Sunday, January 4, 2015

Centenarian

Woodrow Wilson was president. WWI was being fought. Babe Ruth made is major league debut. The world's first airline to provide regular commercial passenger service flew from St. Petersburg to Tampa, Florida. Ford Motors announces an eight hour work day with a minimum wage of $5 for a day of work. Charlie Chaplin made his film debut. The Panama Canal was inaugurated. Mother's Day was recognized as a national holiday. The world's first electric traffic signal was put up in Cleveland.
The average age for a woman to get married was 21. Only .1% got divorced. The average first birth age was 22. It cost a family $4 for a weeks worth of groceries.  Life expectancy was 51. A small baby began a year of life.

The fourth top baby name in 1913 was Margaret. A lovely name, especially for one precious baby named Margaret May Loy (Stager). She was born on December 2, 1913. She passed away January 2, 2015. A  Centenarian and the last, next-door neighbor to the house back the lane on Neff Road. Mom. She was my other mom. I was at the Stager house as much, if not more, than at my own house during my growing up. And, over the years, that friendship has never faded.

Some people say that it is wonderful that she had 101 years of life and was probably ready to go home to her husband Hollie who has been waiting for her with my mom and dad. Being a believer, I am comforted to know I will see them all again; however, that does not make the losing easier. Having lived away from my roots long ago, I find that distance has always made me think that 'back home' has always remained the same. My parents and the farm are gone, but in my heart, I still see Dad on the tractor in the field and Mom at her pie-making in the kitchen. I think of Hollie sitting on the back stoop cleaning fish and Margaret at her sewing machine. It's easy to do when you live far away. Yet when I return, nothing is the same. The homes have new lives and the losses are felt.

I did not make it home last year. It was the first in a long time that I had not been back for yearly visit. On the last visit, I remember sitting at the table holding Margaret's aged hands, wondering if this would be the last time. She was the last of the next-door neighbors. The last of the adults who knew me as a toddling kid. I will miss her dearly, but I have learned a great deal in this losing of loved ones. There is no time for arguing or anger. There is no time for excuses and bickering. We are only blessed with people we love for a very short time. Each day is an opportunity. Each day is a picture to be taken and placed in a memory. Life is wonderful. It is made wonderful not by money or possessions. It is made wonderful by the opportunities we have to love one another.

In 1914 a baby was born. Thank you, God, for giving her to us for awhile.

1 comment:

Axiesdad said...

I hope you don't mind, I posted the last paragraph to Facebook. (with a link to the whole article) I want everyone I care about to read your words.