he sure cried when about nine years ago in that same hospital Dr Dumont said "Take him home, he's going to die and there's nothing we can do about it".Mama had picked out the dress she wanted to be buried in and made Kathryn and I promise she would be buried in a long black dress with red and orange flowers on it. It was the prettiest dress she'd ever owned in her life. We’d promised we would.
The day we went to the funeral home to pick out a coffin was a very sad and somber day as you knew it would be. We looked through the lines of coffins in the basement of the Clarke and Stamey funeral home. It was not the same funeral home we had Daddy's funeral. We’d made a promise to Mama we would not let her funeral be there. I think she had picked out this funeral home because it was close to the community center she had attended with her new made friends and had eaten dinners and played bingo and card games before her heart had started failing. The death certificate said "congested heart failure" and the nurse said she had drowned in her own fluids. The lungs would fill up and the heart couldn't pump out the blood fast enough.
The girls in the family wanted the coffin with pink carnations on the outside and inside the satin where she would lie down for the last time had pink carnations on the lid. It was the most beautiful casket we'd seen there and we all agreed it was the one she would have wanted. It was steel light grey on the outside. Everyone it seemed except Donald of he thought the casket was too expensive. The funeral costs were to be divided among all eleven of us again about 10.00 a person every month. Floyd talked him into letting us girls have that coffin for Mama, quilting him over the miserable casket he picked out for Daddy. Mama looked beautiful. She had makeup on and her dress with those flowers all around. When they shut the lid I couldn't bear it, I knew she had claustrophobia and I just felt she would be scared to death. It was hard but we managed the trip to Dearborn to the cemetery where she was buried alongside Daddy.
In the months to come the neighbor to the east of us continued to badger us in our cute little home where we were otherwise happy. A man from Bendena came by and offered us a two story house just outside of Bendena. It had a big front yard with two rows of tall pine trees. It had a narrow kitchen, a porch at the front door to the kitchen and a porch on the east side opposite. It had an upstairs with two bedrooms. The stairs were really steep. The living room was on the south side of the kitchen and to the east side of that a room that contained the large furnace. It was "gravity furnace" so the only way heat got upstairs was through the vents in the ceiling by gravity. Heat always goes up. It was winter and it was cold but no matter how hard I tried to convince Charles to close the door on the staircase and cover the vents he said “No" he like having the bedrooms upstairs. We ran out of propane in about three days and were unable to buy more until payday. The pasture had eighty acres, forty was for the horses and the other eighty was for the landlord's cattle. He had a pony of his own. When he'd feed the cattle he'd throw a bale of hay out for the horses too. He said there was plenty of grazing even if it snowed because the horses would paw up the ground and the way the land laid there was plenty of shelter. There was a creek too. I ordered a stove with two ovens that was yellow. Thanksgiving was coming and I had invited Charles' family for dinner. His sister Della and Gina and his Mom and Dad came over. Even his mother remarked how good everything tasted. We went to Wards in St Joseph at the mall there and I bought a Grandfather clock I had always wanted on credit. It had the Westminster chimes and I loved to here it bong out the time. The snow that year was between three or four feet deep. Charles couldn't make it to work and the school bus refused to come into our driveway to pick Jennifer up for school. She had to walk in the deep snow to the corner and wait. One day we needed groceries and had no way to get to the store in Bendena except to saddle up the horses and try to make our way through the deep snow. We finally told Jenny to go back because the snow was so deep the pony, Thunder, couldn't make it. We’d only gone a little ways when a farmer with a big plow and tractor was plowing the road to the east of us and stopped us and said, “It’s twenty eight degrees outside, isn’t it a little cold to be going horseback riding? “We told him in no uncertain terms that he was plowing the road on the other side us so he could get out, we needed groceries and the car couldn't make it out of the driveway. Here he was plowing so he and the other farmers could get to their cattle but right in front of our house he'd left it covered with snow so we couldn't get out. The next day he plowed our road and Charles could make it back to work after about three days of being off. We couldn't afford to have those days off of the
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