Leaves on this Family Tree

Withering Away

Thursday, March 19, 2020

ZenDoodle - - - LOTS of pictures - - - Jan & Feb 2020

I am addicted. If there were a 12-Step program for Zendoodlers I would have to sign up. Lately, I've been doing at least one a day. Sometimes I will get two done. 

I hope you enjoy these. Hopefully you will be able to tell I've improved.

 I LOVE doing my hand. 
Each time I do one it is totally different from the last.

See, another hand :)

 This was a project from class in Feb.

 The hubby did the butterfly and the peacock.

Hand #3, so far, I think.  LOLOL

LOVE doing these flowers. Each one comes out different.

Guess what? Another hand.

 YEARS ago I did a cross stitch angel in "blackwork."
With it sitting by the fireplace, I tried to do a Zendoodle Angel.

 Gonna see several circle pix.

Oh No, another hand!

Fell in love with doing brooms too. 
The "texture" I could get amazed me.

 I need to do more heads. 
Been a while since I have done one.

LOVE everything about this BUT the head. 
I did it over several times.

 Circles again!

Saturday, February 15, 2020

15 Feb 2020 . . . Funeral Update

15 Feb 2020
Read an "add" on Facebook and thought of this song. I have always thought of it as an anthem for myself. Kind of makes me sad, but maybe more nostalgic for who I was and why I wasn't the person everyone thought I was. If  possible, I want this one too.

At 17 - Janis Ian

I learned the truth at seventeen
That love was meant for beauty queens
And high school girls with clear skinned smiles
Who married young and then retired
The valentines I never knew
The Friday night charades of youth
Were spent on one more beautiful
At seventeen I learned the truth
And those of us with ravaged faces
Lacking in the social graces
Desperately remained at home
Inventing lovers on the phone
Who called to say "Come dance with me"
And murmured vague obscenities
It isn't all it seems
At seventeen
A brown eyed girl in hand-me-downs
Whose name I never could pronounce
Said, "Pity, please, the ones who serve
They only get what they deserve"

And the rich relationed hometown queen
Marries into what she needs
With a guarantee of company
And haven for the elderly
Remember those who win the game
Lose the love they sought to gain
In debentures of quality
And dubious integrity
Their small-town eyes will gape at you
In dull surprise when payment due
Exceeds accounts received
At seventeen
To those of us who knew the pain
Of valentines that never came
And those whose names were never called
When choosing sides for basketball
It was long ago and far away
The world was younger than today
When dreams were all they gave for free
To ugly duckling girls like me
We all play the game, and when we dare
To cheat ourselves at solitaire
Inventing lovers on the phone
Repenting other lives unknown
They call and say, "Come dance with me"
And murmur vague obscenities
At ugly girls like me
At seventeen
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Janis Ian
At Seventeen lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

12 Feb 2020
I haven't updated this in 4 years . . . as a matter of fact it has been 4 years and 10 days since it was updated.  There is a post from 2019 but I just added it to this "complete" post today.

So why today, you ask. (Yeah, I know all of you asked it out there on the word wide web.)

On Facebook I am friends with a man who has a blog that  has the history of the MINARD side of my family. Maria Elisabeth Meinert is my 5th great grandmother on Dad's side. 

  1. Maria Elisabeth Meinert married Johann Detrick Gaumer
  2. Johann Frederick Gaumer - her son
  3. Johann Detrick Gaumer - his son
  4. Solomon Heinley Gaumer - his son
  5. Moses Solomon Gaumer - his son (who to Cass County from Macungie Co, Pennsylvania.
  6. Jeremiah Franklin Gaumer - his son
  7. Henry Moses Gaumer - his son,  my grandfather
  8. Paul Levon Gaumer - his son, my dad
  9. ME! - Paula Sue Gaumer - then end of this line
Thank Heavens Matt married and had Elizabeth so this line of the family tree goes on.

But, here is my FAVORITE word again, I digress. There have been SO MANY peope who are on this Minart/Minerd/Minert/Menert/ Meinert Family Tree that I wanted to share the poem than I first heard at the funeral of Eileen Johns Raikes (Dad's 1st cousin). I knew it was on the blog and I wanted to find and share it. I also wanted to label this post with the name of the poem so I can find it easier the next time.

