Luella Terrill (1918 - 2015)My wife's dear grandmother. This was taken on her 97th birthday
Luella Terrill (1918-2015)
I really didn't know Luella Terrill really well. She is my wife's grandma, and I saw her on occasion. Usually when I went out to visit my wife's parents, and then that was only if she happened to be there that day. It didn't happen often. We would enter the doorway to Ron and Darlene Terrill's home and immediately see the walker and know she was there. It was a definite treat for my wife to see her, as she was getting up there in age. The first time I had ever met her (that I recall) was at our wedding. My new wife and I decided to make a contest to seek out the couple that had been married the longest and have that couple take to the dance floor. Year-by-year, the couples sat down until Francis and Luella Terrill were left. They had been married 58 years. The prize to the contest was a solo dance to the tune of Fred Astaire's Cheek to Cheek. Unfortunately, due to their health, they were not able to dance, but we did play the song in their honor.
Luella was married to Francis for 61 years when a tragedy struck. Her husband was out in the field on the tractor when an accident claimed his life, in 2009. It was a huge blow to their longevity of union and one that resulted in many changes thereafter. In time, Luella went to live in a senior retirement home. She seemed to like it there, and I got to see her a couple of times while she resided there; both times having been her birthday. This photo was taken at her 97th birthday party. Many friends and family members all came to celebrate her life and their relationship with her. She talked and laughed and had a great time. She was very aware of everything around her, and her disposition was clear and sound. I didn't know that this would be the last birthday party I would attend with her.
As I am writing this, the family is grieving the loss of their mother, sister, grandmother. A sadness is draped over the family. Luella passed away on June 21, 2015. She was never in any pain, although she did suffer from a bad heart most of her life. She passed on in the company of her family after having lived a full life. Ninety-seven years old is quite an accomplishment in and of itself. She had presence of mind right up until the very end, and had everything in order for the day she left this world.
When I remember Luella, I remember a frail, little lady with strength in wit, communication, & memories. I spoke with her briefly during her 96th birthday party, about a handmade doll that lay on her bed. I asked about its beginnings. How had she come into possession of this unique doll. She sat with me for about a half hour and explained how it had changed hands, and she ultimately ended up with it. It wasn't a boring story in the least. She retained that memory and was able to tell her story to me,...at 96 years old. She went back to the party and had a grand old time. That was the most I had ever spoken to her, and how I became fully aware at her strength.
I didn't see strength in her frail body. She, afterall, had to use a walker to get around and hearing aids to hear. No, I saw her strength in those around her. Her kids that she raised and how they are so independent now. How they have raised kids of their own and passed her strength and resolve into them. I saw strength in her presence of mind; her ability to recall stories or carry on a conversation, even in old age. I looked at her wrinkles and knew full well that she earned every one of them, and she wore them so well. Luella was a beacon of strength in my opinion, and I only wish I had gotten to know her better. Perhaps I don't see her the same as those that did know her better, but in the brief amount of time I knew her, this is what I witnessed. Despite our infrequent meetings and our seldom conversations, I admire her for her strength.
Luella was laid to rest on Wednesday, June 24, 2015. May she rest in eternal peace.
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