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Memories Of Momma
Carolyn Fern Teel Pole
July 15, 1938 ~January 07, 2000
months, three days.....
the word "leukemia"
has been spoken aloud, that amount of time can seem like an
eternity.....or a fleeting moment.
eternity of long, endless days of hospitals, treatment, pain...of the
flames of hope springing up with each new treatment, only to be snuffed
out again...and again...and again.
how quickly the time goes from those first moments of denial that
anything could take your mother away from you......until she is gone.
sit here tonight listening to the rain beat against the window panes,
the smell of sawdust lingering heavily on the air outside.
This is the place we grew up together in: the place we have
called home no matter where we have lived or what we have been
doing. We always came home for the special events and
brought you home yesterday for the final time and now you sleep the
eternal sleep with Daddy, Grandpa, Ma and Pa, and Toni. And
one day, I will come there to sleep with you, as well.
always believed we would have the time to say everything needed to be
said: to see all that we wanted to see, and life would go on.
I didn't realize how truly short our length of time would be
together. I'm really glad I got to tell you how much you have
meant to me throughout my life. I hope you know how proud I
have always been to be your child: your blue-eyed baby.
Funny, every time I called you I would always say "it's your blue-eyed
baby checking in" and you would laugh knowing I am your only blue eyed
child. It was something only you and I could share because
the other kids have brown eyes.
you've always been my Mother, but you were always more than just my
Mom. You have been my best friend since I have been old enough to
appreciate your wisdom and the love you had for each one of us
kids. We didn't always see eye-to-eye, and we didn't always
understand each other, but I knew I could count on you to guide me when
life became more complicated than I could comprehend. Your passing has
left a void no one else can ever fill. I've started to phone
you a dozen times these past days only to realize you are no longer
just a phone call away. That's my reality these days and I
can't begin to tell you how I miss those daily calls we
shared. And no matter how badly you were feeling, we always
found something to laugh about rather than dwelling on the sadness we
were both feeling.
has been a difficult year for us as a family. Anyone of us
would have gladly taken your pain for our own to spare you the
suffering, the fear, and the dread of what was surely to come to
pass. I know you are happier now; no longer fighting the
dread disease which took you from us.
miss you so much it is sometimes difficult to breathe. I'm writing this
just so you will know, I love you, Mama, and forever you will be my
best friend. And I will always be that blue-eyed baby full of wonder
and questions who nearly drove you to distraction at times. And when
you see Daddy up there in your new home, tell him I love and miss him
and Grandpa and Ma and Pa, too. And when you see Toni, give her a hug
for me, as well.
time to close this, Mom. I know you have important business
to tend to now: visiting with eveyone who has gone before. Be happy up
there and know we're all going to be ok with time and tenderness.
love you, Mom.
Blue Eyed Baby"
mother was born in Clebit
Oklahoma. Her grandmother was an original enrollee in the Choctaw
Nation at the close of the Dawes Rolls in 1906.
great-grandfather, Robert S. Frazier (1843-1909) was among the Choctaws
who "walked The Trail of Tears" from Mississippi to Indian Territory,
Oklahoma during the Indian Removal of 1831-1833.
and Nacississ Frazier's daughter, Emmaline married Jesse Harrison Teel
and lived around Spencerville, Oklahoma. Emmaline was 1/2
Choctaw. Emmaline and Jesse were Mom's father's parents.
was 7 when she moved with grandma and grandpa to Riddle,
kids are, from oldest to youngest, Vickie, Me(Jan), Lynn, Ava, and
Randy. We had a baby sister, Toni Michelle, who passed as an infant in
was proud of our heritage , and wanted her children to be just as proud
are proud, mama. We're proud to have descended from this peaceful
nation. We are proud of the Tribal values. Most of all....we have
always been, and always will be, so proud of You.
young mother set her foot on the path of life. "Is this the long way?"
she asked. And the guide said: "Yes, and the way is hard. And you will
be old before you reach the end of it. But the end will be better than
the beginning." But the young mother was happy, and she would not
believe that anything could be better than these years. So she played
with her children, and gathered flowers for them along the way, and
bathed them in the clear streams; and the sun shone on them, and the
young mother cried, "Nothing will ever be lovelier than this."
