Tuesday, March 10, 2009

One Quarter Evelyn

I am one quarter Evelyn (Hollaar) V*n B*v*n.
I am one quarter (at least) North Dakota farm girl.
I am one quarter oldest of 12.
One quarter one room school teacher.
One quarter tall, graceful, American-born Dutch woman with a wide smile.
One quarter bride to Lloyd.
One quarter on the party line, a thousand miles from my sisters.
One quarter mother of 12 myself, born in rapid, painful succession.
One quarter mother of 10 living, and two grown men gone before me.
I am one quarter grandmother of 31 and gifter of 31 Christmas pencils.
I am one quarter gymnasium Christmas.
I am one quarter red beans and yum yum salad. To be honest, I need to say that again: I am red beans.
One quarter, at least, root beer float.
One quarter cucumber slices in vinegar and pepper.
And one quarter Olive Garden bread sticks in my purse.
One quarter Dutch enough to eat burnt toast in the morning, but not Dutch enough to do it twice.
So I am one quarter: buy my son a working toaster in the afternoon.
I am one quarter "God grant me the Serenity."
One quarter Hymn-sing Sundays.
One quarter lilacs: purple, thick, fragrant.
One quarter snow ball flowers.
One quarter neat and high stacks of clothes on the ironing board.
One quarter Pond's cold cream, so that when everything else fails and deteriorates, the cheeks remain pristine, smooth, radiant even.
I am one quarter, "Love you," and a kiss on the cheek.
I am one quarter waving from the steamy kitchen window.
I am one quarter can't say goodbye on the phone.

I am one quarter ailing in old age.
One quarter visits and care and love from my family.

I am one quarter resting in peace.
One quarter dust to dust.

And I am,
"Loved you, too."


  1. Sarajoy. Wow. This is fantastic. Thanks for writing it!


  2. sarajoy,
    seriously, beautiful. you should read it at the funeral.
    holy cow, i hope someone got the recipe for yum yum salad and red beans with BACON!

  3. Sarajoy, you got the essence of my mom as the obituary published today does not. Not for me. Thanks for writing this, and if you are at the funeral, would you read it?

  4. Thanks, you guys! Rachel, I don't think you want to see the recipe for yum yum salad. Trust me. And, of course, I would read it at the funeral. It would be a huge honor. But I don't have Sharon's email...

  5. Sarajoy, I sent you an e-mail via facebook with e-mail addresses. I think Alan might be the person drafting the program.

  6. That is a lovely ode. It reminds me of Ginsberg's "Kaddish" -- one of my favorite poems.



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