"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Lady...Shirley Goin

We journalists don't use words like "lady" or "gentlemen." They are terms of quality,  not facts. It's "woman" and "man." I have to beat that out of my students when they're writing stories. And since we're in America, the term "lady" is never used as a title either.
That said, I attended the funeral of a "lady" this afternoon, Shirley B. Goin.
I don't have a specific definition, but to note I've known very few "ladies" in my life, and she was one of them. As was my mother, and some aunts, and as is my daughter and her mother, and a few other women I've known.
I know they're bound to be out there in profusion, women who rise above being women, or housewives or professionals, and most of them never get recognition beyond their families, or certainly in the news.
What makes a "lady"? You define the word as you wish, but for me certain qualities come to mind.

  • They're genuine.
  • They love people and life, especially children.
  • They have a certain grace that transcends problems and politics and pettiness.
  • They work hard, at any task.
  • They subordinate their egos to the people they love.
  • They are strong in character, and beliefs.
  • They have high standards of behavior and expectations.
  • They smile, and forgive, and are never mean.
  • They are loved and respected by everyone they know.
  • They are our culture's and civilization's real leaders.
  • They embody what Christianity is supposed to be about.
So here's to Shirley B. Goin, 1934-2014, who I knew in Waurika years ago, whose husband Don was probably the most spiritual elder I've ever known, who reared a wonderful family, whose children I got to know, who taught some of my children in Bible class,  whose brother is a loyal friend no matter the years and sins.
Services were at Memorial Road Church of Christ, and I cried. I think I cried most at the wonderful sound of a cappella singing, and at the photos of Shirley and her family, and of the memories, of a gracious lady. 



1 comment:

  1. I want to thank you for your very kind words about my Grandmama, Shirley Goin (I am the daughter of her oldest son, Kim/Don). I stumbled across your blog today, and it warmed my heart and brought tears to my eyes to read such kind and true words about her. She truly was a "lady," and I am grateful to God that I was blessed to be her grandchild and get to learn from her example. She always taught us to "give with a warm hand" and to be gentle, kind, and good to each other. Thank you for honoring her and remembering her with such high regard.

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