A Tribute To My Sister Ruth, (1920-2012)


Rather early this morning, Wednesday, May 23, 2012, I received the sad news that my only remaining sibling, and the only other member of my natal family, had passed away, in Corsicana, Texas.

Ruth Lucile Holdeman Sewell would have reached 92 this year.

She was a vivid person, bright, active, involved. Professionally she was a teacher. She taught Business, Math, Spanish and ultimately became the Special Education teacher for Navarro County, Texas. She was an outstanding teacher, able to get 'inside' her students to stimulate their learning and activate their responses.

Ruth and Jay met at Baylor University and married shortly after graduation. It wasn't long before WWII had started and Jay went into military service. He served in Italy and North Africa (Morocco and Libya). She taught school while he was overseas, taking positions in Iraan, Texas and Portland, Oregon. When he returned, they first entered into a partnership with our dad and brother in the agr- business; later Jay went into the Lone Star Gas Co. Work with that company and others took them to Jackson, Mississippi, Midland, Texas, Dallas, Texas, until they settled in Blooming Grove, Texas, on a lovely farm. They have a daughter, Carroll, and a son, Roger. Carroll gave them three granddaughters, Vanessa, Georgia, Lyric Ruth.

Ruth continued her teaching and education throughout her lifetime; earned her Masters degree, worked toward her PhD until Jay's death and her heath cut the pursuit short of completion.

She even studied Spanish in Mexico, enrolled in university and living with local citizens in their home to gain proficiency and fluency in the language.

Living in Dallas in the 1960s, she was in charge of interior designs for Dallas' first multi-level urban apartment complex.

She was a brilliant student and a Mensa member, as well as an amateur actor. While at Baylor, she was a student of the great Paul Baker, who encouraged her in acting.

She later became a charter member of the Dallas Theater Center, a project inspired by Baker and housed in a building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. She told me that when they decided to move to Blooming Grove, her only stipulation was that she be allowed to commute and to continue being a member and attending the performances at the Theater Center, to which Jay agreed.

She had many hobbies, among them, playing piano, painting, growing roses, prolific reading - and - writing.

A couple of her own original drafts of some of her poetry:

This is not an attempt at an obituary, which will be done by those more qualified, and will surely be more technically perfect.

This is my own personal tribute to Ruth's memory. She was 12 when I was born, so was among the people who attended and helped guide me from my earliest days on Earth, along with my beloved parents, Elcy and Albert Holdeman, in their 40s when I was born, and my other two siblings, Harriet, who was then 14, and Harold, then 10. It's no exaggeration to say I grew up among 'giants', - in height and in knowledge!

In the following family picture, Harriet is missing because she was away at college and Dad was away at the ranch.

Circa about 1936, Del Rio, Texas.  In our house at 600 Garfield Street.  I still have that settee. My hair was auburn-brown & brown eyes with green centers.
Circa about 1936, Del Rio, Texas. In our house at 600 Garfield Street. I still have that settee. My hair was auburn-brown & brown eyes with green centers.

The three elder of my siblings were a close-knit group. Here they are younger, in another house in Del Rio at 200 Garfield and then when they were all up in college. Ruth and Harriet went to Baylor, Harold to Texas A&M, which was then all-male and military.

Circa: 1920s and 1930s. Now all three of them are passed on.
Circa: 1920s and 1930s. Now all three of them are passed on.

Ruth with the blue-black hair and eyes our mother had; Harold was a redhead with light brown eyes - like Dad; Harriet was a brunette with auburn highlights and green eyes, a blend of each parent.

Harold was teased about his curly carrot-top hair. His buddies gave him the nickname: Hairless Joe, after a character in the Li'l Abner comic strip. At times, he was called "Hairless" or "Joe" all the rest of his life.

Mother had a saying:

If her eyes are blue, make sure yours are true.

If her eyes are brown, make sure yours don't fall down.

If her eyes are green, switch her with a switch that's keen.

If her eyes are black, give her room and lots of slack!

That last was Ruth, as well as Mother!!

They were both rather dramatic, too!

Ruth looking beautiful

Ruth in a burgundy velveteen evening gown with Battenburg lace collar and cuffs, designed and made by our mother. Circa: mid 1930s
Ruth in a burgundy velveteen evening gown with Battenburg lace collar and cuffs, designed and made by our mother. Circa: mid 1930s

There are so many more pictures and memorabilia, but time inhibits showing them all - or even finding them. I've spent today since learning of Ruth's passing searching my keepsake boxes and drawers to pay special tribute to my last sibling to part the Earth.

This group picture below was one of the last this many of us were together at one place and time.

George and I had the family for Christmas, 1987.  My surviving siblings and their spouses with us on back row.  Our offspring who could be there and their offspring to date in front rows.
George and I had the family for Christmas, 1987. My surviving siblings and their spouses with us on back row. Our offspring who could be there and their offspring to date in front rows.

Services will be at the Griffin-Roughton Funeral Home, 1530 N. 45th St., Corsicana, Texas 75110, (903) 874-4774.

Viewing: 5-7PM, May 24th; Funeral: 2:30PM May 25th at the Baptist Church in Blooming Grove.

For Ruth, my favorite song of faith & life, sung by Mario Lanza

UPDATE: Friday evening, May 25, 2012

I've just returned from one of the most amazing days! The visits en route were just heart-filling, with Ruth's daughter, Carroll, and her three daughters, Lyric (on the way down); and Vanessa and Georgia (on the return trip) .

But everything at the church and the gravesite was incredible, both the services and the interaction with family and Ruth's friends and associates. Her son, Roger and his wife, Cheryl, were involved in setting up the service. Ruth's and my nephew, Hal Holdeman, son of our brother, Harold, and his wife, Pam were there with their support. We had a lovely visit with them riding from church to gravesite together. Harold's widow, Frances, and their daughter, Harriet Ann, were there and we got to talk and renew our feelings for the first time in many years.

She was so loved and admired, but also she amazed everyone with whom she had contact, from the closest to the casual. Her son, Roger, granddaughters Georgia and Lyric and I spoke to the group about her, and everyone was in tears or laughter, remembering this incredible person and our personal remembrances. I wish I had a recording of it. The entire day was full of Ruth - and it couldn't be gloomy, though there were tears aplenty.

I saw some relatives I haven't seen for MANY years and some I see only occasionally. The spirit between us all was tangible. Somehow I feel sure we'll see each other much more often now.

Ruth must be smiling. I had trouble not expecting to see her alive and adding her special verve to the occasion! Certainly if being beloved and well remembered contributed, she would have been.

It has been so wonderful for me - the answer to many a prayer, in fact.

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Comments 100 comments

A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 4 years ago from Texas

Nellieanna, my condolences on the passing of your sister.

You and your family are photogenic! I can see the creative streak running through you and your sister. One thing I that seemed to be/is a constant in your lives is that you will live it to your fullest. I'm in awe. God bless...

Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 4 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

What a beautiful hub, Nellieanna. Just beautiful. Soulful..and I love the pictures..lots of family history. You have my sympathy for your loss. Kathy

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Augustine, thank you, dear sir. The creative streak has always run high among us, for sure. This has been a most amazing 15 or so hours since I learned of Ruth's death. Several momentous good developments in my relationships within the family. One never knows.. . . .

