“Oh, Lucy, I know you’re not going to move, but if you ever do move, don’t move.” -Ethel Mertz

We were a lot like Lucy & Ethel…we daily found ourselves in surreal situations as we lived our Middle American lives raising a bevy of children. I connected with my friend, Lisa, as we both were beginning our families in the 1980s. I stopped at three…she stopped at seven. She was always a super woman….just had to top me at everything.

I remember one day I walked into the house and there she was in the kitchen…grinding her own wheat for homemade bread…putting away food from her food co-op…checking the work of two children she was homeschooling…watching another one in the backyard…and ripe as a pumpkin with yet another one waiting to come out!! Oh, and on top of everything, I had stopped by to discuss the precinct chair position since an election was coming up. I remember thinking…WHY CAN’T I BE LIKE LISA? She always had it together.

We shared babysitting…built swing sets…hung piñatas…chased Davy Crockets…then chased John Waynes…danced…sang…played in the mud…built amazingly cool Playmobile scenes … marched in July 4th parades…went to the zoo…went to the museum… cheered at soccer games…blew out birthday candles…fostered laughter in the walls…built foundations…together.

Today, I will join friends and family in a celebration of Lisa’s life. After returning three times, a brain tumor won its ugly battle. As always, she was the brave and the strong one. She leaves behind seven incredible children…one married…others in college…others still in school. They are a testimony to the mother who poured so much love, attention, and care into them. But, she also poured a portion into my own children and I am forever grateful.

Lisa knew that it was cool for strong young boys to ride the range; climb trees; and spend their days in coonskin caps and cowboy hats. I will treasure these moments always.

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