I went through this post, copied it and pasted it below so it is all in one spot, again. I also tried to correct all of the spelling errors, grammar errors and delete what I don't want anymore.

Lauren, Chris and Matt . . . hope you find out some things about me that you never knew like:
  1. No matter what my funeral planning says I want the plainest wooden casket I can get. Always liked the ones you see in European funerals (Princess Diana and the Popes) but they are probably more expensive than the ones normally seen in the US. But I am SURE there are simple "pine boxes" that can get found that are inexpensive. I mean, don't you guys want to make money off of my passing?  LOLOL
  2. Not even sure anymore that I want a viewing. Depends on the cost. If you do have one, have it before the funeral then go directly to the cemetery for the burial. Kind of like the our wedding . . . get it over with in the morning so people (if anyone besides you guys show up) you all can get to the rest of your plans for the day.
  3. Do you want to eat on me? Go ahead, find a place like West Side Diner or Silver Lake where family and friends (you know who they are) can eat one last time on me. Shoot, it might be the 1st and last for some people :)

11 Oct 2019

How You Die, When Someone You Love Dies

Those of you who have followed me for years know that I tend to do posts on my funeral. Seems strange, but I want to make sure that things I want said, or music I want played, are somewhere so my family can find them.
I read this article today and discovered there is a part that REALLY touched home. . . 
"You lose the part of you that only they knew.
You lose some of your story.
It simply dies."
Now I know why a death of a friend when I was 38, and I hadn't seen for 12 years, was so traumatic and affects me to this day. What we shared was real, but no one else experienced it. The me I was 42 years ago and the experiences we shared were only known to the two of us. It doesn't help to try and explain it. My memories are my memories and their memories are buried with them. 
I have often wondered if the memories that were so vivid in my mind were still vivid in his mind when his died, or his memories died 12 years earlier when mine were placed in a lock box in my brain, pushed back where I thought they would never come back. But, no, his death opened that box and the memories came back with a passion.
Please read this article. I am sure some of you will find comfort in it as I did.

At one time or another you’ve probably heard someone say that when a person you love dies, a part of you dies too.
I used to think that was just a beautiful figure of speech, a touching poetic image that spoke symbolically to the depth of our profound sadness and loss.
That is, until this week—when I died.
That’s what people never tell you, about the real, fundamental, life-giving stuff you lose when someone you love leaves.
You lose the part of you that only they knew.
You lose some of your story.
It simply dies.
Any part of those days that exists outside of my memory is now dead and buried.
If you haven’t walked the Grief Valley yet, just trust me on this.
 me  me  me 
Just as sure as he isn’t coming back, neither are those parts of my story because he was their co-owner.
Friends, as you grieve for those who are gone, know that it’s normal to also lament the part of you that they’ve taken with them.
While those experiences formed you and reside deep in the fabric of your very heart, in ways that certainly transcend your memories, the painful gaps will still be there in what you lose without their eyewitness testimony
Those aren’t just flowery words meant to simply paint a picture of grief, they’re a vivid description of real, personal loss.
A part of you does indeed die when someone you love passes away.
May they, and the unique part of you they’ve taken with them, both rest in peace.

02 Feb 2016
There was a meme on Facebook that said something about "my greatest fear is nor being alone, it is being forgotten."

Made me think more about what I want when I die . . . There is a lot written below the ~*~*~*~*~ line. But, basically, there is a poem about "Our Family Tree Has Shed A Leaf." I want it read at the funeral.

I want the music for the videos printed out with people singing them along with the video, or, if someone can play them on a piano that would be great also.

I don't really care, at this point in time, what order they are played. Just try to make sense of them.

Oh, and if you want to read anything I've written, for a little bit of info why I want what I want, go for it.


It's been awhile since I added anything to my "wish list" for my funeral. I want to go out on my own terms and I am SO SCARED that no one will know what I want. Shoot, even if I tell Gene, he won't be listening so it's no use telling him. SO, I shall write everything down and hope that this info will be found in time to put me away in the manner which I want.

