On August 17th in the early morning hours our Patsy earned her wings.
Eulogy for Patsy L. Martin
Given by Chuck Martin (son)
Saturday, August 23, 2014
Clarinda High School Auditorium
Good morning. For those of you who do not recognize me behind this beard, gut, and receding hairline, I am Patsy and Ed’s other child who resides in Chicago, where I teach seventh and eighth grade at a small private Montessori school located near O’Hare Airport. In fact, you probably still think of me as the small boy about this tall*gesture to about the knee* who seemed permanently attached to his mother’s leg. Either way, feel free to just call me, “Chuck.”
Let me begin by expressing immeasurable amounts of gratitude on behalf of my family for the outpouring of support and love we received throughout Mom’s illness. From the hospice workers, the ALS Foundation and Clinic, and the staff of Westridge to the army of caretakers and volunteers, your hard work, generosity, patience, and understanding seemed utterlylimitless. You truly became part of our family. To all of you who participated in the benefits, promoted the website, and purchased and sold the bracelets, your generosity helped keep our family afloat financially and truly provided Mom a sense of peace. Finally, thank you, thank you, thank you for the countless visits, letters, phone calls, Facebook messages, and emails of support and love Mom received over the past few years. Receiving them was her favorite part of the day, and those messages often gave her the strength and fortitude to continue. More than anything, thank you for helping our family feel blessed even during our darkest hours.
If this was a slightly different occasion and Mom were here, I suspect she would be wearing a mix of red, black, white,and maroon. Depending on the type of event, we might haveeven seen her proudly sporting a “CHS Teacher and SHS Mom”sweatshirt. Mom did not care how much those sweatshirts embarrassed my sister and me. Showing her pride and affection for both communities was a non-negotiable in our family, and that goofy sort of affectionate doting was commonplace in our home. So imagine my surprise when a Clarinda freshman informed me that my mom, the most docile person I have ever known, was one of the scariest teachers he’d ever had at a Shenandoah/Clarinda sporting event. “My mom?” I asked. “Mrs. Martin? The one wearing mom jeans and the “Clarindoah” sweatshirt, carrying around her bag of papers because she mightjust get a few checked between innings? Her?”
It turns out, my mom was one of the Wicked Witches – East or West – I can’t remember, and, according to my source, she could strike fear into any Clarinda student with one simple move: the lowering of her glasses on her nose so that she could stare straight through their eyes and into their soul. Who knew? Apparently my mom had special superhuman powers – powers so potent that I can only assume she refused to use them on her own children for fear of causing permanent damage.
On the way home, I told Mom about my conversation with the Clarinda boy, whom she quickly admitted received more than his fair share of such glares. But, she explained, he wasn’t exactly right about her true motivations. You see, Mom had a weakness: she had always had an affinity for jokesters and troublemakers – heck, she even married one. They were like her teacher Kryptonite. She always had a hard time keeping astraight face when chiding those particular students. So in order too keep from laughing along with the jokester and the rest of the class, she lowered her glasses on her nose, completely blurring her vision and forcing her to merely squint in the general direction of the naughty student. “I just wanted to keep from laughing – the whole-wicked-witch-evil-stare-thing was just an added bonus,” she explained. “No real harm was done, and it got them to behave.”
“But, Mom,” I protested, “doesn’t it bother you that they’re calling you bad names?”
“Oh, Honey!” she laughed. “If a teacher isn’t being called bad names once in a while, she probably isn’t pushing hard enough.” That’s how Mom was: she helped others reach their potential by maintaining high standards and expectations while still providing plenty of love and support – along with a healthy dose of her unique humor.
Mom once warned me, “Never trust someone who tells you they’re nice. A nice person doesn’t have to tell you: they just are and people know it. Just like a person of faith needn’t remind others of their beliefs, because they should just simply live their faith.” This advice has served me well over the years and helped me navigate numerous different relationships. As I’ve grown older, I now realize that it was more than advice to my mom – it was her philosophy of life. Mom believed that God was love, so to be closer to Him, she spent most of her life loving others through constant affection and a desire serve others. As a result,Mom was many things to many different people: a teacher, a mentor, a coworker, an Episcopalian, a fellow Legion member, a sister, a cousin, a classmate, a neighbor, a friend, a wife, a mother. Simply put: she was love.
HOW CAN I HELP? WHAT IS APPROPRIATE?
If you’d like to visit the Martin home please first reach out to Holly at firstname.lastname@example.org. At times they welcome visitors, others they’d prefer their privacy. Please don't be surprised or offended if they refuse visitors or do not respond to your calls.
Bringing Food / Cooking Meals
Please don't. The family has specific dietary needs due to Ed's diabetes and Holly's allergies. They also have an in-house chef in Curtis who loves to cook as a form of stress relief so they are more than covered. Instead consider sending them a card with a HyVee gift card to help with the expense of food.
Cards / Gifts
Instead of gifts, cards, or flowers please consider making a donation to the Martins directly (information below) or to the Iowa Chapter of the ALS Association that supported Patsy during this past year (https://secure2.convio.net/alsa/site/Donation2;jsessionid=6DE5FADD66603DFD550194D46EF09793.app276b?2682.donation=form1&idb=1448528288&df_id=2682&2682.donation=root).
Donate! Get others to donate!
I know it sounds like such an impersonal thing to do when you want to express your support and prayers, but let's face it ... money is the biggest way you can support the Martins right now. It will make sure that they can take this time off work. It will make sure that the Martins do not have to worry about the cost of the care facility and upcoming funeral expenses. Your donation will be placed in an account that the Martins can use as they see fit.
You can donate on-line at www.youcaring.com/Peace_of_Mind_for_Patsy. If you don't want to donate on-line you can make a check payable to either "Charles & Patsy Martin" (Charles is Ed's formal name) or "Patsy Martin Benefit Account". If you are local feel free to drop it off at Page County State Bank. If you are not local you may mail it directly to the Martin home (1465 220th Street, Shenandoah, IA 51601-4562).
Note: The organizer of this web page is Alissa Hogan. Her mother Joyce was a childhood friend of Patsy & Ed. Though not raised in the area her grandparents Verena & Jack Roscoe remained there so she visited holidays and summers and grew up with Holly & Chuck as if cousins. She currently lives in Omaha, NE but gets down to Shen to help as often as possible. She does not represent any organization or charity but is doing this as a friend of the Martin family with their express permission & continuous involvement.