Sunday, December 10, 2023

To everything there is a season

| November 15, 2023 1:00 AM

Life can change in an instant, as our family experienced in the one week since I last wrote this column. My 92-year-old mother passed gently in her sleep in the early morning hours Thursday, joining Jesus, my dad and my brother in Heaven. We take comfort in believing that their reunion was a joyous one.

After 55 years of marriage, my mother was widowed when my father died in 2004, 19 years ago. She experienced the great sorrow of losing a child, when my brother died earlier this year. But most of her 92 years were filled with family, faith, patriotism and books ... lots and lots of books.

My mother was a reader, a habit I believe she instilled in me in childhood. I, too, always have a book started and reading is an important part of my life. Both my parents were newspaper readers, from my earliest memories there’s a newspaper. Current events were discussed at the dinner table, including politics, prompted by the headlines of the day.

Last week, I made a call to the Press circulation department to cancel her subscription, a subscription she’d had since 1965 ... 58 years. It’s bittersweet knowing that after decades this week's column is the first that my mother won’t be reading. She’d often call to comment or critique Wednesdays. I remember one time she asked, “Good grief, Kerri, is there anything you won’t share about your life?” Probably not, I answered.

Now, at age 71, I find myself an orphan, the first time my sisters and I do not have a parent on earth. I’m finding that grief and mourning are quite different after having experienced loss through the years. It’s as if each loss is compounded and gratefully somewhat softened by the memory of all the losses that have come before. Now I know what I didn’t know when I was younger, the weight of the sadness will lift, illuminating the good that once was.

Even though she won’t be reading this column, a bold-face mention is the least I can do to honor my most loyal reader. Rest in peace, Alice Rankin, April 20, 1931 — Nov. 9, 2023.

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The photo accompanying this column is one of my favorite photos of Mom. I took it several years ago in the Ronald D. Rankin Veterans Memorial Plaza during a ceremony. This is how I choose to remember her and how she likely looked when she was reunited with Dad in Heaven. Did you notice how I managed to give them both a bold-face mention?

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‘Tis the season for our beautiful migrating bald eagles to return to Lake Coeur d’Alene to feast on spawning kokanee salmon. From mid-November until very early January, depending upon the availability of the food source, the public can quite easily see and admire 100+ of these incredible birds. For years, Higgens Point has been a personal favorite viewing area.

We do have eagles that make their home here full time but it’s the sheer numbers of the visiting eagles this time of year that makes it so spectacular.

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Happy birthday today to Christopher Banks, Cheryl Siroshton, Mark Fisher, Teresa Eatherton, Jan Marie, Charlie Miller, Mark Gustofson, Christina Ethridge and Mary Scalise. Tomorrow, Wayne Manis, Ray Martin, Peter Smith, Colleen Allison, Greg Kosareff, Jim Morris, Sue Spinazza-Halliday, Chris Fillios, Karen Pichotta, Kilie Ellison, Dan Ripley and Stan Purcell blow out the candles. On Friday, my daughter, Melani Oleson Gonzalez, Susan Weathers, Al Hassell, Sally Richards, Kareen Link, Maddie Kate Hansen, Neil Oliver and Laura Simon take another trip around the sun. On Saturday, my very first nephew, Leighton Scharf, Joe Krutulis, Dennie Thorpe, Gina Mote and Michelle Rielly will celebrate. On Sunday, Nate Ziegler and Debbi Thostenson turn the page on another year. Monday birthdays for Kim Jacklin, Kristina Jacklin, Sandi Bloem, Dave Oliveria, Dr. Bob West, Michael King, Brian Smith, Kristin Hoppe, Linda Alby, Pat Thyssen, Chase Blakley, Rob Clark and Kayla Pleger. On Nov. 21, Maureen Dolan, Chrissy Kaye, Noel Adam, Kaci Medlock, Bill Storlie Sr., Susan Martin, Barbara Bryan, Gary Schwalbach and Vonnie Satchwell put on their birthday hats.

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Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri can be contacted on Facebook or via email Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.

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