GEORGE THOMAS BARZEE life sketch as given at his funeral
Contributor: Rbemis01 Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
THE LIFE STORY OF GEORGE THOMAS BARZEE
March 24, 1913 - March 2, 1993
Married Vera Lake 23 May 1938
Spoken at his funeral by Leanna (Carter) Hare
I, like so many of you, loved George Barzee.
I have been asked by the Barzee family to give the life sketch, and I am deeply honored by this great privilege. I want to express my love and appreciation to the family for giving me this great honor, as I know there were a hundred people they could have chosen. I am not used to doing this and it is difficult, but because of the deep, sincere and special love I have for George, I pray that I will be given strength to do it well.
George Thomas Barzee, age 79, was born on March 24, 1913, to Reuben Theodore and Mary Elizabeth Waters Barzee, and passed away March 2, 1993, at his home in Roberts, Idaho.
He was the sixth child and second son of nine children. He joined sisters Effie May, Marcia Elinor, Georgeanna, Irene, and a brother, Reuben Lafayette Barzee. Later, they were joined by two more sisters: Jeanette Yvonne and Edith Iola, and also another brother, Warren Ellsworth, who died in infancy.
From sister Yvonne:
George spent most of his life on the Birch Creek, the Barzee homestead site, and graduated from the eighth grade in a log school building where he had been taught by a neighbor girl teacher. His Idaho State examination papers were graded at Salmon, Idaho, the county seat of Lemhi County. He had an average score of 94%. This was n 1928. His teacher, Jessie Worthing Engquist still lives at Salmon, Idaho. She and Blanche Bare Wagoner of Birch Creek are the only two remaining of all the teachers he had in the upper Birch Creek school. George had been to visit them both. We think three of George's sisters and one teacher's daughter at the only students still living, besides Jessie Engquist, who attended and later taught there. Other students attended in later years, but they didn't go when George did.
George was the noisiest, most comical kid in our area. He learned to play the harmonica from a neighbor and taught himself to play the violin and guitar. We used to think the violin sounded like a cat fight. He was practicing on his harp one evening when a drunken prospector dropped in. He told George, "You don't have as much musical talent as a little chickadee bird." Our mother told George not to listen to drunks. "You play whatever you wish," she said.
It wasn't long before he practiced mimicking animals. Sometimes his dad and mother, too….when they were out of hearing distance. He could imitate magpies, the turkey gobbler, chickens, hogs, cows, horses, sheep, barking dogs, and wild coyotes to a "T." Our older brother, Reuben, once said, "Listen to that crazy kid, would you."
When George was about ten years old, our mother asked an older sister of ours to build a fire in the cookstove and she herself would catch trout for supper. Mother went down in the field. She fished downstream and after some time, she heard screaming and bawling; so she dropped her fishing pole and fish basket into weeds and grasses. She ran all the way home, not bothering to remove shoes and stockings when she waded one stream. When she reached the house and asked who got hurt and what happened, our older sister said, "I asked George to get a few wood chips so I could start a fire." Mother was so angry that she got a board and started a fire in the seat of his pants.
Time flew and a few years later, we had one teacher who insisted George and his one sister, Irene, help her catch a wild colt which was crippled in one leg. All the teacher had was a heavy twine string. The wild range horses watered at a small stream just east of the school house. Of course, the horses ran-taking the colt, about a yearling, along. Teacher got mired down in the bogs and swamp in her long dress. She would pull one foot out and step upon a bump, but that foot would slip back when she'd pull on the other foot. She see-sawed back and forth but finally pulled herself clear. On the way home, George said, "Teacher doesn't have as much sense as those baby barn owls we just passed." One of his sisters remarked, "When it comes to comparing people and birds-remember Mr. Harold said you didn't have as much musical talent as chickadee birds, either." Well, Teacher sat in a school house window and slept most of the time; as far as her students were concerned, she just as well spent time catching wild horses with a twine string. The only reason we passed in school was because our mother was clerk of the school board-or at least, it might have had something to do with it.
