6 years ago · mary9046 · 0 comments
On this day, October 25, 1991, my Mother died the day before her 69th birthday. I wrote her eulogy and read it at her funeral. Today I noticed a lone yellow rose blooming at the front entrance to my home and decided I would rewrite most of the eulogy in honor of her today. I am certain there are other people who think often of their Mothers.
Our Mother, Aletha Veo Scott Stephenson, never wanted to let go–give up on life–and she stood up to her fear. She didn’t want us to forget she was still here. But we didn’t want to forget–Mother was special. She taught us and gave us a lot, and we shall always be grateful. She taught us to be strong and to work hard and to love someone with all our hearts. She also gave us a sense of humor and taught us to stand up for what we believe. If her illness was hard for everyone, how much harder it must have been for her.
Mother was the wife of her wonderful Steve; mother of Nancy, Mack, and Mary Jane; a mother-in-law to Barbara, Rick, and Ron, a sister to Jonnie Mae and Pauline; an aunt, cousin, friend; leader of Girl Scouts, a nurse, Worthy Matron of Eastern Star, a baker of gingerbread houses, maker of cakes and pies, and a member of her beloved Methodist Church. She also was the grandmother of Kelly, Suzanne, and Andy. They have always been special in her life, and she in theirs.
She grew up in San Saba, Texas, the daughter of Earnest and Viola Scott. Her only brother, Felix, was killed in World War II.
Aletha could make just the very best biscuits and pecan pies, and she would give those pies away. One Christmas, her favorite time of year, Mack was going home after a short visit and asked for a pecan pie, and Mother had given away her last pecan pie to someone for Christmas! We really razzed her about running out of pies! It was always good to go home; we were always welcome.
Today, among the flowers that will go on Mother’s grave are yellow roses: Yellow roses because she was Texas-born. Mother always loved flowers, and since she was blessed with a green thumb, her yard was always filled with roses, iris, tulips, and pecan trees. One of her other talents was that she was an artist. She could decorate anything. She taught me to draw.
When our Dad was in Korea, Mother would read to us each night. We were totally enchanted with the stories and the words. One story she especially LOVED telling was this: “Used to, when she was a child, she and her sisters and cousins would sit and listen to this old lady, Grandma Burke, tell stories. Grandma Burke would tell the story of when she was a child and how she got named. Her mother didn’t want to hurt any of her aunts’ feelings, so she was named after all of them, and this was her name: Emily Angeline, Mary Ann Hazeltine, Josephine Allan, Esther Cornelia, Eliza Elizabeth, Nancy Jane Courtney.
When Mother told this story, she would just laugh and laugh. She also almost named me Emily.
A person never says goodbye to the people we love. Sarah Jewett, in her book, THE COUNTRY OF THE POINTED FINS, said, “You never get over being a child, as long as you have a mother to go to.”
The circle of that love won’t ever end, so let go of the pain, and remember the special times you had. Hold on to the fact that we can help each other.
And Mother, one more thing: I will always remember you on that night in 1953 when you and Daddy went to a dance, and there you were, beautiful in your gorgeous black silk and chiffon evening gown and gold purse. Our beautiful Mother–may you and Daddy now dance forever in your love for each other.