I know, I know, you will have to read through this whole post, and I am sure as I find more things I want, it will get longer. But the gist of this posting is:

  1. I want to be dressed in comfortable clothes . . . sweats if I have any that are decent . . if not, jeans and a decent crew neck sweater (Do I still have any red, white and blue Quaker Factory sweaters?) . . with tennis shows so I can walk through eternity in comfortable shoes :)
  2. I want singing, but not church music singing . . . I want people to have the words printed to the videos I have posted below. Then, I want the video's played and I want people to sing along with them. And I want them to sing out loud and proud . . . just like I do when I hear these songs on the radio in the car . . . I crank down the window and sing at the top of my voice . . and checking with the peripheral vision to see if anyone in a car next to me is looking at me like I am N*U*T*Z ! ! ! ! ! !
  3. Flowers . . . I want DAFFODILS (HA, finally spelled it write). I hope they are in season. If not, I want garden type flowers . . no roses . . unless someone in the family wants some roses to take home with them.
  4. INSTEAD OF FLOWERS . . . make donations to the Local Humane Society. . . . or whatever animal fostering/sheltering program is available. All my fur~babies were "foundlings" and I want to help as many as possible when I die . . . so make this a priority!
  5. When Dad died, Bill Bender asked Marge Carr to Play "On The Banks of the Wabash" when he left the funeral home for the hearse ride to the cemetery.
  6. When Mom died, I asked for "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" because that is what was on the Victrola when she was born and the Granny Stewart (the doctor) turned it on and danced around the room because he was so scared her birth might be hard since Grandma Winegardner wasn't young when she had mom. So I wanted her leaving the world with the same music she heard when she first came in with.
  7. Myself, I want Daughtry's "Home" playing when "Aunt Paula Leaves the Building." I always think of dying as "going home."  I know this is sung from a male view, but I like so much of it . . . I also  like the verse that says "I don't regret the life I chose for me . . . " People always thought I was weird because I never got married until I met Gene. They never said it, but I heard bits and pieces of people's conversation and they thought I was still a virgin or was gay . . . man, were they ever wrong!I was terribly in love when I was in my early-mid 20's. Still love him more than I should, even though he died when I was 38. Twelve years before he died I got a call in the middle of the night, when he got off work, telling me he was marrying a woman he had met a month before. Talk about knocking my socks off. . . my whole outlook on myself and life took a nosedive that I don't think I ever recovered from. After this, I had no desire to get married. I had no desire to hunt under every log and bar stool to find a person. I actually was perfectly  happy with myself and the life I was living. I didn't need anyone else to be there. I liked what I had. And then, when I met Gene, I knew why I had waited. He made me feel whole . . . and I never knew I wasn't, and I actually think I was . . but he sure fit into my life like a nice, silk glove . . and I was sure glad I ran into him online . . made the years after we met were pretty sweet :) But, I would still LOVE to know how he ever adapted to my personality because I knew I wasn't what he thought he would have settled down with either :)

I'm staring into the night, trying to hide the painI'm going home to the place where loveAnd the pain you feel is a different kind of pain.and feeling good don't ever cost a thing
Well, I'm going home, back to the place where I belongAnd where your love has always been enough for meI'm not running from, no, I think you got me all wrongI don't regret this life I chose for meBut these places and these faces are getting oldSo I'm going home, well I'm going home

The miles are getting longer, it seems, the closer I get to youI've not always been the best man or friend for youBut your love it makes true and I don't know whyYou always seem to give me another try

So I'm going home, back to the place where I belongAnd where your love has always been enough for meI'm not running from, no, I think you got me all wrongI don't regret this life I chose for meBut these places and these faces are getting old

Be careful what you wish for 'cause you just might get it allYou just might get it all and then some you don't wantBe careful what you wish for 'cause you just might get it allYou just might get it all, yeah

Oh, well I'm going home, back to the place where I belongAnd where your love has always been enough for meI'm not running from, no, I think you got me all wrongI don't regret this life I chose for meBut these places and these faces are getting oldI said these places and these faces are getting oldSo I'm going home, I'm going home

12 Aug 2014

My cousin shared the poem,
below the video,
on Facebook today. 
It was written by her minister 
for Robin Williams.