Our two brothers learned to hunt, fish, and trap wild animals. They trapped coyotes, badgers, muskrats, ad weasel during winters when school was out. They helped a great deal toward family income. One time, George received a check from "White and Davis" in Denver, Colorado. He was angry and said they really gypped him. He'd think of something to get even-by gosh, he would. So, one sister took a flashlight, and George grabbed house traps and bait and headed for the cow barn after outside chores were done. George said he was happy he had at least one sister who was not afraid of mice. These two kids trapped, skinned, and stretched mice pelts until they were worn out. This went on for several evenings. Mother found out from our older brother what was going on. She said, "An idle mind is the devil's workshop," so she let us go. George shipped a good-sized package to "White and Davis." When their letter arrived, it said, "Field mice-no value." George laughed ha-ha! forgetting he had paid the postage to Denver.
We kids had to herd 300 to 400 head of sheep on what is now the Gaylor Grazing back of the ranch. George herded alone most of the time on Saturdays. He didn't like the darn sheep because he would rather tinker with a mowing machine, rake, plow, harrow or sewing machine. Dad would get so aggravated with George because he himself didn't like herding sheep, either.
Our older brother, Reuben, spoke to George kindly about crying "Wolf" and George soon heeded the warning. There were no "wolves" in our area, but there were plenty of coyotes which were very bold. His two sisters would pack a lunch and go with George herding sheep whenever we could. Those were fun times when we discovered bird, squirrel, and chipmunk nests. Once we took two baby chipmunks home. The one got into a mouse trap, the other one played in Mother's hair when she sat down to crochet. He slept on her dresser in a little basket of lace. It wasn't long until Mom was yelling at us to quit feeding that darn little animal on the kitchen table. She said he'd be the death of her. We couldn't keep him out of anything-but finally, he got killed by a little kitten, thus ending all our fun with him.
Years passed, and we lost our older brother, Reuben, and then our oldest sister, Effie Chandler, both in 1932. This was a terrible blow to the family and added a big load on George. Mom and Dad had bought more sheep, raised and leased more so there was enough to pay for a herder; so George took time out away from home to attend Coyne Electrical College in Chicago. Our little eighth-grade graduate passed with flying colors when some of his college classmates flunked the course. We were so proud of him. That was 1934 or '35. He was always an excellent student. When he returned from college, he took over the herding of sheep again.
In 1937, George's sister, Marcia, and her husband, Earl Harkness, invited a neighbor girl, Vera Lake, to go to birch Creek with them. She had never been there before. That's when George and Vera met. A few days later, they went on their first date to a show. Then he asked her to go dancing, but she said she didn't know how to dance. He said he didn't know how to dance either, but they would still have fun stepping all over each other. Well, they got to the dance, and she found that he was a terrific dancer. She said she had to pick up her feet and learn how to dance just to keep up with him. Vera was soon won over by his smooth dancing, his keen sense of humor, and his love for music. It's a good thing she had him all to herself back then, because in the many years to come, he was in great demand as a dance partner for his daughters and numerous friends and relatives. In fact, several years later, George and Vera were asked to teach a dance class.
George and Vera were engaged in November of that year, 1937, and were wed June 23, 1938. They lived with George's family in one part of the house. George and his father didn't see eye to eye on many things, so he sold the sheep, left the ranch, and went to Louisiana and worked on a Tung-oil project which an uncle had sold to his mom and dad. That turned out to be a big wild-cat scheme. So they came back home to the family ranch again.
Then they moved to Argenta, Montana, along with his sister Irene and husband, Guy Harkness, to work in a gold mine. They lived in tents, and Vera has often commented
on how much fun that was during that time. She would sweep the hard dirt floor and put a throw rug down on it. It was a right "homey" little tent. They liked the clean living and fresh mountain air. Vera recalls that this was one of the happiest times of their lives. On one occasion upon returning home from an outing, they were greeted by their cow who had made her way inside their tent "home" and left a present on top of the flour tin. Instead of getting angry, George just chuckled and said that's what they got for leaving their house unlocked. After that, they once again moved back to the Barzee homestead, where they started raising their family. They were first blessed with a beautiful son whom they named Doyle George. Then came a daughter, Maxine Marie and another daughter, Vivian Lee. When Doyle was six years old, he started school; so George and Vera moved to Roberts, Idaho. Here they stayed and raised a large family, nine in all. Next came Bruce and Reuben. Then Allen, Larraine, Joyce, and finally Bryant.
In 1946, George's dad sold part of the ranch and used some of the money to buy himself a truck. He hummed and drummed for George to teach him how to drive it. The first lesson was a trip from Roberts to Birch Creek. George took his son along, but Grandpa said, "No bucket-@#$%^&* kid is going to drive my truck. I'll drive it myself." On the way, George was digging around in the jockey-box; and his dad looked to see what George was doing. The truck was being held on the road by the bridge railing, and that is all that kept them from going into Birch Creek just south of the old Blue Dome store. His dad was yanking on the steering wheel and yelling, "WHOA! WHOA!"
