A wise man once told me, "Larry, nothing happens until a decision is made". We have to make choices in every aspect of our lives, even small every day decisions, that not only effect us, but sometimes create a ripple effect in the world around us. Now to some this matters not, for we live in a very selfish society, and the me syndrome seems to prevail, unfortunately. So onward we plod, unknowingly piling up literly tons of Karma, of one kind or another, and building the stage upon which we will act the better part of our life roll.

I grew up in a small town community, put together of farmers and small town business people, most of whom seemed to profess some type of christian religious affiliation. And, like most communities, it had its share of the caring, honest, responsible people, and then there were the others. I'm not going to involve myself in the details of this community except to affirm that its influence helped to shape my attitudes and personality. I offer this explanation to you in preface of a short story of a very special person in my life, and that those who would come after might remember how her choices rippled through the quite pool of the small southern town where we grew up.

Carolyn Jean Murley was born near Pollard in Clay Co. Arkansas on October 24, 1944. I remember her as a little girl that was always in a hurry. She seemed to always be running, and run she did until she was about 3 years of age. Then the stumbling started. Mom and Dad seemed at first to think she was just in to big of a hurry, but I remember thinking that it seemed unusual for her. However, soon other symptoms developed and she was diagnosed with Poliomenangitius. She was in treatment for sometime and gradually recovered. However, her left leg was just a little shorter and this created back problems for her for most of her life. It never seemed to slow her down though. She started to school in first grade with no preschool or kindergarten at age 4, and never looked back. She liked school, and seemed to have plenty of friends. She did well and graduated Corning High at age 15 - yes 15. She went on to Draughnes Business School in Memphis. About that time a new company moved to Corning, The Johannson Shoe Company, manufacturer of fine women's shoes and boots. Carol went to work for them, I think in 1962, and there she stayed until spring of 1997, when she became to ill to execute her duties. I believe she did almost every job in the company, including management. In the course of time dhr met and married Jim Larieu of Doniphan, Mo. and had a little daughter Jamie. The marriage failed, and a few years later she married Jim Wheat. Carol never left the town she grew up in and in truth never lived over 30 miles from where she was born. She lived her life dedicated to her career and family. She was a good person, she spoke her mind and always seemed fair and honest to me. My sister and I loved each other, but most of her life we never seemed to have a lot in common - two very different individuals, until the last 3 years or so, when I went into a business for myself. She seemed to take an interest in it and that gave cause to many phone calls and conversations. It was during this period of time that cancer attacked her body and started the spiral downward that ended January 5, 1998 when she laid aside the frail, decimated body wracked with so much pain. It was impossible for her to stay in touch with reality for more than a few minutes toward the end. Yet she never complained. When she was well she was a woman of 5'9" or 10" and probably 145 lbs. When she gave up the body it was between 50 and 80 lbs.
In retrospect, her choices to remain where she was all her life impacted her family with a closeness and a familiarity that leaves an emptiness at her absence. Her friends and co-workers will feel the loss also.

Now, if I may, I would like to express the impact this has had on my life. I would to try to allow you to view through my eyes the subtle lessons this has brought home to me. First of all, my sis was 4 years younger than I. Never had I thought that she would pass before me. But, moreover, the community she lived in supported her and my elderly parents in a way that would set such an example, that I could only wish that my community could see in hope that it could impart some insight into the respect that people should have for one another. It seems that so few people any more really care about each other. To the people of my sisters community, an humble THANK YOU, and I would like to stand up and shout HURRAH for people like you. You are Heros and Heroines of the first order. For months you drove my sister and parents 60 miles per day 5 days a week for treatment. You brought food - by the carloads - you spent hours of your own time, thinking of them, and you did it until the end and now still continue to support my parents with your encouragement. You are an example I wish I could carry around and show to others that think only of themselves. I would say to the busybodies and the selfish and those who think nought of their neighbors, OPEN YOUR EYES AND YOUR HEARTS, FOR GOOD PEOPLE LIVE ALL AROUND YOU, TREAT THEM WELL, SOMEDAY YOU MIGHT NEED THEM.


Ghosts In The Wilderness
A Genealogy | Chapter 5: Mom & Dad | Surname Index