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Kathy, thank you so much I think it's sort of my way of handling initial grief. I wasn't in Hubpages then, but I made a webpage in memory of my darling George soon after his death. The funeral home was making a keepsake DVD about him and asked for some pictures. I just sent them the link to the page and they used it almost verbatim.

It's been very comforting for me to get it together and make this page for Ruth. It's a bit hard to explain but maybe it doesn't need explanation. Thank you.

Pearldiver profile image

Pearldiver 4 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time.

Fantastic Tribute to Ruth and in fact, all of your family Nellieanna, I am so sorry for your loss, but I am also very mindful of how lucky we are to have you, in our lives! It doesn't need an explanation Nellieanna, the way you have walked us through this mere glimpse of time, tells us so much and provides the perfect grounding for much of your works.

To reach out, live and to experience far more than 33,000 Days throughout a vastly changing world... so much change to embrace.. says so much and when viewed this way, says how truly significant Ruth has been to this world.. please raise a toast for me, to salute her life circle... I am sure that she has achieved far more than special on this plane.. thank you for sharing this celebration of her life with us... and you take care... love.. Rob

Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 4 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

Condolences to you, my dear friend.

What a lovely and very low key remembrance of your dear sister.

Thank you for sharing your memories, your thought and your loss with us.



Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 4 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

Nellieanna my condolences on the passing of your sister Ruth. She was certainly very beautiful and very talented, the unique doodles below her poetry are delightful. You must have had so many memories both wonderful and sad floating through your mind as you searched for these lovely photos.

This is a beautiful tribute. Thank you for sharing this with us

Take care

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Rob, that is a most gratifying comment. It is so potent with thought and concepts, that I will ponder it longer. Ruth would have enjoyed it to the fullest. I'd never thought of the number of DAYS she'd actually lived on this Earth - but just think of it! Amazing. And every one of them was uniquely her own.

Listing the various accomplishments and interests only touches upon a life so uniquely lived as hers. I can pause and picture so many acts of LIVING she DID - all in animation and full of sight, sound, - the works. She would literally BURST into my front door and overwhelm me with a big hug while placing some of her garden's loveliest roses in my hand and asking if I'd read some book she had on her mind. Sometimes it was maddening and many more times, endearing - and always, always unforgettable. She wasn't EASY, in many ways. But she was authentic, clever, creative and an experience who did play a most significant part in this world's story, certainly in her baby sister's.

You're so right - it is a mere glimpse of a person to try to capture in just 898 words and 10 photos a life of 33,430 vibrant days, even subtracting the days when she succumbed to gloom and those toward the end when she was pretty much out of it. If I know her, she was still surprising folks with her wit and charm - and the twinkle in her eye at times - even then.

Thank YOU for coming and sharing your response to her story. It is gratifying through and through. And thank you for the 'doesn't need explanation. None is any more possible than just to feel it and try to share it. - Hugs, Nellieanna

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Ian, my dear, dear friend - thank you especially for those heartfelt condolences and for what I read between the lines and feel some tears of genuine sympathy dampening the page. It's been a very amazing day for me. Some people just really don't seem meant to be stopped and she was one of them. It's an unwelcome surprise and shock, to say the least.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Rosemary, I deeply appreciate your condolences. It feels like a warm embrace. Yes, she was beautiful, wasn't she, though she was always in Harriet's shadow. Ruth really gave it little thought and was more interested in the things of the mind, while Harriet seemed just naturally to know what to do, say and how to present herself so beautifully. I began writing a tribute awhile back to Harriet, who died in 1953 very young - at 35 - in a terrible accident which took her entire family and from which I barely escaped being with them. It does my heart especial good now to give Ruth her due. I would have wanted to do it even if her death hadn't prompted it.

Sometimes the things we delay doing are simply decided for us. But I know she would appreciate it in the deepest sense. I always thought her very beautiful.

Yes - so many memories are being stirred. Thank you, dear cyber family daughter, (if I may call you that, since you're cyber sister to my other cyber daughter and my real stepson!) - thank you for your visit and comments. You've meant so much to me in Michael's behalf, as well.

happyhal 4 years ago

these are so sweet. Many Pictures I have never seen before. Thank you for the beautiful and respectful memorial.

I pray for you and your family to experience the peace and presence of the Lord at this time

Haiku for Ruth

Memory of Ruth,

Inquiring mind at all times,

Here life will be missed.

arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon

Well done Nellieanna, in a single day, but, I know of no one with files more extensive or more instantly available. A worthy tribute to your sister and I'm sure, one that brings her to the forefront of your memory. There you can smile as the years of sistership are lived again and love is rekindled from memory to memory.

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Vincent Moore 4 years ago

My condolences I send to you my friend. You have honored your sister and family with this wonderful tribute to your sister and them. I see marked resemblances of you in her and even in your writing style. She to was a gifted lady and her professional life certainly attests to that.

Thank you for sharing this great tribute and may your sister be walking in peace on the other side and our maker given her a place of honor. You are left with so many pleasant memories of your family. Peace and blessings to you dear friend.

Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

Dearest Nellieanna, I am so sorry for your loss. This is a beautiful, beautiful tribute to your wonderful sister. Ruth was so very taleneted in many areas, and her poetry is outstanding!!! Thank you for sharing. It is evident that you and your family are blessed with many talents indeed! God bless you. In His Love, Faith Reaper

snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 4 years ago from Canada

Dear Nellieanna, I too am so sorry for your loss. I can see you have wonderful memories of your big sister. Such delightful images and family memorabilia you have posted here. Thank you for including these precious hand written poems. Ruth's talents are deep, clearly creativity runs in the family. Regards, snakeslane

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Hal, my beloved nephew - that is a fitting tribute you've created for your Aunt Ruth. I'm so glad you came by & left your comment. If only I could round up and make pages for all the wonderful family pictures I have, including some that go back into the generation before your grandparents! Some are so far back, they're tin-types and some have already completely faded. Even the early photography was unstable and many are fading. Unfortunately, though your Grandaddy was good about labeling, not all tell who the people are, and of course, I don't recognize them all.

I got your email and will be answering it shortly. Thank you, dear Hal. ( When you ever get time, you might be interested in HubPages.)

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Thank you, Alan. But the needed files in this instance are literal numerous loaded file boxes in the top and bottom of my closet, to be pulled out or down (from perched on a ladder), searched, the selected things scanned and edited; - and those resources still await being put back up so I can move around my room without tripping on them! The process reminds me of my - er - maturity and today I feel it, literally! But in the process I see all kinds of interesting things I'd love to preserve more accessibly so they would be more instantly available too. There's a world of history up there. As I've mentioned to you, I'm an archiver / chronicler at heart. And with much resources from which to draw & to build! Someday. . .

The project has been wonderfully good for my heart & memories, if less so for my back and eyes, though. But so totally worth it.

Your sentence says it perfectly: "(t)Here (I) can smile as the years of sistership are lived again and love is rekindled from memory to memory." Yes! Thank you, most dear friend!