As the family grew up, George taught them all music. Every one of them can play an instrument of some kind, and three of them formed their own dance band. They have won trophies at Rigby, Ririe, and Blackfoot fairs, played for weddings, funerals, dances and family reunions, and have even sung on the radio from time to time. They are always willing to play whenever asked.
George, being an expert mechanic, has saved his family, neighbors, and friends lots of money by fixing cars and sometimes electrical pumps and things, or wiring something that had to be fixed. Everyone who has asked for has received help. He didn't believe in turning anyone down, if he could assist in any way.
At one time, George was asked to help blow out a cesspool at Menan. He told the man how it should be done with a stick of dynamite. The fellow did it his own way and after waiting and waiting for the dynamite to blow, George put a stick in to suit himself. Whew!! Both sticks went at once and blew a rainbow over the neighbor's house, which had just recently been painted a light blue. We asked George what he did next, and he said "I grabbed my tools and went home. I wasn't born yesterday."
George's boys have asked this writer to add a part of their story. Since their dad thought himself an expert at blowing cesspools, sewers, etc., he was asked to blow one at a niece's house. It blew, all right, and knocked Loretta right off the throne. She came out of the bathroom madder than a wet hen. The boys thought it was funny, but she didn't.
In 1988, he had to have bypass surgery and we almost lost him then. He bounced back, though, and we celebrated his and Vera's 50th wedding anniversary in May of that year. He loved having all his family and friends around him, and we all had a good time.
MEMOIRS OF DAD FROM THE KIDS AND MOM
How do you sum up a lifetime of friendship with your dad? Everything we see, hear, and appreciate seems somehow connected to the wonderful heritage he left us of appreciation for the world around us. He always said he had had the "lion's share" of this life due to his exceptional relationship with his children.
Dad always was a pal with his sons and daughters. They would rather get him to go along on any outing, major or just a quick trip for a cup of coffee. He always had time for us. No matter what he was doing, he would always drop it and do what the moment called for. He loved to take us out to eat, get us a treat or have us over for Mom's delicious home-cooked meals. And he was always game for a good time.
Dad loved a good joke. You could never talk to him without him cracking some kind of joke. He had a real wild imagination to come up with some of the crazy ideas he had. He must have lain awake nights thinking of how to get somebody.
He used to like to scare trick-or-treaters, so he put on an old bear skin and growled at them. One of his future daughters-in-law, Evelyn Peterson, was one of his victims and she said it scared the crap out of her. Sometimes, however, these little antics backfired on him, like the time some of the trick-or-treaters had a dog along with them and it nailed him.
Some of our earliest memories of Dad's pranks were when he would tease us at the breakfast table. We usually had pancakes. When we'd get them all buttered and syrupped, ready to eat, Dad would tell us to look at the bird out the window or some such thing. When we'd look and find nothing, we'd look back at our plate and find it empty; and Dad's mouth would be so full that he looked like a chipmunk. He would just be laughing. You'd think we would have learned, but we fell for it every time!
Another time, he took the fringe off the sofa cover, put it on his head, and put some strange garb on, and went over to Uncle Keith's and Aunt Rachel Dodge's to fetch Joyce and Bryant home. Keith answered the door and Dad disguised his voice and said "Hi. Is this the Joneses?" Keith answered, "No." Dad said, "I came to see Joyce and Bryant." At that point, Joyce and Bryant, along with Dave Stamper, made a bee-line for the back room to hide, leaving Uncle Keith alone to deal with this scarey weirdo. Dad carried on and on and finally started snickering because Uncle Keith was so scared. Realizing who it was, he said, "Oh, I didn't know. . . !"
Dad often dressed up in some garb and went about to "get" someone good. One time, he paraded around the family reunion that way, trying to take up a collection. He thought it was funny to make people try to figure out who he was on several occasions.
Dad laughed about the time he went to the Old West parade with Frank and Edith Price, where the bandits were having a shoot -'em-up, drag'-em-out shoot-out. Well, when the bad guys rode past him, he grabbed his side, threw himself on the ground, and everyone thought he had been shot; it created quite a flurry of excitement. People gathered around and they even stopped the parade. One of the bandits came running over and said, "Oh, Lord, I thought those were only blanks!" Then Dad got up and walked off, just hee-hawing. Uncle Frank said, "I'm never going to town again with you!"
