Memorial Day 2013: All My Boys

Marshall Barrow, Mary Veazey Barrow Worden, Barbara Barrow, Bertha Arnold, Betty Barrow, Mary Phereby Veazey Barrow, Crystal Barrow (Waller)
Marshall Lyle Barrow, Mary Veazey Barrow Worden, Barbara Barrow, Bertha Arnold, Betty Lyle Barrow, Mary Phereby Veazey Barrow*, Crystal Barrow (Waller), ca. 1935

My grandparents, Mary and Marshall Barrow, had four children. My grandfather had been certain that each prospective baby would be a boy, but he ended up instead with four daughters.

One evening shortly before his death in the spring of 1940, he was lying in bed, listening to a radio broadcast of news of war in Europe. He knew the United States would eventually be drawn into the fighting.

Turning to my grandmother, he said, “I’ve lived to see the day when I’m grateful that all my boys are girls.”

*****

*My aunt Barbara found this photograph with my grandmother’s face cut out, so she pasted one in from another photo.

Crystal

Crystal Barrow, ~ 1919
Crystal Barrow, ~ 1919

For my mother
born in Martindale, Texas, 1917
In all her seventy-five years, she never grew old.

*

The courage that my mother had
Went with her, and is with her still:
Rock from New England quarried;
Now granite in a granite hill.

The golden brooch my mother wore
She left behind for me to wear;
I have no thing I treasure more:
Yet, it is something I could spare.

Oh, if instead she’d left to me
The thing she took into the grave!-
That courage like a rock, which she
Has no more need of, and I have.

~ Edna St. Vincent Millay

Billie

bill at 5 yrs 001
Billie Waller, 5 years old, 1920

My father would have been ninety-eight years old today.

In September, he’ll have been gone for thirty years.

It’s easier to imagine him as the child in this picture

than to imagine him at ninety-eight.

Of two things, however, I’m certain:

If here were here today,

his blue eyes would still be twinkling,

and

 he would still be making us laugh.

When the Music Stops

What happens when the music stops?

~The song lives on in our hearts.

guitar fingers by Bombardier - (CC BY 2.0) - via flickr
guitar fingers by Bombardier – (CC BY 2.0) – via flickr

To the memory of

Tom Brown Webb III

Tom Brown Webb IV

Suzanne Rader

Marlene Waller Linaweaver

Nell Hubbard Waller

Robert Vance Waller