Sphinxs Sanctum profile image

Sphinxs Sanctum 4 years ago from Southern United States

Nellieanna, I just read of your sister, Ruth's passing on Empire Mike's comments. Then I found your Beautiful tribute to a sister that was apparently, Greatly loved and valued. This was magical and I'm certain Ruth has reviewed every word and is glowing from the inside out, wherever her spirit has settled. Simply Lovely. My Deepest sympathies to you. Hugs.

dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 4 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

My condolences...

I knew there was a huge intellect "tool chest in your creativity." Ruth being a Mensa member says a lot... it must run in the family.

Your sister reflects your own zest for life being aware and alert.

Your positive outlook ("The project has been wonderfully good for my heart & memories...") and love of your sister and family shows...

My thoughts and prayers are with you...

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Ken, dear friend - thank you. I hope I've honored her well. Much of the motivation was to help heal my own grief & regret of years wasted, actually. I've been able to experience the whole of it & it all balances out so well in that light of complete retrospect. And NOW is when one has to experience release and full appreciation. I feel good about and toward her now and I sense she is aware of it. Sharing it with family and friends is a special added bonus!

We weren't too much alike, really. Harriet and I were more similar. Ruth was always vocal, strong and forceful, though vulnerable inside. I was always quiet, soft and gentle, though strong inside. Harriet was born more self-assured than either of us, but appeared soft and gentle and yet quite unflappably strong. I hadn't really thought of or realized it that way before, but it is so! Voila! See what benefit comes from writing and going through the feelings and thoughts it stirs? But you, of all people, are well aware of THAT!

Our writing styles had similarities but hers was so good. She was such a student, she probably knew more about what she was doing than I. I wish I'd found more of her poetry. I remember one about a red balloon she reminisced over from her childhood. It was exquisite and very poignant. I think that she and I were the only poets in the lot and we liked each other's stuff. She was a good artist, as well. Somewhere in my file boxes are examples; but - I just had to know when it was "enough" for one hub.

Harriet's talents ran to more tangibles - designing and making beautiful things, cooking and decoration: interests and talents we shared and which focused in most of my earlier life. Harold was a mechanical and engineering inventor and genius. I only found a trace of that in myself later in life, which surprised me and would have knocked his sox off! He appreciated beauty but let others create it.

I'm sure Ruth's life (as all three of theirs) entitles them to places of distinction up there. I certainly hope so! I'd kind of like to see them when I arrive! We may still have some unfinished business! ;-)

Thank you for wishing Ruth one.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Faith - thank you, dear lady. I so appreciate your condolences. Perhaps some of the rest of her brood will read the hub and comments and take additional comfort from knowing the breadth and depth of the kindness bestowed upon our family for the loss. Like all families, I suppose - we've had our disturbances, but in the final analysis, love and forgiveness reign supreme. Hugs.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dear Sphinxs Sanctum - new member of the hub family we share. I'm glad you noticed my sharing it on Michael's hub's comment thread. And even more pleased that it led you here to my tribute to my sister. I believe you're right. Ruth would be most interested in reviewing it all and would be glowing from it. Thank you for that and for your deep sympathies. We've all experienced deep losses. Let's hope we don't have them prematurely - while our loved ones still live and might respond to our love if offered. It's too often a trap one finds, to think it's set in concrete when it's merely stuck there.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dallas! How good to see you! I can assure you that none of my siblings had much idea of who I really was/am. Maybe each had glimmers in his/her own style, but. . . none of them could quite get over my role as the docile little 'baby' - sent to amuse them, but not to bother them much. I complied rather well to expectations & just did quietly my own things. ( I really must tell you about Mensa one day. It's an amusing vignette. Too amusing for this serious moment.)

Yes, all my siblings were full of zest and keyed-in, each with his/her own manner. Ruth was possibly the most effervescent. She couldn't contain her joy when when she felt it, which was most of the time! Equally - her depths of despair were as unbridled. She was diagnosed as manic-depressive at one time. She controlled it well & had people around her who helped. Jay was a rock of steadiness and loved her deeply.

But the fact was, she came up in a time when it was not well understood and, in fact, was mostly kept under cover, lest it be a dire label for everyone related! Such treatments as were available probably exasperated it. Looking back, though, even I can detect the germination of it in her youth. She was that "middle child" for so many years - between a "perfect" elder sister and the only much prized boy in the brood! Her main claim was to her mind and its abilities, but that was at a time in the world when a woman's good mind was almost more a curse than an asset! Harriet had a very good mind, too - but it was clever enough to stay out of sight and behind her beauty mostly, though one of her beaus once said, "Harriet, it's OK to look at two sides of things, but you look at multiples!" She must have slipped up and let it show! :-)

Yes, Dallas, I am grateful to be able to find the silver linings. It has been my personal salvation but only because it's authentic. I really DO see them and favor them. This has benefitted me immensely in many respects.

And most of all, the outpouring of love and sympathy I feel is incredibly soothing and healing to any gloom or regrets that arise when one has lost someone so dear and of such long duration as she was in my life. Thank you, thank you!

dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 4 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

aaahh! :-) Smiles and tears...

A big hug to you!

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Ah,Dallas - :-) Thank you.

I was about to add that Harriet was foxy enough to know that a full dance card will beat out a full house of high grade averages any day or night of the year, including Leap Year, if not ESPECIALLY LEAP YEAR! :-) Hers was always full and she was always the bell of the ball, leaving Ruth to be the Valedictorian or President of the Lepidopterological Society or whatever her latest interest! (She delved into many of them & usually her boyfriends were geeky, too - though that word was still unknown! Jay was more well-rounded, however.) That never stifled her quest for more and more knowledge, though.

daisyflowrs profile image

daisyflowrs 4 years ago from Richmond, VA


We are saddened to hear of your sister's passing. As a fellow special education teacher, I know her passion (if you don't have it, you don't make it). My little hubbers are diligently typing away. Little is not the right term. I'm the smallest person in the room with the exception of one. Our condolences.

JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

Dearest Nellieanna....This is a beautiful tribute to your sister, Ruth. It's a wonderful way to honor her life, writing about her, sharing photos and samples of Ruth's writings. I hope the making of this hub was truly helpful to you.

I, too, have reached for photos and other memorabilia when faced with sudden grief in my life, allowing memories of happier times to wash over me like a healing balm. I know it can provide a more positive parallel to the pain of loss. Not everyone is ready to face the past right away, but in doing so, you've not only allowed yourself to "feel" your memories, but prepared a very special tribute to your sister as well. I believe Ruth would appreciate it (and you), for this tribute shows your love for and admiration of her.

God bless and strengthen you and all Ruth's surviving family.


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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Daisy - how precious that your BIG-little student Hubbers are busily AT IT. Thank them for me for the sweet condolences for my loss - and thank YOU.

Yes, I'm sure the position she held and you hold as special ed teachers is unique and requires total dedication. Her worst nightmares were when the 'powers that be' got on a high-horse and tried to demand that she adhere to their cold, rigid curriculum, which universally failed to help her special students, while her own innovative ideas and methods DID. If it took getting them onto building a movie set for a sequel to "The Wiizard of Oz", by golly, that was what she did!

That kind of thinking out of the box resulted in some kids who had been - for years - like inanimate zombies - becoming excited and involved, and most of all - learning.