Yes, you always had to be prepared for something crazy when you went someplace with Dad, but that's what made him so much fun.
Vivian recalls that when nominations were up for chaperone for their senior sneak, Bob Berrett called out, "George Barzee!" which was accepted unanimously. He kept the kids well entertained and had more fun than they did. She also remembers the rubber chocolate he gave her early on Christmas morning.
Bruce, Allen, and Bryant remember how Dad would round up all the kids and their friends and take them on outings in the back of the old truck whether to a drive-in movie or on a weekend outing up in the mountains. Some of their fondest memories were their great hunting trips, fishing, and going gold-panning.
Maxine remembers him teaching her how to dance and all the help he has given her through the years.
Taking a trip with Dad always made it fun. He would point out things in the landscape that were historical or geological, and would even want to get out and examine it. But a really special part of our trips was listening to Dad play his harmonica instead of listening to the radio.
Dad's love for music was one of the greatest things he left us. We never have a family gathering without it, and so many of our memories are built around it. Together we have played for many occasions. This has been an especially sweet memory for Larraine, Joyce, and Bryant. He has won several trophies and awards at talent shows, including last year's Jefferson County Fair.
Dad did have a serious side to him. He had a great respect and a profound reverence for God's creations, plant and animal life, and Mother Earth. He got upset when people killed just for the sport of it and left their game and wasted the meat. He was a very self-educated man, always reading and studying, especially science-oriented books and magazines. He always said the only thing he could take with him was between his ears. He wanted to know the scientific explanation for everything. He liked to teach science to his kids and grandkids and anyone else who would listen. He helped Vivian build a model solar system years ago for a science project and just recently was still helping grandchildren build electro-magnets and generators for science projects.
Dad was a real rock hound. He was fascinated with the formation of rocks and their mineral content. In fact, we often laughed at how you could give Dad a good meal, a mountaintop to sit on, and a rock to study, and he was in seventh heaven. He found the greatest pleasure in life's most simple, basic gifts.
Dad had a passionate love for the mountains, and this emanated from him. So naturally, he passed this love on to his kids. He always liked to go out gold panning with the boys. They filed countless claims and sent in numerous samples for analysis. He even went to the schools and taught fourth-graders how to pan for gold on their Idaho History Days.
Anyone who knew Dad knew what an excellent hunter and fisherman he was. This past October was the first time since he was 13 that he had missed a hunting season and he felt really bad about it. In fact, even in October of '91, after his cancer was diagnosed and he didn't feel well enough to go hunting, Reuben was so upset that Dad couldn't go hunting that Dad forced himself to go just to be with his sons. That was their last hunting trip. Some of the most precious times in his life were shared with his sons on hunting trips. This is where they developed bonds of friendship that few fathers and sons ever experience.
Dad always made us feel like a million bucks. When Joyce was modeling a new dress Mom had made for her, he said, "The dress is nice, but it wouldn't be worth a darn without the girl in it." And one night he took Larraine across the street with him to a wedding reception at the church. Walking home, he told her, "That was a pretty bride, but I had the best-looking gal there."
Dad and Mom were always so proud of their kids. Dad seemed to idolize his sons and their mechanical, marksmanship, and musical abilities. He was never ashamed to show his sentiment. Whenever we told him we loved him, he responded, "We love you too, every minute."
In 1973, Doyle was killed in a motorcycle wreck, which loss Dad never got over. Last year, Reuben died and Dad grieved over this until his last breath. Dad always loved his family SO much! He shared in our triumphs and in our sorrows, in our problems and our resolutions-he truly decorated our lives.
Dad was always kind to everyone and went out of his way, usually even at his own expense, to be especially kind to the less fortunate. If he had anything and they ever needed it, he never thought twice about giving it to them. He was not judgmental or prejudice in any way (except for politicians!). He loved everyone-he was a people person. He helped so many people-too many to count. Even in his last days, he got up out of bed to go to Dubois to help a young Spanish couple and their newborn baby. They had no electricity and couldn't get help elsewhere. He said he would feel bad if he didn't help them, even though he could hardly put one foot in front of the other.
