Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Final Goodbye

 Today we said our final goodbyes to Sharen.  The funeral was lovely and it was good reconnecting with many people.  We only had a few mis-steps, which are kind of amusing:

Glenn and I first wrote the Eulogy with Sharen and Milt's wedding date August 8, 1965,  We later found a copy of the newspaper announcement showing us that it was August 13, 1966.  We corrected the Obituary, but forgot to tell Becky who was reading the Obituary at the funeral.  So she had the 5th in '65, and Gordon Smart had the 13th in '66.  Ooops!

I really should have spoken more with the member of the bishopric who was officiating.  I should have prepared him on how to say Cawood.  As it was, it brought back lots of memories of my last name being massacred before I became a Case!
 And the last was at the Cemetery.  Glenn and I forgot to tell everyone that we were meeting in the funeral home parking lot, and following the body down to the grave site.  Now, if her grave was not just a small walk down from the funeral home, this instruction would not have been needed.  As it was, everyone saw the tent, and just went on down.  Glenn and I waited to follow the body, but we ended up delaying the service when Emma fell off the curb and scrapped her knee.  She howled, and sobbed, and no one was in doubt that she hurt her knee.  She also decided that she could not walk with her bandage on, so for the next few hours, Glenn and I shared the duty of carrying her around.

Even with all of this, it really was a lovely day.  And these little things just added some good stories!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Final Service & Taking Time Out

 Today was not easy for me, but was still filled with much joy.  Tomorrow we will bury my sweet Mother-in-law.  As her Daughter-in-law, not only have I played point on the funeral, but I also got to play point for her dressing committee.  This is something I have never done, and had never thought about needing to do. I have to admit to some apprehension about this, but all went well.
 We actually started the day out with some joy.  Aunt Lori flew into PDX this morning, and we met her and Aunt Becky.  They were both going with me to meet two other sisters to dress Sharen.  We had a few hours after Lori landed, so Glenn and Emma came with me so we could go out to lunch.  It was lovely to visit with them.  As we still had time after lunch, we found a park to let Emma play in.
 After we had finished dressing Sharen, something that I am grateful that I experienced, we needed to find some place for Emma to have a good time.  And Glenn needed some peace.  I suggested the Rose Garden, and Glenn liked the idea.  Once we got there, Emma was in love.  There were beautiful flowers all around, and while she could not pick them, she could pick up the petals off the ground.  She collected them in her hat.
 We found a nice spot in the middle of the garden.  Emma entertained me with her "flower show" while Glenn added to his Journal his thoughts on the past several days. I have been amazed at how strong he has been, and how much joy we have been able to share about his mothers life. It has been a special time even if it has been emotionally exhausting.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Our Little Sunbeam

 I got to take photos of Emma and her class today for the teacher.  Here is her class,and my little Sunbeam.  This is such a great bunch, however they were not all present.

Sharen's Life

Last night, Glenn and I stayed up really late gathering information to send to Gordon Smart to prepare the Eulogy.  It actually ended up being really fun, and we were able to share some wonderful memories of this great lady.  I thought I would share some of the things we found here.

It started with finding Sharen's Baby Book.  Here is what we found there:

Born Saturday, October 11, 1941 at 2:40 am in Baker, Oregon

Weighed 8 pounds, Height 21 inches

First words: 11 months “Doggie”, 1 yr “Daddy”, 14 months “Baby” and “Button”

Began Kindergarten in Le Grand, OR in Sept. 1946

1st & 2nd Grade at Condon Grade School in Eugene Oregon

Next we found some yearbooks to get her education information:

Graduated Roseburg Senior High School in 1959

Played Piano and Tympani in the Band
Attended Oregon State University in Corvallis Oregon where she received her Bachelors’ in Education
Joined Alpha Delta Pi in 1961
Lived in the Sorority House
She graduated OSU June 7, 1964.  That she took time off when she changed her major from Pharmacy to Education (after 2 years of school) and worked at the county library as the Children’s Librarian.  Glenn said she also worked in the Library while in High School as well.

We next started reading some of her journals.  I came across these limericks that Sharen wrote on her boys. They are too fun not to share, and show just how Sharen felt about her boys!


I know a fellow named Glenn

He’s the smartest, the nicest of men

He’s really quite cute

With curly hair to boot!!

In my book he’s definitely a 10!!! 

Now in chorus that Glenn was the top

To hear him sing just made my heart pop

            His tones were so mellow

            I’d sigh…”What a fellow”

It’s a shame he decided to stop

Now at home a super helper Glenn’s been

With him in my corner I’ll win

            He does things right

            He makes my life bright

I’m so glad to be living with him


Now Jeffery’s someone you should meet

He’s so nice, so handsome – quite neat.

            In his manner and  dress

            He’s the tops, I confess!!

He’s so super, he just can’t be beat!!

Now in Music that Jeffery does excel

His Trombone casts a most lovely spell

            With base notes so true

            His tone thrills me through

To hear him truly makes my heart swell

Have you heard Jeffery sing?  He is super!