There is a special story about her somewhat ladylike retaliation to a school board member who was especially obnoxious, but this isn't the time or place to relate it. But it involved a horse that died on her & Jay's farm; - and it was not what one would call 'reverent'.

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Jaye, dear, dear friend - thank you. Yes, I feel it does honor Ruth and it definitely has been helpful to me.

After my George passed away, I found comfort again and again in his things, even scraps of paper where he'd jotted down some passing thought. I still get all sentimental with such reminders. The first thing I did when I got home from that fatal moment at the hospital and after staying the rest of the night with some of his folks, was to make a webpage commemorating his LIFE. It was like a soothing balm, as well as a gate for releasing the tears of grief, which flowed often for a long time, still do at times and it's been almost 4 years.

I so much believe in allowing oneself to feel what one truly feels. Doesn't mean allowing oneself to express it negatively or 'every which way' with irresponsible lack of restraint - oh, that is another matter. But to acknowledge and truly FEEL without inner restraint is almost therapeutic and very healing. It's "wholy" - being whole.

In a way it was a lesson to be learned. I always had my writing to help express it, but still - it can be bottled up inside and burst out in odd ways. Even over-intellectualization can be a result of feelings too confined. It's a 'cooler' expression, perhaps and may seem safer, but it doesn't do the gutsy work it takes to allow the feeling to BE and be OK. That's often the main issue. People are a bit afraid that the feelings are not OK or would make them seem weak or incapable of "handling" them - when in fact - to acknowledge and be comfortable with one's emotions is a huge strength and source of personal power. Anyway - that's my feeling about it. :-)

I'm so pleased you came and commented. You are certainly among my cyber family. Your kindness toward my own from the start is deeply appreciated. Thank you for your kindness now toward me and my family's grief here now.

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa

My dearest Nellieanna - sharing your beautiful memories with us, delights and touches my heart and I know the hearts of all your readers. I've said it a hundred times and will say it another hundred times - you are the perfect example of a strong, well-educated, perceptive, balanced and loving female human being. Oh, I can add another hundred beautiful descriptions to your name. Your love and respect for your relatives are always visible as well as theirs for you.

Hereby my sincere condolences and love to you. I know you will be strong - your ability to stay strong in all circumstances is to be praised.

What a profound saying of your mother, and I confirm in particular: "If her eyes are black, give her room and lots of slack!" (My eyes are dark brown but goes black when I am angry or sad, and God knows I do need a lot of room and slack.)

Take care, my dearest mother in Cyberspace. May you be the matriarch of your family in real life as well as in Cyberspace for many years to come.

Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 4 years ago from San Francisco

well written - thank you

sorry i can't write like my poetry.

I did post this on my FB wall as well as twitter.

VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 4 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

Nellianna, My condolences on the passing of your sister. What an accomplished life she led, seems talent runs in the family! Your tribute was beautifully done and if she is seeing you, she must be smiling.

Hugs and love, Marie

mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Nellieanna, I am sorry for your loss. What a wonderful job you have done here acknowledging your sisters long and creative and productive life. The flare for writing ran in your beautiful family.

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MPG Narratives 4 years ago from Sydney, Australia

To the lady who gave me an appreciation of poetry, this is a beautiful tribute to Ruth and your beautiful family Nellieanna. So sorry for your loss.

I see you come from a very talented and close family and thank you for sharing this talent with us on Hubpages. Hugs, kisses and love, Marie from Sydney, xx.

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

I appreciate those loving words so much, dear Martie! I have set a curfew for myself to get to bed in the next 30 minutes, and have the nighttime ritual to do yet. I must be rested for tomorrow and I've been dragging all this day with very little sleep. But I can't sleep until I tell you how wonderful you are. Oh - Mother would have liked you a lot! Hugs, my dear.

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

mHatter - thank you, my friend. You do write lovely poetry. You could just write poetry for your comments! Many poets do that you know!, - for whatever reasons. But what you've written here says it all - it says you have read, you appreciate & you care. Thank you.

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Marie - VS - You are so right. She was very accomplished. She's going to be greatly missed. Thank you.

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Mike, thank you, I hope more of her poetry she sent me over the years will turn up so I can share it. I'm glad you visited and commented. Big hug and so good to see you on the other mike's site, too.

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Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Marie from Sydney- thank you, my friend. Been too long since I saw you! Hope to see more of you ! Hugs.

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sligobay 4 years ago from east of the equator

Nellieanna, my dear friend, please accept my sincere condolences for the loss of your wonderful sister. Thank you for sharing her with us in this tribute. Hugs, Gerry

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marcoujor 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Dear Nellieanna,

My heart will be with you tomorrow... this is such a celebration of your beautiful sister.

Thank you for sharing her with us. Hugs, Maria

Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

I am so sorry to hear of your sister's passing, Nellieanna. I absolutely love your photos, especially, the one with you as a gorgeous, little auburn haired beauty, with a mischievous glint in your shining brown eyes with green centers. I love that picture of Ruth best, too. It seems you all hit the genetic jackpot in looks and brains (Mensa, no less and not surprising).

Thank you, Nellieanna, for sharing your fond, loving memories of your sister, Ruth's, extraordinary life. Your beautiful recognition of her accomplishments made me think of my sis, Becky, who also taught Spanish at college level. She graduated a year early from high school (she was a bookworm and brilliant student), and spent time while in college as an exchange student in Spain, learning the language from those that spoke it fluently. She left teaching after a short time and some disillusionment for a career with the IRS, living most of her adult life in Hawaii (not too shabby, I'd say). Becky will retire early this December to travel the world with her significant other, Michael.

I can tell from your writing that you looked up to your older sis, and your entire family, with admiring eyes and deep love...a gift that lasts a lifetime and beyond. Thank you for sharing loving memories of your beautiful family ties.

Flora Breen Robison 4 years ago

Sorry you lost your sister Nelianna. I can tell you loved her very much. Take care.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Gerry, dear friend - thank you. It did me good to share it and honor her with the tribute. I guess it's what we writers do - write, when we are filled with thoughts and feelings, huh?

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Marie - Thank you, darlin'. I'll very soon be leaving for the service, which I just learned will be in Blooming Grove, the small town where they lived, rather than at the funeral home in Corsicana - for the burial She'll be beside her Jay and his predecessors. Her precious youngest granddaughter, Lyric, will be picking me up shortly - for a ride with her and some of the others. I look forward to the time with them. Lyric and I have things in common - both youngest of several older siblings, and both born to mothers in their 40s. I'll be meeting her for the first time! As soon as I have answered these latest comments, I'll be finishing getting ready to leave.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Amy - that is an amazing correlation in our sisters' lives! They certainly both led interesting and experience-rich lives! When Ruth became sufficiently disillusioned with the school system, she retired to their farm, with more freedom to pursue her doctorate. She was writing her dissertation when age and other major changes in her life came along and she was no longer able to do that. It was a pity, too. But even in her confinement, she remained mentally active, until pretty recently. I'm sure she gave the other elderlies a run for their money!

I definitely did look up to all three of them, but I can't lie and claim there were no frictions. I looked up to them so much that some things that occurred just shook me to my roots. My fault, probably, for being too malleable and trusting. Love was not altered but trust suffered. These things happen - - but in the end, the love triumphs.

