Sunday, August 26, 2007

One of Sagehen's Last Pages

Alleen (AKA sagehen) had finished this scrapbook page on the 16th of July for a contest, however, Logan didn't want her to submit it because they would keep the page. She hadn't gotten around to submitting it, so I copied the journaling so you could read her feelings about life and how insightful she was.

48? Seriously?
Not I, the female version of Peter Pan. Born the youngest of four girls, I was the perpetual little sister. I played in the creek and gathered wild flowers while my older siblings hung laundry and cooked for hay men.
They followed practical courses in college, home ec. and teaching, while I studied journalism. They raised children and I launched myself into the world as a newspaper reporter, admittedly in a small town. Along with boring school board meetings and deadline stress my job brought adventures like gliding over dawn-washed meadows in a hot air balloon and listening to blue grass music in a natural red rock amphitheater under the stars.
At 35 I married my sweetheart. Within the year our first son was born. The second took a bit longer; I gave birth to him a few days after my 40th birthday. Play-dates with my children’s peers put me in a group of women 10 to 20 years younger than myself.
But at 48 I’m starting to feel my age. My knees creak when I climb the stairs, the silver strands in my hair are getting harder to pass off as sun kissed blonde streaks, and skin around my eyes is starting to crinkle.
Just this month a high school classmate called to tell me about our 30 year reunion, and my mother celebrated her 80th birthday. Unless I plan to live to be 98-years-old, I’m on the downhill slope.
Behind me stretches a life full of memories. Ahead I face more joy and more challenges.
One of my favorite scriptures reads: “We see through a glass darkly.” We do not know what the future holds. My life is half over? I don’t think so! My life has just begun. Well, okay, maybe not just, but I can bring experience to bear as I continue to fill my glass with wishes, dream and memories.
48! Seriously!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

A Fond Farewell

A Fond Farewell & Loving Tribute.

Alleen (aka the Sage Hen) was taken from us on August 3, 2007. She was suddenly stricken with a broken blood vessel in her brain which quickly took her life. She felt very little pain and she went quickly.

I am going to miss my sweet wife, helpmate, confidant, and mother of my children. Alleen had a sense of humor that was witty and to some, hard to get. She would come home from teaching a Relief Society lesson and tell me how it had gone, and then she would tell me of one of her statements or jokes that she had told, then she would laugh as she described the look of the women’s faces as they tried to tell if she was joking or not, but the ones who knew her were trying to contain their laughter. I remember at my 20th high school reunion, one of my classmates was saying goodbye as we were leaving he said “It was nice to see you”, and Alleen said without missing a beat “It’s nice to be seen”. The classmate who was a lawyer just stared at us not knowing how to respond to her comment.

Alleen loved her family. She loved going to Star Valley to visit the Bowling’s and the Sorenson’s and her mom of course. She loved to get together with the Stott’s and she regretted not seeing the Draper’s as much as she wanted to. She loved her dad Alf, She would tell me about going on road trips to Idaho Falls or other places and how she would stay awake to talk to her dad so he wouldn’t get lonely while the others were asleep. Alleen always had her camera with her to take pictures of the kids, nieces and nephews. Holland and Ashlee were some of her favorite targets because of the closeness of the two with Logan. She loved to take pictures of raindrops on roses, the cat attacking the toilet paper roll, the sunset, the lone bush, rock, tree, or critter just sitting out by itself in a field. Her favorite subjects were Logan and Adam, Katie then Ginger (our cats).

Alleen loved being a reporter and writer. She was known for her non-biased opinions and reporting style for the paper. She hated being on the school beat because it made her feel very uncomfortable dealing with my employer and bosses. They really liked her, when I told one of the directors that they had replaced her with another reporter he said “Why I like her and I know that she was going to be fair and not try to create trouble.” She took her journalistic ethics very seriously and was never shy about letting me know when she saw another reporter abuse the ethics that she so deeply believed in.

Most people never saw the sensitive side of her; she took her duties of motherhood very seriously. When Alleen had just given birth prematurely (due to incompetent cervix) to our second son Duncan, and as the doctors and nurses were taking care of her, she held our little boy as his life was slowly passing from him she was sobbing an apology to him for not being able to protect him, and for letting him down by not carrying him to term. The nurse thought that she was apologizing to them for crying, but I knew who she was apologizing to and I wanted to tell the nurse to shut up because she just didn’t get how seriously Alleen took her job as protector and mother.

Goodbye and farewell my Alleen. I’ll miss you and I love you.