A Matriarch Passes

Great Aunt Naomi was buried today.

For the past year I have promised myself that I would get up one morning and drive to see her. I heard she had wonderful stories. Everyone said that her long term memory was intact.

I’d spoken to her over the 33 years I’ve been married into the family, but our conversations had always been superficial.

I learned some interesting things about her today at the celebration of life.

*Her close family pronounce her name, Nay- O- muh.

*She knew the name of every wild flower that grew in the arid hills and ravines, and where to find them.

*If you wanted to know what animal left its tracks or scat, Nay-O-muh was your gal.

*Nay-O-muh never yelled or was cross to anyone. Ever. In fact, one of her nephews who spent summers on the ranch said that he practiced his swear words out by the harvest equipment. Nay-O-muh never chastised or corrected him.

*Although she was a petite woman, her hands were as strong as a man’s … the hands of a wheat rancher.

*Nay-O-muh wrote a memoir, parts of which were read to the many people who came to honor her today.

That last one prompted me to make a new plan. Next week I am going to call her daughter and ask for a copy of Naomi’s memoirs, and get permission to publish some of her history on this blog.

Naomi was a physically beautiful woman. The daughter, at 86, is also still attractive.

It appears that all the granddaughters are carrying on the fair maiden tradition. (It isn’t fair, I tell ya!)

And, it was very apparent that they all thought that their mother, grandmother, great, and great- great grandmother was even more beautiful on the inside.

That is a legacy.


Shelby said…
That is as special as it gets. I can't wait to hear more about her memoirs.
Jenni said…
Even though I never knew her, I can tell I would have loved your Great Aunt Nay-oh-muh. I do hope you will get permission to tell more of her story here.

Some of Danny's family says our Naomi's name that way, too. I've always thought it was the strangest thing. They trip all over it and just can't seem to say it Nay-oh-mee. When we were visiting PW, she asked, "How do you say the nah, the N-A name?" It never occurred to me that people wouldn't know Na was "Nay" and short for Naomi:o) There are actually quite a few people around here who cannot say Nay-oh-mee. In addition to Nay-oh-muh, they also say No-mee and No-amy.

Finally, I love that you had a celebration of life for Great Aunt Naomi instead of a funeral. I know "memorial service" is supposed to convey the same sentiment, but I like "celebration of life". That's what I want when it's my time. I want people to tell stories and laugh and remember the good times more than the present sorrow. I think it's easier for people when it comes at the end of a very long and full life, so I'd like to live to be very old, too. Just to make it easier on everyone else;o)
grammy said…
What a great celebration. She sounds like she was a very special woman.
Junebug said…
A legacy. That is what I'd like to leave too. A good legacy.
Amanda said…
I always thought she had such a warmth about her. I wish I could've attended the service.
lisaschaos said…
Sounds like another wonderful woman from your family! Here's hoping you can get a hold of those memoirs! :)
Kaycie said…
How wonderful her life must have been, just judging from this post. I can't wait to read more about her.
Cher said…
What a great woman. I think we would all be honored to hear her stories.
Heather Plett said…
I love a good funeral - when I get to know someone better than I knew them before.

Doesn't it make you wonder what wonderful things your family will say about you some day? ;-)
Moi said…
Wow. How old was she? When you said her daughter's 86 my jaw dropped!!
Karmyn R said…
If she was in England - they would have called her Nay oh mer. (for some reason that er always gets on the end of words like that)
Vicki said…
I agree with Mrs Plett. What wonderful things your family will say!

What a great story of a great lady. I hope you are able to publish her stories here.
Desert Songbird said…
Sounds like a life well lived. I strive to do the same.
coffeypot said…
A great legacy indeed. That is the most sad thing about death, to me. All the experiences and memories are gone. The things she knew and felt and experienced that no one ever knew about. Although you didn't get to really enjoy her, you were lucky to have know her. Can you post any pictures of her?
Stacey Huston said…
beautifully written. thanks for sharing..
g said…
This is quite wonderful. I've been writing recently about my great aunts, so it really resonates.

These old gals were great, strong, wonderful women.
I ADORE it when you write about your family!!!

And I've missed it.

Yeah, I'm comin' back...

Peter said…
Always sad to hear of the loss of a family treasure Pamela, hope you can get to tell some of her story.
LadyStyx said…
My condolences *HUGZ*. Sounds like she was an awesome woman.
MarmiteToasty said…
(((Pam))) it sounds like she was a feisty old bird.... thinks thats been passed down in the family ;)

wendy said…
That's cool. I liked the part about being able to identify the wild flowers and scat and being so beautiful and the strong hands. I'd love to read some stories about her.
I remember the Ladies Club post, what a group! Sadly she is gone, but I love your description of the things that were celebrated in her life. That is special:)

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