I'm just glad that she's at peace and I genuinely and unreservedly feel good for he and for the abundant life she enjoyed. I can feel her love around me now.

Thank you for those lovely compliments and for extending your sympathy, Amy.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Flora, dear, how happy I am to see you and thank you so much!! Yes I did/do love her very much. Sad to lose the last of my own natal family, but, considering ages, I was almost bound to be the last one standing, though sadly, Harriet and Harold were taken by fatal accidents, rather than old age. Their departures were shocking.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Thank you, dear Amy. I am in constant contact with my beloved George. I feel he's helping with so many issues! Hugs.

Voronwe profile image

Voronwe 4 years ago

Nellieanna, this is a beautiful tribute to your sister and siblings. Thank you for sharing your loving memories and family pictures. I'm sorry to have heard of the loss of your only remaining sibling. My sincerest condolences and prayers to you. Peace and many blessings.

Take care.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Voronwe - Thank you with all my heart. I'm about to leave for the funeral.

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

This is a beautiful tribute, Nellieanna, for your beautiful sister, Ruth - beautiful both inside and out. You and she appear to have shared many of the same talents in music, poetry and intelligence. My deepest sympathies to you on her loss.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dear DRBJ - thank you. I'm thinking how much you and she would have liked each other. Both brilliant and tenacious with information, loving a good funny, especially with a 'twist', each a'people' person. She also left vivid impressions on everyone who knew her.

Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 4 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

Nellieanna you know you brought a tear don't you? I feel so humbled and honoured that you see me as a cyber daughter.

You will be back from the funeral now so I hope you are not alone. But then maybe time alone and to recall is what is needed right now. As I read through the comments I see so many fond memories coming back to you, celebrating her life.

You know (and I hope its not too rude of me to say) but I believe you ought to finish that tribute to Harriet, such tragic heartbreaking loss. Don't look back in future years with regrets that you have left something undone.

Take care and have peace, I am going to pop in on my cyber brother before I go to bed, goodnight.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Not at all rude. Nice of you to care! I've intended to finish Harriet's tribute, too, though the end was so horrible. I have the newspaper coverage of it too - from Dec., 1953. I should scan some of those at least to preserve them, since the newspaper won't last indefinitely. Of course, there is much life to feature before that! While foraging in my keepsake boxes I even found a little paper-back diary she wrote WAY back when she was quite young.

Before the internet, I made a scrapbook of her life. I guess that making visual tributes satisfies something deep in me during loss of a loved one. Now that I'm getting better acquainted with who-all would be her nieces and nephews and great-nieces, plus my own who would be hers - there is value in capturing more of her life to share with them. My youngest great-niece is 23, though I have a granddaughter who is 11 and several great-grandchildren quite young. My eldest great-grands are up in their late teens.

Thank you, dear heart. Hugs.

Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 4 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

I can understand you being reluctant to finish it considering the end,, I don't know if I would be able to continue. The newspaper would keep longer if you had it laminated, I'm sure someone would do that for you.

It seems that more and more people are researching their family history and family tree. To have all those keepsakes recorded is a wonderful thing to do for future generations. We all like to know where we came from.

My sister-in-law and I traced the paternal family tree for our children back to the 17th century.

You have a huge family who will one day want to know their history.

Thank you and Take care


Ron 1 (Ronsy) 4 years ago


I read your very stirring comments about your sister, Ruth. You loved her a great deal and it showed through in your words about her life and her accomplishments.

It is said that no one is really "gone" as long as they are fondly and lovingly remembered by someone they loved and was loved in return by that "someone". I hope that thought brings you some relief from your sadness.

Love 'n Many Thoughts...


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Rosemary, thank you, that's a good idea. Some of the newspaper articles about it are full-page size and several pages. I've no idea if there are size limitations in laminating. I've thought of buying one of those machines.

My Dad's family compiled family history for the Holdemans back to when they fled Switzerland due to religious persecution in the 17th century. They were Swiss, Dutch, German Mennonites - people very dedicated to keeping history and records.. There are two thick bound volumes of the Descendants, as they called the format. It begins with our direct ancestor and his large brood and all their branches.

Mother's niece, her sister's daughter, in pursuit of D.A.R. credentials, traced their family back to the Revolution to accomplish that, so it would take very little for me to use the same history with Mother as the link, instead of Aunt Rosa, and then all the rest would apply the same. But it was done in the old-fashioned way, with pen and paper charts!

I started trying to meld the two sides of my family on online into a genealogy but it got waylaid for awhile. Mother's ancestors were mostly Scottish clan Barclay, with English and Irish members. I'd like to go back into those archives!

My George's heritage is Scottish, clan Hay, of course, with some Welsh included. I'd love to get into that, too. I just have too many irons in the fire - and even at best, at 80, I don't have forever, though I'm counting on another 20 yrs. at least; and with my health & healthy habits (other than staying up too late too often, as now), it's entirely likely! haha.

One thing I really want to do is get all my poetry transcribed and compiled so it won't be lost. And I know I really am the only one who can or will do that. Writing the story I know of the family is another priority.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Ronsy! what a privilege that you came! Yes, there was much love in it. That's true - when someone is alive in minds and hearts of loved ones, it's a form of immortality. If it's so, Ruth should be stirring it up and keeping everyone on his and her toes.

I'm so pleased that you came by! Hugs - TT

De Greek profile image

De Greek 4 years ago from UK

My sweet girl, I feel so useless in this situation and I do not know what to say. I wish I was near so Icould hug you. Instead, all I can say is, my most sincere condolences...

christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 4 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

Nellieanna. Your sister seems to have been as talented and beautiful as you are yourself. When I say beautiful, I mean in nature as well as in looks. You have given us a truly inspirational tribute to a remarkable life. May your beloved sister rest in peace.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dimitris,dear, dear friend, - It's hard to describe, but it's not as sad as it might be. I explained to my niece that, though I've lost most of my peers and generation by outliving them, I'm ridiculously non-funeral literate. The spirit of the individual occasion and the person it highlights is what moves me, rather than obligatory weeping and wailing or observing certain rules.

I find myself expecting her to be 'right here' and, yes, I will shed tears and feel the grief, of course, but, honestly - I feel more that I've gained a sister than having lost her, as well as regaining the rest of the family back to my bosom - and vice versa. Her nature just precludes being long-faced - (unless totally so; as she could be REALLY dark & gloomy at times. This wasn't one of those times. And she usually set the tone wherever she was. Generally, she was bright and very enthusiastic, and her funeral was actually like that. People who knew her commented and it was so real - and dear - that there were as many smiles as tears among the attendees.

I'll be posting a kind of follow-up hub she would enjoy, and it will not be long-faced at all. Thank you so much. Hugs.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Christopher what a lovely comment. We were so different in so many ways, yet so akin. Walking and talking among those who came to pay last respects was like being among her fan club. Everyone had definitely memories and associations with her, no two alike, yet her personality permeated every one of them. I can have no doubt that each of us will be struck by the void she left in our lives, but probably at the same time as the awareness of what an impact she had on them. She was a character!