Those who have left us.

I'm adding it to my blog as info for my own funeral.
When all the words have been said
it's time to dismiss everyone to go to the cemetery
I want the last line read
then close the book and get everyone out of there.

A suicidal comedian is as absurd as life itself.
Even the longest healthiest lief is brief.
You cast your demons
out on stage and screen
Laughing in the face of life
Which is so much scarier than death. 

We try to be whole yet are often broken.
Punctured with holes that cannot be filled.
And even our patches begin to fray.
Those who are afraid risk never living.
Yet those who walk the edge of death
replace the subtle beauty of life
with the rush of adrenaline.The rewards of fame guild the lily
suffocate it and hide it from the sun.

An imperfect life is a whole life
Your friend "Superman" fell.
He inspired us by not dying for as long as he could.
Thank you for living as long as you were able.
- Rev. Charlie Davis.

17 Sept 2011

 Here is a poem that the minister read at Eileen Raikes' funeral (she was Grandpa Paul's cousin) and was on the back of the funeral program for her husband Maurice. 

I had never heard it, but I want it read at my funeral . . . see what you think.

 "Our Family Tree" ~by David Carnes 

 Our family tree has shed a leaf 

No words will stem the sorrow.
 Was not the first . . . won't be the last 
Won't be the same tomorrow. 

 Kind words from friends help ease the grief 

But words need not be spoken.
 For time alone will ease the pain 
Of hearts that have been broken. 

 Our tree has weathered many storms 

Some limbs have been stripped bare.
 But it was planted long ago 
With tender, loving care. 

It has been watered through the ages 

With the tears we've shed in grief. 
Each time our family tree decides 
To shed another leaf. 

 It's roots are strong . . . and they run deep 

Firmly steeped in family traditions. 
We mourn our loss . . . then carry on 
With the help of our religious convictions. 

 May God bless our latest leaf to fall

 His own hand-picked selection.
 As it joins the leaves we've sent before 
To heaven's leaf collection. 

 Our family tree has shed a leaf 

No words will stem the sorrow 
Was not the first . . . won't be the last 
Won't be the same . . . tomorrow. 


 Now, tell someone you love that you love them . . . how surprised will they be? 

 And, a little something from Red Skelton that I think sums me up quite well:

 "A clown is the depth of all emotion. 

His soul cries out for his fellow man. 
He understands people so well he can mime them without hating them. 
I believe the clown is the most serious of all men and the most lonely, 
for he is seldom recognized once his grotesque makeup is removed."

That's me . . . I think I was pretty good at showing a side of me that people expected to see. While, inside, so many time, I was crying so hard that I thought I would never stop.

09 Dec 2010

You know how I posted two videos of music I want played at my funeral . . . it's either my way or the highway when it comes to special days in my life.

Anyway, I heard something the other day that I think is PERFECT, and, of course, I just love singing with the chorus every time it comes on the radio.

So, Lauren, Chris and Matt . . . you better make sure you check out this blog when I die so you, at least, know the music I want and how I want things done.

Okay, when this gets played, I want everyone to sing along with the chorus . . so you might have to print the words so people know them.

Video first so you know the song. This is SO PERFECT . . it was the last song sung on American Idol and the total happiness, love, joy and amazement that is shown to recap the season is exactly what I feel when I hear it.

So, please turn up your speakers, sit back and enjoy a tribute to "going back home."


Here are the lyrics to this version of the song . . . I  think this chorus is SO BEAUTIFUL . . .and, I think, it has an even stronger  meaning when I live so far from home. It's the last song I want to hear before I "go home" for good.