the night came, and the storm, and the path was dark, and the children
shook with fear and cold, and the mother drew them close and covered
them with her mantle, and the children said, "Mother, we are not
afraid, for you are near, and no harm can come." And the morning came,
and there was a hill ahead, and the children climbed and grew weary,
and the mother was weary. But at all times she said to the children, "A
little patience and we are there."
the children climbed, and when they reached the top they said, "Mother,
we would not have done it without you." And the mother, when she lay
down at night looked up at the stars and said, "This is a better day
than the last, for my children have learned fortitude in the face of
hardness. Yesterday I gave them courage. Today I have given them
the next day came strange clouds, which darkened the earth, clouds of
war and hate and evil, and the children groped and stumbled, and the
mother said: "Look up. Lift your eyes to the light." And the children
looked and saw above the clouds an everlasting glory, and it guided
them beyond the darkness. And that night the Mother said, "This is the
best day of all, for I have shown my children God."
the days went on, and the weeks and the months and the years, and the
mother grew old and she was little and bent. But her children were tall
and strong, and walked with courage. And when the way was rough, they
lifted her, for she was as light as a feather; and at last they came to
a hill, and beyond they could see a shining road and golden gates flung
wide. And mother said: "I have reached the end of my journey. And now I
know the end is better than the beginning, for my children can walk
alone, and their children after them."
the children said, " You will always walk with us, Mother, even when
you have gone through the gates." And they stood and watched her as she
went on alone, and the gates closed after her. And they said: "We
cannot see her, but she is with us still. A Mother like ours is more
than a memory. She is a living presence."
Mother is always with you. She's the whisper of the leaves as you walk
down the street, she's the smell of bleach in your freshly laundered
socks, she's the cool hand on your brow when you're not well. Your
Mother lives inside your laughter. And she's crystallized in every
teardrop. She's the place you came from, your first home; And she's the
map you follow with every step you take. She's your first love and your
first heartbreak, and nothing on earth can separate you. Not time, not
space ... not even death!
American Version of the Twenty-Third Psalm
guardian of earth and the heavens-
Along with all things, I am your creation.
You are the tree of life, I am the branch-
Flowering, thankful and contented.
marvels, the natural elements you have made-
I am in wonder and reverence about them.
Through your love and guidance,
You give me a precious vine to hold onto.
It is the thread of life to follow.
It leads me satisfied among the
Fragrant meadows and calm waters.
It is you who has provided
The fruits of life and I am happy.
provide my sustenance, nourishment
From the land, the waters, and the air.
I am blessed. I give thanks for all.
I am satisfied-my bowl is plenty.
are the Spirit at our center.
you I am strong, my heart good.
Sometimes it is not easy, this life's road.
Sometimes I fall, tested. You give me
Strength and direction to carry on-
To pursue a path of goodness
And to care for others.
is but a part of the cycle-
A beginning. As with all things in time,
I know I must leave behind this
Earthly life-entering another journey
That I shall travel with no fear-for
You are with me-now, then and forever.
times come with the good, but good will prevail.
I speak from the heart. I have done my best
To follow the good path, ready for the next journey.
I am prepared. It is then, in the great heavenly lodge
Rejoining my relatives, with pride in a life liven,
That I will humbly present myself Spirit Father-
In heaven, as on earth-forever.........Author
following prayer was a part of our Mother's Memorial Service
Native American Prayer
O'Great Spirit, Whose voice I hear in the winds, And whose breath gives
life to all the world, hear me! I am small and weak, I need
your strength and wisdom.
Let me walk in beauty, and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple
sunset. Make my hands respect the things you have made and my ears
sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise so that I may understand the things you have taught my
people. Let me learn the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock.
I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother, but to fight my
greatest enemy--myself. Make me always ready to come to you
with clean hands and straight eyes. So when life fades, as
the fading sunset, my spirit may come to you without shame...............Author
free to complete your journey now, Mama. Without shame, and with much
pride, You can go rest high on that mountain
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