I learned another reason she didn't finish her PhD. Her son, Roger, mentioned a major reason was that she mislaid her thesis she was writing! Of course her days were very full of projects and interests, so I can visualize that she just didn't get back to hunting for it among her MANY things and distractions.

Thank you for those lovely kind words, dear friend.

b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 4 years ago

Oh Nellieanna, what a Wonderful Tribute to a Fantastic Sister and Friend. What a Brilliant Woman she was...Sounds like she put a lot of Living into her 92 years...She'd have loved what you wrote about her and is now probably Smiling down at you! I'm sure she is telling Wonderful Tales about You to the Angels she meets.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

bMalin - I feel perceived and vice versa, which is high on my list of good things. Thank you! If it's so, no explanation needed. If not, none would help.

Thank you for the response to my tribute to Ruth. Yes, she would/does love the tribute and its effects on members of her and our family. I feel sure she's smiling. Hard to imagine what's she's telling about us up there, because there are so many about whom she'd be speaking; me among them, I'm sure! But, then, wherever 'that and there' is, it's surely unlimited by ways it is limited here! haha.

Her true feelings are being seen transparently and received there, I'll bet. So it wouldn't be the polite versions, but the very, very honest ones. I'm counting on our best times together being the ones recalled and shared 'up there'. The tense ones, - well - I'll bet she sees through any which were cross-ways and asks for forgiveness of both of us for being too human! I know she was GOOD. That is what grabs me.

For now I am just smiling about the folks whose lives have been influenced by her here. She loved her children and grandkids so much and I've been especially aware of how deliberately she made sure to help them all she could. Now that I've been with them all, I see her influence in them, maybe especially the one named for her - young Lyric Ruth, her youngest granddaughter. The love between them is so apparent. It meant a lot to me.

Thank you for a lovely comment.

Petra Vlah profile image

Petra Vlah 4 years ago from Los Angeles

Dear Nellieanna,

Your sister knows and appreciates your love now as much as she did when she was alive. Your tribute to Ruth is well deserved for the many qualities she had and it seems that talent (in multiple forms) runs in your family. May she rest in peace, may she always be by your side with love and guidance.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Petra, dear friend - thank you. Yes, I know she knows and I truly feel her close by, closer than in a long while, even. I'm marveling at the whole experience which has accompanied her passing and at the peace and wholeness it's brought in so many ways to the rest of us.

Thank you so much for the visit. It's wonderful to see you back among us. Hugs.

daisyflowrs profile image

daisyflowrs 4 years ago from Richmond, VA

It seems strange that I can't get a hub published because it is personal. It seems strange when I argued my point, that a hub they already allowed to be published, My Son, The Haydenator, is now unpublished because it is too personal. Seem strange to you?

Gerg profile image

Gerg 4 years ago from California

What a beautiful, moving tribute to a woman who obviously had a life well-lived. That you've put together this remembrance in a manner so heartfelt is also a testament to your sense of love and humanity, Nellieanna. I'm honored to have met your sister through your words and that you've chosen to share it with us.



Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Daisy - Seems very strange! And I've no clue. Could it be tied in with being on the Google plan for income from traffic on one's hubs? Maybe that might necessitate less personal material? Otherwise, I just don't know why your lovely hub about your precious son would be disallowed! In fact, it ought to have general interest whether or not you're getting income from hubs. Traffic would be there. Recipes and beauty tips, gardening and cleaning tips are personal, too, after all. Whatever one writes has personal elements, even if it's an essay on political issues, it has a personal slant. I confess - - I'm stumped! :-[

My ISP has been out so I've had no TV, land phone or internet. ugh.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Thank you, Gerg! She was quite a gal! No one who knew her could ever forget her. I can't help but think how she'd have loved the folks on Hubpages - and would have been a phenomenal contributor.

daisyflowrs profile image

daisyflowrs 4 years ago from Richmond, VA


I don't make money from advertisements from my hubs. The hub I was trying to publish wouldn't get published. They said it was too personal. Then they said it had too many tags. Then they said the tags were misleading. Every time I tried to republish, they came up with a new excuse. Then they took away my hub about my son. But they published my nasty hub, Game on with the Hub, with no problem. Makes no sense. No sense at all.

No tv, phone or Internet? How did you make it through? lol.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Daisy - that is so incredible! It really makes no sense! I can't figure any of that out. Wow.

I was not a happy camper without computer, TV and land phone, though I had my cell phone. But I don't use it for much but calling and texting and only have people for texting who initiated it, so I don't have everyone's email stored on there. I think I need to get my act together though.

I watched a DVD and went to bed early. haha. But the technician was scheduled to be here this AM between 8 and 10, so I needed to be up and decent by then. He got here 9ish. My rhythm hardly knew how to handle getting to bed earlier. I often get up pretty early, but seldom with a good full night's sleep. haha

Well - it makes one appreciate the electronics when one gets them back!

sligobay profile image

sligobay 4 years ago from east of the equator

Welcome back to the 21st century Nellieanna. Your new profile pic is lovely. Cheers and Hugs.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Isn't that ludicrous? My parents would surely be horrified that I've become such a dependent on these things! haha. All we had at the ranch back then was a manual wind-up Victrola! The record would be lagging by the time it got to the end of "Beautiful Dreamer". haha. For communication, one would stop the windmill to signal someone out riding fences to come in to the compound.

Thank you for the complement, Gerry! You're so sweet. I wanted some butterflies in the picture, you see. :-)

sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

Hello neighbor, Nellieanna! We are not very far from each other, Dallas is one hour to my south. I am glad I came upon your greeting in one of your comments! First of all I have to say I am so sorry for the loss of your sister and your husband. This is a beautiful tribute to your sister and I know she is smiling down on you! You are a very talented person. I went to your oasis also, it is wonderful! I wish I had the talent you have in your little finger. This is a beautiful, soul touching hub. My heart goes out to you! Have a wonderful day, neighbor! :)

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

sgbrown - I'm so pleased you responded! I've friends (who happen to be connected business-wise, too) in Sherman. I've driven that route many times, including a very recent one.

Thank you for the kind feelings about the losses of my sister and husband. Amazing how even these things bring blessings.

Thank you for the kind compliments of my work, but you have much to be proud of! I just read your cliff-hanger true story. Really good!

Thank you for this lovely visit and comment! Hugs.

Christopher Price profile image

Christopher Price 4 years ago from Vermont, USA

Dear Nellieanna-

Please forgive my belated visit and accept my sincere condolences on the passing of your sister Ruth. The truth is, I am always awkward at these moments, when the shock of separation meets the flood of treasured memories. I never know what to say.

But, as I would have expected, you not only know what to say but how.

Thank you for creating this brief but lovely tribute to Ruth so we can share in a celebration of a life well lived.

Peace and hugs.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Chris, thank you! I confess I'm awkward when it's someone else who has lost someone. This really is unusual. I loved Ruth dearly all my life, but we've been estranged a long while. I now know that it's truly resolved, - totally, and with the blessing of many mended fences all around. I'd never have been able to make it happen. Has to have some kind of divine guidance. Yes, it's a celebration of a life well lived.

Thank you, my friend.