Celebrate Me Home 
~As sung by Ruben Studdard on American Idol 

I'm going home today,
I believe me I've missed each and every face,
get there and play my music,
Turn on every love light in the place
It's time I found myself,
Totally surrounded in that circles
Oh,my friends

Please, celebrate me home,
Give me a number,
please, celebrate me home
Play me one more song,
That I'll always remember,
I can recall
whenever I find myself too all alone,
I can sing me home.
Uneasy highway,
Traveling where the Westerly winds can fly,
Somebody tried to tell me,
But the man forgot to tell me why,
I gotta count on being gone,
Come on mama, come on daddy,
Be what you want me as
I'm this strong, I'll be weak
Please, celebrate me home,
Give me a number,
please, celebrate me home
Play me one more song,
That I'll always remember,
I can recall,
whenever I find myself too all alone,
I can make believe I've never gone.
Please, celebrate me home,
Give me a number,
please, celebrate me home
Play me one more song,
Play me one more song,
somebody said,
celebrate me home
I cant, wait to see ya,

I can't, wait to hold you,
you know I miss you, yeah.

come on and,
Celebrate, celebrate, celebrate me home,
Celebrate, celebrate, celebrate me home,

Well you know I'm finally here,
And you don't have to worry,
no no no no no no

So come on and celebrate, celebrate, celebrate me home.

Now, if you three will just play this song at the grave site and have everyone sing along, I will leave this world a happy person.

06 April 2010

When Gene and I were planning our wedding I knew exactly what I wanted. I wanted a wedding that I would have enjoyed attending. These were my goals:

  1. In the morning so I don't waste my whole day.
  2. Comfortable clothes . . why should I have to dress up? The bride and groom know what I dress like and no one cares what I look like anyway.
  3. Food that Gene and I would have served people if they came to our home for a meal . . AND I wanted to serve Beef on Weck and Buffalo Chicken Wings both done the way they are made in Buffalo, NY.
  4. Something for the young kids who came with their parents. It can be SO BORING for a child at an adult reception  . . that's where the pizza came in . . wanted plane cheese pizza so kids would have something they liked. So I made a coloring book about the wedding and found toys and games that were close to $1 and the sunglasses were a hit with all ages.
  5. TAKE NO DECORATIONS BACK HOME! We had stored all our decorations (bought at MAJOR sales the previous winter . . snowmen and snowflakes are hard to find any other time of the year and that was the theme of our Dec. 20, 2003 wedding . . winter) on the front porch. We had enough to decorate 20+ round tables for 8 people. Made a "welcome" booklet and placed them at each seat . . on the back I told people to take what they liked . . and we ended up with enough decorations to decorate 1 table . . so they did follow what I wanted. PLUS, they took the decorations from the rest of the building which was part of the deal . . Started out the marriage, that way, with a clean slate!
  6. I wanted Diane and Joyce to wear clothes that they would wear again. Found jackets that I bought for them and they each had a black skirt, mock turtle neck, black hose and shoes of their own . . so THAT was a success also. What woman at our age wants to buy a fancy dress for a wedding and never wear it again . . what a waste!
So, you may ask what does that have to do with a funeral?" Since I didn't get to pick how I came into the world, Dr. Hillis told Mom on Jan. 11, 1951, that she was going to have a baby that day. Mom picked Dad up from work with a suitcase in the car and told him, "We're having a baby today."

They went to the hospital, Dr Hillis broker her water and I was born that night around supper time. Dr. Hillis went out to find Dad and tell him he had a baby girl and wouldn't find Dad. When he told Mom, who was woozy from the anesthetic, she told him she had sent Dad home to be with Lee and Grandma . . .she was worried because Lee had never been home for supper without one of them there . . and he had just turned 4 so she figured Dad belonged with him . . Now how many mother's would do that today?

So, Hopefully Lauren, Chris and Matt will send me out of this world in the way I want to go. Kind of like the wedding, I want a funeral that I would enjoy going to. Don't think I am sick . . I know that people go to the funeral home to pay their respects and then get talking to people they meet who are there. I want them to feel welcomed there . . again, like they were at my home . . only I'm a lot more quiet than usual . . he he he he . . and you won't get fur on your clothes when you sit down . . . now THAT is sick!

Whenever I remember something I want, or hear music I want, I'll put it on my blog with the tag "funeral." Then the kids (who are hopefully old adults themselves by the time I go) will be able to find it . . PLEASE STILL BE A SITE, BLOGSPOT! ! !

Today I heard two songs that I remembered I want played. First we have Bon Jovi's "Who Says You Can't Go Home." I think this will be great. If I die in Western New York, I will have to be taken back to Logansport since that is where I have a spot to be buried, along with Gene, right next to Mom and Dad. So, no matter where I am, I'm GOING HOME both figuratively and literally.


