Thursday, January 7, 2016

Good Night, Marija (Part I)

What fun we've had, Marija, exchanging morning emails for almost eight years. That's how the deepest of friendships are made, two like-minded people exchanging ideas day after day. Two people rejoicing when the dawn bloomed bright in the eastern sky and in our hearts. One cheer-leading the other the mornings you preferred an after breakfast nap, or the matters of the world interfered with my writing. Every morning was a good morning.

Our friendship was foretold when you posted a note on the RootsWeb Internet message board in 2005, an inquiry about the Govert School. Then the snow of three winters fell on your cottage by the pond before I stumbled upon your message. I found you 10 days before your 78th birthday. "What a nice surprise!" you responded to my email, "Thank you for writing!"

After that, you shared your memories, a tomboy growing up in Govert, and I shared my research. You gifted me with answers to nagging questions and details long elusive. Our friendship started out as a long interview, a digital visit over coffee each morning.

Memories that good begged to be recorded, and not many months passed before I surprised you again, this time with your written family history, my first Govert publication. Later, when I began publishing "Thru Prairie Grass", you were the best of boosters, just like Govert Van der Boom and Charles Laflin were the best of boosters for Govert Township. Everything I wrote was, in your opinion, "the best yet".

"Good morning, Marija!", I'd write at the beginning of each day.

The good mornings we shared were many, but no more.

Good night, my dear friend, good night.

Marie Kulisich Webb
April 28, 1930-December 19, 2015

Listening to the wind blowing through the prairie grass. Kate

12 comments:

  1. Sweetheart,

    What a loving, tender, and heart-felt blog entry. We can actually "feel" the sincere and genuine emotion in your writing in this posting. I'm sorry for your loss...actually, a loss for us all as we have come to know Marija from many of your previous wonderful blog entries about her or discussing her connection to Govert's history. I was additionally blessed to have spent some time with her in person on some of my trips with you to South Dakota. She was a most gracious and friendly lady, who always greeted us with such warm and generous hospitality. She will be missed. Thank you for being such a good and true friend to her, and for remembering her so lovingly and expressively.

    Russ

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    1. You know better than anyone how hard saying goodbye to Marie has been for me. Maybe I don't have to say goodbye, because Marija will always be part of the Govert story.

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  2. Oh, I don't even know Marie, but your message brought tears to my eyes, sorry for your loss. But great memories and friendship, Mary

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    1. Thank you, Mary. I am among the very fortunate for having met Marie, and for all the other people now in my life who once called Govert home.

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  3. That is so beautiful, Kate. What a special tribute to your friend. I was reading it to Allan, and had to stop and take a breath or two before I could finish it. A few tears as well. What a wonderful friendship with so many special memories. You really do have a "way with words".

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    1. Marie would have cried, too. I am blessed to be surrounded by people with sensitive tear ducts and the strongest manifestation of the "caring gene". People like Marie. People like you, Gloria.

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  4. I'm sorry to read you lost such a good friend and kindred soul. Like Russ said, your text breathes the sincerity and the love you had for her. Alas at one time in life we start reaching an age in which we have to say goodbye to more and more good friends. It is okay to be sad about our loss but we should also rejoice in what our friendships have brought and all the knowledge we were able to share and which we, in turn, need to pass on. And that, my dear Kate, is something you do "darn well" and in a way I admire and love.

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    1. You are right, Hans. This is a great observation coming from a fellow historian. Loving history and having older friends go hand-in-hand. What better testimony to history than that of an eye-witness. Loving history and having older friends is both a joy and a responsibility.

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  5. Your gift for the written word is phenomenal, Kate! This is a very touching tribute!

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    1. Thank you, cousin. Marie was a modest woman, living her life quietly, not drawing attention to herself. She would be glad though that she is not forgotten, that her life did not pass unnoticed, that people she knew and people she didn't know will read about her long after she and I are both gone.

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  6. And that is the greatest tribute of all.....

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    1. Marie would be pleased that she is being remembered in the Great White North of Canada!

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