Lilleyth profile image

Lilleyth 4 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

Anne, so sorry to learn of your sister's passing. She surely is looking down from above and enjoying your tribute.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Thank you. That's a lovely comment. Yes, I know she is mingling with us.


dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 4 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

Read this and thought of you:

"whatever you have to say, leave the roots on, let them dangle

And the dirt

Just to make clear

where they come from."

"These Days" by Charles Olson

The poem's focus is on growth. Roots ground us, but at the same time we are grounded, they also allow us to reach upward for new things, new experiences!

Have a great day and enjoy your serenity!

Your friend,


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dallas - what an excellent thought. I love the metaphors of the roots and the dirt. Certainly without the roots, our reach upward would be precarious.

Thank you, dear friend!

Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

Beautiful tribute to your sister. Lovely photos. Sounds like a celebration of her life at the memorial. Our family has used those to reconnect and we've had many more reunions since members of our families have died. Thanks for sharing this. Many votes.

Erin LeFey profile image

Erin LeFey 4 years ago from Maryland

Dear Nellieanna,

The bond between sisters is strong - you have paid your sister a loving tribute in your words, she was really led an interesting life and I thank you so much for sharing it. It seems even in the pain of loss of her passing, she's opened a door of joy for you. Life really is a circle and its all about love.

I've been gone a long time with school, but I'm so glad I didn't miss this one of your hubs. Brightest blessings to you my friend. Love, Erin

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dear Victoria Lynn ~ What a sweet comment. It was a celebration of her life. Yes, as time passes, there are more and more moments for family's getting together as folks pass on and the remaining bonds become all the more precious. Thank you so much.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Erin - yes, it is, even when there are so many years between us. Ruth was a fascinating person. She would have liked the effect her life even at its end has had on her family. I've understood her better than in a long while. You said it - life is a circle about love!

I'm so pleased to see you back, and hope to see more of you! Hugs and love - Nellieanna

Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 4 years ago from Minnesota

Dear Nellieanna-I am so sorry for the loss of your last sibling. I feel sad for you but this hub makes me feel better because of how you celebrated her life with the family. The ones left behind are the ones that grieve as I know your sister and other siblings are in heaven with our dear Lord. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing all the pictures of your family. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing Ruth's life and accomplishment's with us. She sounds like such an incredible person with many talents.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Linda - thank you for the condolences. I have realized that one reason this has been less stressful for me is that Ruth is the only one of my 3 siblings to die a natural death in her old age. The other two were both lost in very tragic accidents. That is much harder to take philosophically, plus in both the other two cases, we were not on the best of terms when it happened to them.

Anyway - they are all in the better place and - together, as they grew up together. I realized it all along, but have become even more aware of how the three of them were bonded when they were young - before I entered the family. I'm glad. According to Mother, the 3 of them were always cooking up escapades! Wonder if they still do! However, I've also gotten the impression that Harriet, the eldest, often "framed" Ruth and Harold by reporting them to Daddy. She'd tell them that he 'had something for them' and when they rushed to find out, they'd get punished. Another story is that Harriet would say to Ruth, "If you'll fix two lemonades, I'll give you one!" - - and Ruth would do it! haha

I'm finding such treasures. It's challenging, wishing I could preserve all that history! And here I am, the only one to do it and I'm no spring chick! I'll HAVE TO live to 100, still mentally able (and able to lift full lie boxes!) if it's to be captured. I wonder if the progeny will really value this heritage. But that's not the main point. Such richly lived lives should be memorialized~

Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 4 years ago from Minnesota

Thanks Nellieanna for filling me in on the shenanigan's of the eldest. I am one of five sibs and the older three were connected in the same way your sibs were. Mom and Dad use to call them, "the big three."

dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 4 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

I had sent you this, but I have quotes and HubpPages deemed to label "duplicate." Therefore I have deleted. My point is life is a process and we are given opportunities to learn and to experience personal growth. Below is my example:

What Happens When You Learn from Your Ex-Wife's Husband, She Has Died?

Life Transistions

Husband's quote: "I feel that as long as those of us who loved and appreciated her remember and honor her time with each of us, she remains with each of us. She has not left us, we can only leave her. "

Finality of Death when Ex-Wife Dies

Email Replying to my Birthday Wishes to My ex-wife who was Married to Dennis.


Thanks for the B-day wish...I'm sure Lynn would have enjoyed it. Somehow, you have fallen "out of the loop" and missed the news. Lynn passed away Oct. 19th last year from complications from brain cancer. She died at home, in her own (ours) bed with Darce here as well.

She is terribly missed.

Dennis (Was Ex-Wife’s – Lynn’s - Husband)

My Reaction:

When Death Follows Divorce, People Experience a “Loss Upon a Loss.”

The cliché about divorce is that your relationship and the fallout from your divorce continue as long as both of you are living. Not so fast. The pain continues even in death.

I was not aware just how devastating it is for your divorced spouse to die. The problems are probably much deeper than I realize.

And in the midst of grieving over the loss of my divorced spouse, I'm also grieving over the relationship as I wish it could have been. And in the midst of grieving over the loss of my former spouse and grieving over the relationship as I wish it could have been, I'm forced to go back and relive the cruddy experience of my divorce and the unhappiness that led up to it. That's why I say the loss of my divorced spouse hurts more.

We often assume that the marriage is ended, and so is the relationship. Not true…

When there's an ex-wife involved, the first problem is that we often don't even think of the former spouse. It just doesn't even cross our mind that they might still have feelings for the person who died. The second problem is that we generally don't know what to do. Because we're confused, we do what humans naturally do when they're confused:

We do nothing.

After the death of my former wife, I must go through the process alone.

No calls.

No flowers.

No cards.

No visits.

No get-togethers with food.

Just pain. And loneliness. And anger. And regret. And more pain.

The circumstances of my ex-wife dying or whether I and my ex-spouse had resolved the death of our marriage churns my emotions. What I can tell you is that my reactions range from having shock, sadness, loss, ambivalence – confusion and an unsettling state-of-mind.

For starters, I am in an ambiguous role here: although I am no longer married to this women, we shared many memories… if only for that reason alone.

She Represented a lot of History.

The event of her passing and the final closing of that chapter bring many things into sudden focus for me, and some of them are conflicting with one another. Not the least is just the weirdness of knowing that someone you once loved, were close to, and slept with, is no longer on the planet. A lot of my own history was tied up with hers. There are things about this experience that nobody around me can really recognize or understand, and there are some things about her that only I know. For better or for worse, it’s over.

Some of us are really good at not looking back and not getting hung up on those terrible gaps between hope and reality. (I’m afraid I’m not one of them.) But even those so blessed would have a hard time not being swamped by memories--bitter, happy, sentimental, angry, beautiful, disappointed, hurt, and all the rest. In some sense, whether you like it or not, a bond remained between her and I and the end of that changes something permanently. Nothing more can ever change between you now, not only no justice and settling of issues but also no answers. However, over time, my feelings can change and I can make peace within myself.

In a way, this event also brought me face to face with my own mortality. Many big issues that you might not think about from day to day have been thrust in my face. It is no wonder my emotions are running high.

