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Gone Fishin
by Pamela I. Campbell

Her Head Stone reads Minnie Robinson Kyle, December 12, 1923 - March 29, 2004.

It's that dash in the middle that has always fascinated me, even as a young adult I would look at it and wonder how a person's life could be summed up in that tiny symbol. That symbol representing an entire life.

I wish you could have known my mother, she was much, much more than a dash between birth and death, she is UNFORGETTABLE.

People now ask what I miss most about her? I reply her hands. I loved my mother's hands. They were so delicate, but determined, so weak, yet strong.

Most of her life she used those hands to clean homes of the more fortunate and later as a janitor at the local school. My brother and I would sometimes ask why she worked so hard, and she would answer; so my children won't have to.

She had two joys in life other than her children and grandchildren; one was taking her fishing rod and sticking it in the sand beside a flowing river, the other quilting. Both brought her peace and contentment.

I would marvel watching her sit by the side of the river, so relaxed, listening as if the river was telling her a story. The sound of the water rushing over the rocks took her to a better place, if only for a while.

Her hands, pulling a needle through cloth, weaving pattern after pattern of wonderful art that eventually turned up on someone's bed as a gift from Ms. Minnie. That's what most people called her. That's who she was.

I try to envision what her Heaven must be like. You know it's different for all of us. Her's I believe is surrounded by a flowing river, where the water always plays a melody as it rushes by. It flows past a lovely little cottage in which there is a quilting corner with table and comfortable chair. Around the room, a display of quilts, wonderful, colorful quilts. Also neatly tucked beside the table is the next pattern to be cut, the next stitches to be sewn, endless time to spend pulling needle through cloth.

There she walks freely from cottage to riverbank, free of pain, void of worry, doing the two things she enjoyed most in life.

One other thing is written on the Head Stone that she shares with my brother GONE FISHIN.

Yes, indeed she has gone. This time there is no slow setting of a golden sun behind foggy gray mountains, indicating it's getting dark, time to go home.

She is home.

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