Few people ha e ever given so freely of their time and resources to help their fellow man. He was not a perfect man; he had his shortcomings, just as we all do. But he touched many, many lives for good, always looking out for others' needs above his own. He left us a wonderful example of what it means to be our brother's keeper, to "love one another." If anyone should judge him or condemn him for his faults, they need only look at his good works to realize that here is a good man.
Dad had to have a tube put into his lungs in December to drain them. Since then, he has required quite a lot of rest and could not be as active as he was used to being. During this time, Mom was constantly bv his side. Wherever he went, she went. Whatever he needed, she tended to. With her nurturing care (and the wonderful help of the Hospice nurses), he was able to remain at home, where, surrounded by his loved ones, he died on Tuesday, March 2, 1993.
Dad was preceded in death by two brothers, three sisters, his mother and father, three grandchildren, and two sons-Doyle land Reuben.
He is survived by his wife, Vera, of Roberts; Bruce and Allen Barzee of Roberts; Bryant Barzee of Moreland; daughters Maxine Pennazoli of Coeur D'Alene; Vivian Westerbur of Arizona; Larraine Linning of Ammon; Joyce Jardine of Lewisville; 35 grandchildren; 19 great grandchildren; three sisters, Marcia Harkness of Idaho Falls, Yvonne Stewart of Roberts, and Edith Price of Hamer; and numerous nephews, nieces, and cousins; three aunts: Inza Jones Barzee, Etta Waters Gardner, both of Idaho Falls, and Elzina Barzee Avery of Pocatello.
We will mourn our tremendous loss greatly, but we know that Dad is having a wonderful reunion with his loved ones. We all look forward to our reunion with him someday.
THE FOLLOWING WAS WRITTEN AND READ NEXT BY LEANNA AFTER THE LIFE SKETCH:
I am sure that most all you that loved George cannot help but smile and laugh when you think of him and memories of him. This is one of the things that I loved most about George-his ability to make people laugh. He was the funniest man that I have ever known! It never ceased to amaze me the things that George would come up with, but after several years of knowing and loving George, nothing surprised me. I suppose that some people could have thought George was crazy because of some of the things he used to do…George was not crazy, he just loved people and he loved life!
He was the only person I have ever known that could walk up to a group of total strangers and start telling them a joke. I remember when I went to Oregon with George and the girls and we lost George, and he had wandered into a restaurant and found a group of people and was telling them jokes.
He found friends wherever he went. George always reminded me of Will Rogers when he said, "I never met a man I didn't like." What a gift he left us all, he taught us how important it is to laugh. George will live in our hearts and minds forever. I remember times when George would tell me a joke and I would say, "Oh, George…you made that one up!" and he would laugh so hard that soon I would start laughing, not because the joke was funny but because George was laughing so hard at his own joke that he was so funny. He had a wonderful sense of humor, he was a charming and sweet man, and fun to be around, and oh, how he loved life!
Yes, to know George was to love him. George always told me that none of us are going to be able to get out of here alive. He was a real participator in life, he didn't want to just watch. George loved to dance; this is one of my special memories. And what a dancer he was! He would put all his energy into his dancing. He would go out and dance a jig and then change partners so that his last partner could recuperate. I used to tell George that he needed to slow down on the dance floor or he was going to have a heart attack, and he would say, "Oh, what a way to go," then I would finally have to tell him that maybe he wasn't going to have one, but I was if he didn't slow down.
George was an incredible human being. I loved him very dearly. He saw me through happy times and times of heartache…I always felt extra special to him as did so many people. I always called him my special boyfriend.
One thing that I loved about George is that he never stayed down. He had some pretty hard blows in life, but he kept getting back up and kept putting a smile back on his face. George and Vera used to affectionately refer to me as their adopted daughter. People used to always ask me if I was a Barzee, and that made me feel so good, and I would tell them I was but when I opened my mouth and started to sing. they knew I was an imposter.
I used to on lots of double dates with George and Vera. They were our favorite couple to double with. You could always be assured of a good time with George and Vera. Vera was always so good natured when the ladies would all line up to dance with George.
I have heard people say that George could have been very rich, but he was too kind to charge people what anyone else would have. If he thought that people couldn't afford it, he wouldn't charge them.
George was a very generous man. He would give you the shirt off his back if he thought that you needed it, and even if you didn't need it and just wanted it, he would still give it to you He was always wanting to help someone. Can't you all just picture him walking through the Pearly Gates, appraising them and turning to St. Peter and saying, "The gates, St. Peter, See the one on the left? See how it's just a little uneven on this side? If you'll just show me where you keep your tools, I'll get that fixed up, all right and proper and hanging straight. It's ok, I like to be busy."