Yesterday, I was in the hospital with my father. Some days he does not recognize me… Then, I learn of my ex-wife’s sudden death…

Whatever I am feeling is my feeling. It is what it is. I accept them for what they are, experience them honestly, understanding this is a complex matter that is not going to go away overnight, and allow myself the time I need to work through whatever this brings up. It is a process.

Again, my deepest condolences to you. I truly am sorry and shocked….

Ex-Wife’s Husband’s Reply: (Dennis)


A fine tribute to a wonderful person. Lynn was the most loved person I ever knew. Everyone who met her regardless of age or station welcomed her friendship, her beauty, and her sense of humor and her open appreciation of life. She has lifelong friends from Phoenix and Show Low to Pirate Harbor and Lake Ashton here in Florida. Lynn and I had discussed the things we would want if either of us were to die and decided that a solemn, depressing memorial service with flowers and weeping was not our wish. A couple weeks after Lynn’s passing I opened up the house and invited her friends, neighbors, and acquaintances to come by for a day of celebration of her. Her Mom and sister Sherri got Lynn’s friends together at Lynn’s favorite restaurant, Valle Luna, in Phoenix, for the same type of celebration.

I feel that as long as those of us who loved and appreciated her remember and honor her time with each of us, she remains with each of us. She has not left us, we can only leave her.



I hope the above helps in terms of we all become "diamonds" as we polish our multiple experiences in life. I too am learning and growing...

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

haha, Linda! Yeah. Good name for them. I had no co-conspirator, being so much younger than the others. By the time I was fully aware, they were all 'grown and flown" and never even knew me. But time fills in the blanks. Mother was such a good 'story-teller' and wrote about them, as well as telling me about them. I just remember being largely ignored, except to treat me like a plaything and tell me what to do! haha. Later we became more in contact but they never really 'saw' me as anyone but the baby sister who didn't' say much. It never seemed to occur to them that it was because I had no chance to! haha But I did LISTEN a lot! :-) And, as they surely noticed - i did have our parents' more undivided attention, though by then they were growing older, at 40 and 42 when I was born! I escaped their early parenting foibles, though. I always KNEW I was loved even if I didn't see that I was KNOWN. OH well. One can't have everything!

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dallas, I cannot fully express my response to your comments, but I so much empathize. The very first thing I thought of was my eldest sister, Harriet, whose first husband was devastated at her passing, along with her 2nd husband and their 3 children. Her first, Carol Hinds, loved her so deeply that he was unable to share her with anyone, even children they might have had. But she so wanted children and finally became so frustrated and smothered that she left him and struck out on her own life path, which eventually led to Vic who did want children and they had the three amazing little boys. I can't imagine how that might have turned out, but all of them died instantly, together in a terrible car-train collision when the kids were all still toddlers So sad.

But Carol Hinds still considered Harriet his never-to-be-relinquished true and only wife as long as she was alive. He never married till long after her death. I always wondered about his true FEELINGS. He disliked kids and I had the occasion to spend a summer with them while my parents were buying a farm and a new home in another city, none of which I wanted to happen. But I was 10 and had to be farmed out to Harriet and Carol on their ranch, which was devoid or even the barest niceties, such as indoor plumbing. Carol promised Harriet he would get them installed but all he'd done was buy a toilet which sat, unconnected, on the porch of the ranch house. Nor was there an 'outdoor' facility. One simply had to find a bush (not easy on the arid land), and he had game roosters roaming freely, which easily terrorized little Nellieanna during these excurisions. Somehow I survived, though soon after I had appendicitis!

One time he'd gone into town for supplies, not returning till after dark - where dark heralded bedtime. I'd slipped into bed with Harriet. I was a kid, she was my adored older sister. When he returned, he picked me up and slung me on the concrete porch floor as hard as he could. He couldn't abide sharing her with anyone. Soon she left him.

But he never really let her go.

Somehow I sympathized with his grief 11 years later, when he appeared at her and her family's funeral. His expression was full of regret, anguish and loss.

I confess that I've not experienced the conscious loss of an ex. I cannot imagine what I'd feel, Dallas. As you so brilliantly describe, there are so many REAL and felt emotions and memories of a commonly shared - if concluded - life. They cannot be erased, even when it was overpowered with ugly ones. IF I knew of his passing, which is unlikely - what would I feel if he were to die? Hard to say, Dallas. Hard to say. I'm basically numb where he's concerned. I prefer to not live in shadows, and they dominate the majority of those memories.

But your experience sets a fine example of the best of motivations on all sides, Dallas. Forgiveness. Understanding. Appreciation. Kindness. Dennis was surely a good husband and person. Your place in Lynn's life was surely as much good as not. Life has moved on. You ARE learning and growing -- bigger in spirit and LIFE and sharing it with those in it now. As you say - we are all polishing our gems.

Hugs, my treasured friend.

kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Dear Nellieanna, I am sorry, I did not know.

My deepest condolences for your loss. You were blessed to have such an extraordinary woman for a sister and you were blessed with the family you had.

It's a wonderful tribute as only can do.

Abrazos & besos (Hugs & Kisses)

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Hello, Svetlana! This is such a pleasure to see you, my dear! It's been quite awhile!

Thank you for your condolences. She really was extraordinary, as you noticed! It is a great loss, though of all my siblings, she's the only one who lived a long life and died peacefully. The other two were both in fatal accidents, one at 35 and the other at 68, which was far before either of their times to go. I'm much more at peace about Ruth's death.

I remember enough of my Spanish to translate your sweet salutation. Thank you; - and Ruth would greatly appreciate your using Spanish, her second language, in which she was fluent!

dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 4 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

You should be a philosopher! Your keen insight and articulate expressions of emotions and ideas are outstanding! Thanks for your sharing and a warm hug to you!

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Aw, Dallas, - well , at 12, it was among the things I thought I'd like to become, along with astronomer, ballerina and femme fatale. :-) I read too many encyclopedias and my elder sisters' racy Ilka Chase novels, I guess. Seriously, I appreciate your kind thoughts and return to visit my hub. Warm hugs shared!

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Oh my, dear Nellieanna, I am so behind on my reading that I did not know that your dear sister had died. I am so very sorry. What an interesting and varied and marvelous life she lived. And what a wonderful tribute and beautiful memorial essay you created for her. You and your family are in my prayers.


Oh, I forgot. Beautiful, beautiful song. It brought such sweet memories to mind. When we four were children money was very tight, but my mother and father had somehow acquired a cheap used record player and they both loved music. I remember no other records but I grew up with the music of Mario Lanza as the backdrop of my life. :)

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Oh, Theresa - your warm loving comment really gave me a pleasant shimmer, a sensory feeling I get when I feel someone's spiritual presence with me - as I just did, yours. Yes, my Ruthie was quite a gal. Just thinking of her, she is so alive. She'll be missed by many. Thank you for your caring.

Oh yes - Mario Lanza was a phenomenal talent - unique among his genre of singers. This particular song is the one I'd prefer to be sung at my funeral - I've thought that for 30 or 40 years, since I found it in one of my Readers Digest piano songbooks and loved to play it. His rendition is just splendid. I also remember his "Because" and "Be My Love", two lovely songs, more associated with weddings!

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IntegrityYes 4 years ago

That tribute is emotional and fantastic.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Thank you, Integrity. It was emotional, yes.

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