I spent 20 years trying to get out of this place
I was looking for something I couldn't replace
I was running away from the only thing I've ever known
Like a blind dog without a bone
I was a gypsy lost in the twilight zone
I hijacked a rainbow and crashed into a pot of gold
I been there, done that and I ain't lookin' back on the seeds I've sown,
Saving dimes, spending too much time on the telephone
Who says you can't go home

Who says you can't go home
There's only one place they call me one of their own
Just a hometown boy, born a rolling stone, who says you can't go home
Who says you can't go back, been all around the world and as a matter of fact
There's only one place left I want to go, who says you can't go home
It's alright, it's alright, it's alright, it's alright, its alright

I went as far as I could, I tried to find a new face
There isn't one of these lines that I would erase
I lived a million miles of memories on that road
With every step I take I know that I'm not alone
You take the home from the boy, but not the boy from his home
These are my streets, the only life I've ever known,
who says you can't go home


I been there, done that and I ain't looking that
It's been a long long road
Feels like I never left, that's how the story goes

It doesn't matter where you are, it doesn't matter where you go
If it's a million miles aways or just a mile up the road
Take it in, take it with you when you go,
who says you can't go home


It's alright, it's alright, it's alright, it's alright, its alright
Who says you can't go home [x2]

03 April 2010

When I 1st heard this song, I was taken with it. For some reason, it affected me on a level I had never felt . . . it truly reaches to the bottom of my soul.

I'm sitting on the couch with the "summer" breeze blowing in the window onto my neck. I was sitting on the swing . . but the arm rest start to kill my back. Yes, I sit on a swing "side-saddle" back against an armrest and feet up on the swing. I guess one could call my swing my version of a moving chaise lounge.

But, here comes my favorite blog word, I digress.

As I was on the 'puter, this song came through the speaker that is behind me. I swear, there it was again, that feeling that grabbed at the deepest part of my soul. I had to find the video and figure out how to keep it for posterity . . at least I hope it stays posted for posterity. One day, I may have a need to hear it and this way I can find it.

And another thing, if Lauren, Chris or Matt read this (or if anyone knows them, tell them to get in here and read this) I want this played at my funeral with people singing it with the vim and vigor that I do when I hear it in the car. I roll down the window and sing with all my heart . . probably drive the other drivers nuts. But I know I have to sound better than the pounding of a base beat that reverberates through your car that is coming from a car three cars behind you.

He said: "I was in my early forties,

"With a lot of life before me,

"An' a moment came that stopped me on a dime.

"I spent most of the next days,

"Looking at the x-rays,

"An' talking 'bout the options an' talkin’ ‘bout sweet time."

I asked him when it sank in,

That this might really be the real end?

How’s it hit you when you get that kind of news?
Man whatcha do?

An' he said: "I went sky diving, I went rocky mountain climbing,
"I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu.
"And I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter,
"And I gave forgiveness I'd been denying."
An' he said: "Some day, I hope you get the chance,
"To live like you were dyin'."

He said "I was finally the husband,
"That most the time I wasn’t.
"An' I became a friend a friend would like to have.
"And all of a sudden goin' fishin’,
"Wasn’t such an imposition,
"And I went three times that year I lost my Dad.
"Well, I finally read the Good Book,
"And I took a good long hard look,
"At what I'd do if I could do it all again,
"And then:

"I went sky diving, I went rocky mountain climbing,
"I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu.
"And I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter,
"And I gave forgiveness I'd been denying."
An' he said: "Some day, I hope you get the chance,
"To live like you were dyin'."

Like tomorrow was a gift,
And you got eternity,
To think about what you’d do with it.
An' what did you do with it?
An' what can I do with it?
An' what would I do with it?

"Sky diving, I went rocky mountain climbing,
"I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu.
"And then I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter,
"And I watched Blue Eagle as it was flyin'."
An' he said: "Some day, I hope you get the chance,
"To live like you were dyin'."

"To live like you were dyin'."
"To live like you were dyin'."
"To live like you were dyin'."
"To live like you were dyin'."