Eclectic, quirky, and sometimes edgy…this is how things look from my front porch.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Martha Ann

I went to Martha Ann’s funeral yesterday. The church was packed, as it should have been. It was nearly impossible for me to comprehend that my vibrant, busy, inquisitive, frugal, perceptive, and sometimes bossy friend was lying still in the coffin underneath the white pall.

If Martha Ann had been around during WWII, men would have called her a “great Dame.” Whenever I think of Martha Ann, I think of that movie, “The Unsinkable Molly Brown.” That’s just how Martha Ann was.

She was a no-nonsense, plain-speaking, jean-clad lighting contractor with ruddy cheeks and tousled hair. Until recently, she seemed far younger to me than her actual age of 66. Nothing intimidated Martha Ann; she was utterly confident in her own abilities. She was forgiving of foibles in both herself and others. She never held a grudge.

Martha Ann had a deep commitment to her community. She was the No. 1 Portsmouth, Virginia cheerleader ever. She saw things as they should have been, not as they were, even though she was a realist. But she wasn’t just one of those folks who criticized everything and sat at home with her folded hands in her lap. Not Martha Ann, not ever. She would work like a dog to see that change was effected, whether to was going to Richmond to successfully change state vacant house code or running for Mayor.

Martha Ann was also a person of deep faith. This sustained her through very tough times; the death of her daughter as a young adult, a terrible motor vehicle accident that left her knees in constant pain, a divorce, having her Victorian house flood twice, and battling breast and then bone cancer.

My dear friend, there will never be anyone else like you. I can’t bear to think of City Council meetings without seeing you in your old familiar place. I don’t want to think of Saturday mornings without your phone calls or my life without your sage advice. How can you be gone?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So sorry for your loss. It sounds like your friend did a lot of living in her 66 years.