His solos he has sung without a blooper

            He is as clear as a bell

            With tone deeper than a well

That Jeff has a voice that’s really super duper!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Preparing to Say Goodbye

Glenn, Emma and I were camping at Fort Stevens with my extended family when we received the call on Wednesday.  Our cell phones were pretty spotty at the camp ground, so we only got a notification of a message.  Glenn quickly called Teddy at Farmington Square and was told that if we wanted to say our goodbyes to Sharen, we needed to get in there.  She had taken a bad turn, and in their experience, Sharen did not have long.  I quickly called Jeff and told him this message.  I then called Becky with the same information. I said that we would have to pack up first, and were heading back home.

After visiting my family to let them know we were leaving, we got the RV packed back up, and were heading home.  I was following Glenn on Hwy 26, and as soon as I pulled through the tunnel, my text message beeped.  Jeff had sent out that she was gone.  We missed her.  And I didn't know if Glenn knew.  Glenn didn't get the message until we got to the Brookwood Exit and was turning off to go home.  Poor Emma noticed my voice was not right, and that I was crying.  When I told her about Grandma Sharen dying, her comment was "But I liked Grandma Sharen!"  She was very sad and very confused.  This is the first death she has ever experienced, and she did not know what to think.  Over the next few days, we worked to explain it to her.

Glenn and I hurried to drop off Emma and our RV at home (So thankful that my Brother Chris was there to watch Emma) and hurried to Farmington.  We got to see her, and we worked with the wonderful staff at Farmington and the Hospice company to choose a funeral home.  We sent Jeff home as he had been awake for 22 hours at that point in time, and waited for Sharen's body to be picked up.  Glenn was handling it so well. As he said, he had been saying goodbye to her for the last month, ever since she went on Hospice care.

The next day, Glenn, Jeff and I met with Omega Funeral Home Director Jim Han.  We had already decided what we wanted in saying goodbye.  Jim was easy to work with.  We set the funeral date for the next Wednesday, July 31st.  And after we left, we had an idea of what we needed to accomplish over the next several days.  We three headed to Elmer's for lunch and to make sure we were all on the same page. After a nice lunch, I had a list of names I needed to call and ask to participate in the funeral.  We parted from Jeff, who still needed to sleep (did not get to do much the night before) and traveled to Lincoln Memorial Park to make the burial arrangements.  Sharen purchased her plot right next to her husbands when she buried him.  We needed to work with them for the grave site service and the final arrangements.  They were a pleasure to work with as well.

So the next few days were spent making preparations.  Glenn and I made several calls, asking people to be pall bearers, getting the Mt. Tabor Bishopric involved, getting permission from the Beaverton Ward Bishop, asking Gordon Smart to do the Eulogy and Don Anderson to do the musical number, ordering flowers for the casket, picking up items we needed at Desert Books, working with Kathie Dullum (the Mt. Tabor R.S. President) to arrange a lunch and getting help with the dressing committee, and letting other people know.  We also had to write and order her Obituary.  And then we had to start gathering information on Sharen for the Eulogy. All stuff that we had never done before.  It was quite a learning experience.  And we did it with pleasure.  We did it for a woman we love, and it was a great service to make sure she had a lovely send off.  I have now learned so much, and while I don't want to have to do this again, I at least am more ready then we were.  I am thankful for my wonderful husband who decided a few years ago that we should do some research into what would be required when the time came.  We never thought it would be so soon, but at least we had a good idea of what it involved.

Thank you to all the people who have been such a wonderful support at this time.  We have felt such an outpouring of love for not only Sharen, but ourselves over the last several days.  We are so blessed to have such a great support system.  While this is a lousy reason, it is nice to reconnect with so many people who have played an important role in our lives.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

We Love You Mom

Our last photo of Mom
Sharen in 2007

Sharen Arlene Case of Portland Oregon passed away July 24, 2013.  She was born October 11, 1941 in Baker City Oregon to Norman Arthur Wicks and the late Phylis Arlene Harris Wicks of Roseburg, OR.  She graduated from Roseburg High School and obtained her Bachelors’ degree in Education from Oregon State University where she was a member of Alpha Delta Pi. 

On August 13, 1966 she married the late Milton Paul Case and they resided in Portland Oregon.  Sharen enjoyed being a teacher and loved to say that she was in the First Grade for several years.  She also spent many hours teaching children how to play the piano.  She was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints where she served in many positions over her lifetime, including Relief Society President and Primary President.  However, her favorite positions included Ward Organist and teachers in both Primary and Seminary.

Sharen is survived by her Father Norman Wicks; her sisters Rebecca Smart of Corvallis, OR and Loretta Poe of Mesa, AZ; Her children Glenn Thomas Case of Hillsboro, OR and Jeffery Andrew Case of Vancouver, WA; and her granddaughter Emma Rose Case of Hillsboro, OR.
Funeral Services for Sharen will be held at 11 am on Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at the Colonial Heights LDS Church located at 2931 SE Harrison Street, Portland OR.  Burial will be held at 2:45 pm that same afternoon at the Lincoln Memorial Park located at 11801 SE Mt. Scott Blvd, Portland, OR.