It’s not that she was un-accustomed to snow storms. She lived for 106 years and most of those years around Aberdeen, South Dakota, but you would think that she might, just might, be immune after her death. That was not the case, Vivian Schliebe had to endure one final snow storm as she traveled postmortem to Aberdeen, S.D. for her final internment.
Storms tend to stop movement or confine someone’s actions but they don’t last forever. She once told me that anyone can live 105 years as long as nothing bad happens to them and in that statement lay a key. The storms that passed through her life were just that….passing storms!
In her late 90’s she was laughing at herself, she joked that she had to put in her teeth, pop on her wig, and grab her glasses before she could even come out of her room in her pj’s and robe. We all laughed. She then paused to tell me life was good. Don’t take me wrong…Vivian had her fair share of sorrow as her life unfolded but they didn’t stop her for long. Like a storm, she was snowed in for a bit and then it passed.
The last time I saw Grandma was at her 105th birthday party. She was quietly sitting at a table full of people who were complimenting her on a broach she was wearing. She waited until everyone stood up and left the room then she patted the pin, looked around the kitchen; seeing that no one was in the room, Grandma leaned over to me and with a mischievous twinkle in her eye. She pulled her dress up revealing a bright red slip. She said, “…This, Connie is the only thing I have on that’s pretty!” She then straightened out her dress as my Aunt re-entered the room with a couple of her guests. She sat there quietly for the next hour as the chit chat resumed.
Grandma knew the secret of the rose….to quote an old jazz standard:
“….Beneath the deepest snow,
The secret of the rose,
Is merely that it knows,
You must believe in spring……..and Love.”
“You Must Believe in Spring” (Alan Bergman/Marilyn Bergman/Jacques Demy/Michel Legrand)
(I wrote this on March 20, 2013 after my Grandma passed.)