George left a legacy behind him, a legacy of love, laughter, music. Live, love, laugh…that was the code he tried to live by. He was a model to me and many others, and he is scored into our hearts. What an example he was to all of us. He enjoyed life and people so much. George was a successful man. He lived his life his way and loved his family and friends so much and was loved in return. All the family, relatives and friends that are here today are, indeed, a great tribute to George. George loved his family so much. He loved his friends so much. Allen told me that when his dad felt his time was very near he asked him to bring him the telephone so that he could call up all his friends and tell them all goodbye.
I pray that blessings will be upon Vera and that life will be sweet for her. I know this family is very strong and hope that they will stand by their mother and see that she has no needs or wants. I pray for George and Vera's wonderful children, because they are beautiful people and George loved his kids so much and was so proud of them. I pray for the family to be blessed through all these hard times, that they will draw closer together and always try to help one another.
The night before George left this earth, it became so totally clear to me what a wealthy man he was. There are men that have material wealth and lay in satin sheets and die alone. George was at home with his family and loved ones gathered around him. I watched them as they expressed their love and appreciation to him and said, "Thanks for the memories." His children and grandchildren were gathered around him singing. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever witnessed, and as I couldn't hold back the tears, I thought, "What a rich man you are, George!" I watched as his son knelt by his bedside and took hold of his hand and sang to him. George only spoke to say, "Please" when they asked him if he wanted them to keep on singing and then to whisper, "Thank you." They all kept singing as George struggled for each breath. What greater thing could any person ask for than to leave this world with loved ones gathered around you, expressing love and appreciation and singing to you. So many loved ones that they couldn't all fit in the room. Happy memories are something that money cannot buy. When it is all said and done, what really matters in this old world is loving and being loved.
TO THE GRANDCHILDREN, I feel strongly that George wants me to give this special message to his grandchildren:
Be ever so proud of the blood that runs in your veins and the good stock that you come from. Always be proud of your Barzee name and heritage. The Barzees are very kind, caring and loving people, never arrogant or selfish. Talk about your Grandpa often, and remember all the fun times and funny things he did, and laugh together. That is what he would want. Absolutely, your grandpa wants you to talk about him and remember him. Remember there is never really a good time to leave, but your grandpa is just waiting for all of you and you need to always keep him alive in your hearts and mind.
I feel your Grandpa wants me to tell all of you that he is going to a wonderful place. When the Savior was hanging on the cross, He said to His newly acquainted friend, the thief, "Thou shalt be with me in paradise." In the Bible, it says that paradise is a place where God shall wipe away all our tears, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither will there be any more pain. Doesn't that sound wonderful? He would not want you to be sad; you know your grandpa better than that. Wherever your grandpa went, fun was always sure to follow. I bet that he is having a big party up in heaven right now, with singing and dancing and musical instruments. He is leaving you whatever he has taught you along the way and all the love he has given you. That is what is really important. It is healing to laugh and talk and share with each other, and that is what he wants you to do. Remember that you will see your grandpa again someday, he has just gone to a better place. Just remember all of the lessons that he taught you, and always remember how much he loved each one of you. Try to remember that, okay.
George knew what was important in life…just living it, to live each moment. What a blessed thing to be able to live as fully as you can, every moment that you have until you die, and go peacefully surrounded by family and friends. That is the very best way anyone could go.
In closing there is a special poem that I felt that George wanted mt to read to you from. It is called "To Those I Love."
If I should ever leave you, whom I love
To go along the Silent Way, grieve not
Nor speak of me with tears, but laugh and talk
Of me as if I were beside you there.
(I'd come-I'd come, could I but find a way!
But would not tears and grief be barriers?)
And when you hear a song or see a bird
I loved, please do not let the thought of me
Be sad . . . For I am loving you just as
I always have. . . You were so good to me!
There are so many things I wanted still
To do - so many things to say to you. . .
Remember that I did not fear. . . . It was
Just leaving you that was so hard to face.
We cannot see Beyond. . . But this I know:
I loved you so - 'Twas Heaven here with you!
--Isla Paschal Richardson
And, George, if you're listening as I'm sure you are…We all love you so much…and Thanks for the memories!