A hopeful young nurse, in a starched white dress,
and a red-head, in a wheat field, with a grinnin’, onery look.
She was a nurse, when it was a job,
that only a woman would do,
She nursed in town odd hours,
then planted wheat and bottle-fed calves too.
Because she married a handsome farmer,
and together they would homestead,
And in the course of fifty-some years,
kept each other’s spirits warm and fed.
And she knew about delivering babies,
be they human, or be they cow.
This dual life she lived,
sometimes took everything she had,
But if you asked her about it,
she’d say, “Aw, it’s not so bad...
You see, life is an Adventure,
if you play the cards you’re dealt,
Good times you let the seams out on your britches,
bad times, you hold ‘em up with a belt.”
She said you should look for miracles,
because they’re not that hard to find.
Like babies and calves in the spring,
crocus and crystal in the snow,
And seeing your friends and loved ones,
everywhere you go.
She never would have believed so many would come,
just to honor an Old Farm Girl that way.
And every one had a story,
about how she touched their life,
Like the one told by a man
and his forever grateful wife.
The man was smashed by a tractor,
they fetched her to their farm,
She bagged his lungs and breathed for him,
for two and a half hours, with her work-strong arms.
The stories would have embarrassed her,
I must have heard a thousand such tales,
and in each one, her humbleness was the key.
So, we stood around the funeral home,
and we laughed, as we told her favorite jokes,
She would have enjoyed the laughter,
she would have gotten in her pokes.
Then her Husband asked me what I wanted of hers,
But, true to form, she’d given it to a younger nurse,
so, I figured, that was that.
Then he brought me her old straw hat,
the one she farmed and gardened in,
And a rhinestone brooch she always wore,
and her little gold nurses pin.
And we’re just not the kind of people,
who stand around and cry,
You see, Death is a CELEBRATION,
and if you do it right,
Your whole Life is a Ministry,
until your soul takes flight.
And maybe write a line or two,
that keeps your memory strong.
So, I wrote down these words,
that would have made her shy,
So, you would know, we loved her,
and who she was, and why.
For in her UNSELFISH lifetime,
she had truly done it all...
Everything, from those starched white dresses,
to the evening cattle call.