie's cows back in 1942 after her husband suddenly died,
 and she always remembered that kindness. 

Marie had been attending this same Methodist church since 1961, 
and lived right around the corner from it until she was 103. 
She spent the last 2 years in a care home with 3 other women.

This church is just a couple blocks away from my early childhood home 
so I wanted to take a picture of it also on our way home.
I'm not even sure now which house was ours, we whizzed by it so quickly.


I had never seen so many people who wanted to stand up and speak at a funeral before.
Here are a few things I learned about Marie:

1. "She was a bottomless pit of service."

2. Said one of her caregivers, "A week before Marie died, at age 105, 
she sang a song at the dinner table to welcome a new resident."

3. She was constantly in service, even washing dishes in other people's churches.
(I heard she always ended up helping in the kitchen where ever she went.)

4. Even though she loved hiking and walking, 
her most favorite thing EVER to do was talk with friends!

5. "No one understood better than Marie if you wanted friends you needed to be a friend."

6. She loved children with a passion. 
She once asked her pastor if he had any grandchildren and when he proudly said 5,
 Marie teared up.
She waited a long time for them, and they never came.
I kept thinking of what a giving, caring, and serving person she was
 in spite of life not turning out as she wanted.

Taken from her program:

11 comments:

Karen Mortensen said...

Sounds like a really nice lady. So glad that you were able to go to the funeral.

Anonymous said...

Bless the people who have such a heart for service! Outliving her husband for 70 year? That's a whole lifetime!
Our Ben also thought like Dennis about being a half hour early is better than one minute late. I bet you're never late for church!
Oh, and I think you lived in the house on the left.
darlene

Richard said...

Our house was 4476 E Madison....you were born to blog

Grandma Honey said...

Richard--Yes, I know our old address. ha :)) Den was driving too quickly for me to make out any numbers.

Darlene~ I laughed that you knew which house was ours. Wow! :)

the Rich girl said...

She seems like a lovely lady. But how sad that she outlived so much of her family. I can see why she became such a good friend to so many. She would have to be, I think, so that she wouldn't be lonely.

Grandma Honey said...

I agree Karen...I think she made her friends, family.

Darlene~ Forgot to add...you are right, Dennis is never ever late to church!

Anonymous said...

I thought it was the one on the left because I saw a picture of you and your siblings in front of that porch, and you and I have talked about the style of homes back in those days and how cool they were.
darlene

nrozier said...

I love this post. What an amazing woman.

Lisa said...

I LOVE your funeral recaps! This woman is a wonder indeed!

Darlene said...

My goodness what a terrific life Marie had. It must have been a VERY interesting funeral. I had to laugh as your husband reminded me of mine in that he would lots rather be a half hour early than one minute late, hence we always have to leave for ANY appointment so much earlier than we should. It's always hurry up and then wait. I keep telling him that at least if we arrive barely on time for doctors appointments, for instance, the wait is just that much shorter, but oh well, he will never learn.

I was certainly interested to learn about Marie's life. Just imagine living to be 105, and she only had to be in assisted living for two years!! That is truly amazing indeed, and by the way, it's a good thing that the kids didn't have to go.

Sue said...

What a wonderful woman. I'm glad that you took the opportunity to go and celebrate her life.

=)