- Ada, Oklahoma


October 7, 2013

Reporter experiences tough transitions


Ada —

That’s the same church my dad pastored before lymphoma took him away from us in 1976. Mom has outlived two husbands, spent 30 plush years with each man, making both of them happy to the very end.

 Death is the most certain part of life, but does it half to keep happing out of turn? With all due respect, doesn’t death know its place? 

Leta was tough, too. Strong-willed and determined. You learned not to even try when it came to changing her mind. She could talk-slap you into surrender.

In the end, I think she may have died in the line of duty, trying to do too much on her own for too long. It was easy to let her do it.

Leta’s son, David, a police officer in Georgetown and former Marine, took charge and had his own mother’s funeral planned and set by the time I got to town.

My youngest daughter lives in Boise, Idaho; my son in San Antonio, and my mom’s daughter-in-law, who treats my mom like her real mother, lives in Manhattan, Kan. We’re all too far apart but we’ve all followed our passions and dreams. 

My sister sacrificed everything for her mother. She washed the clothes, administered the lotions on mom’s arms and legs, helped her to the bathroom, washed, combed and rolled her hair; cut her toenails and fingernails, handled the paperwork to keep the government happy and the debt collectors at bay.

Prior to that, when Mom fell and broke her hips twice (once on each side), Leta was on the job, driving the nurses crazy with questions and advice.

We almost lost her once on the operating table but Leta wouldn’t let her go.

My sister did have her eccentricities. That was Leta, and no one was about to change her. She mysteriously dyed her brunette hair black while in college and kept it that same way in a short style, for the rest of her life. That’s a lot of dye, but you never saw a strand of gray in Leta’s hair.

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