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To Annie...remembering

Posted by LeAnn Schule Rindt on November 04, 2001 at 19:36:26:

To Annie . . . remembering

I fell in love with you when you were an infant in my arms. From that moment until eternity you will always be one of the most precious people in my life.

By a miracle of nature, I am your aunt and blessed to be your godmother. A favorite memory was an early birthday party after your family moved to Stanley. It was your third or fourth birthday and we arrived by car loads to help you celebrate. Jenette had prepared a beautiful party for you and your little friends arrived dressed appropriate for such a celebration. You, on the other hand, came to greet us in your well-worn jeans, scruffy boots, and a cowgirl hat pulled down low. With an adorable little pout, you informed us that you did not want to wear the dress your Mom had set out for you. After several minutes of futile attempts to convince you that it would be fun, it was decided by your wise Mom that a happy birthday girl was more important than one in a ruffled dress. You were delighted and continued to joyously celebrate your Sytende Mai. I especially loved your independence and lack of pretension. I also admired your parents for encouraging such traits.

You and Cousin Melanie enjoyed riding horseback and could often be seen with hair flying as you headed across the pasture behind your house in Stanley or on Grandma’s farm. Speaking of hair, what an unusual style the two of you chose when you cut each others hair–spots of the scalp showed at uneven intervals. Years later you taught me how to French braid my own hair after a decade of me doing the braids upside down. Remember the stitches under your chin when you fell at the Minot Ramada Inn swimming pool? Your Mom held you while I drove to the emergency room. You were a brave youngster-- so was I until we reached the hospital. Then my knees turned to rubber.

During the year Jenette attended graduate school in Minot, we had some adventures! I loved visiting the two of you in your campus apartment. The huge ice cream treats available across the street were out of this world. Then came the summers that you stayed with my family in Larimore. You were the best t-ball player the team had, they wanted to keep you–so did I. Five years of Norwegian camp provided some fun memories, positioning you as the peacemaker in the group of adolescent girls. How about those sardines for breakfast!

Remember the fall trips to Minneapolis to see the Vikings? Our two families had rooms close to each other and one incident that makes me smile was when you and my kids discovered how to order room service. We parents must have gone out to dinner without you because when we returned the three of you had ordered a feast sent to the room. Gary tried to frown but you smiled sweetly at him and all was forgiven. Mel and Erik loved that antic and we always made sure you children joined us for dinner after that lesson.

Our long walks at Lake Metigoshe still warm my heart. We talked about life, love, nutrition, books, etc . . . While preparing for Wayland you had a list of books to read during the summer. You especially enjoyed Bronte so I received a copy as one of my cherished gifts from you. Speaking of Wayland, I remember moving you into your room. You, your Mom, and I shopped and packed our little car so full of treasures (some not recommended for your dorm-such as a microwave) that we laughed until we cried. The catch was that we still had to find a place for us to ride, then carry everything up several flights of stairs. On another visit to Wayland, your Mom and I beamed with pride watching you represent your class during the homecoming coronation. Your natural beauty and genuine caring for people were recognized and embraced by everyone that knew you. Your teachers were among your fans too, what glowing reports from them!

You were my walking buddy in many settings. During your time living and working in Minneapolis, I loved going there for business so we could meet for lunch and/or a long walk. The path around the lake close to your apartment was a favorite. I need one of those walks now my dear niece–a hug too, please.

Last summer when you were home, our visit until 3:00 a.m. was priceless. You became the woman I aspired to be in my wildest dreams. I held my breath when you entered the Jungle of Peru, waiting for your next email. It came and another adventure had been accomplished. As I look daily at the Jane Evershed calendar you gave me, I realize how wise you were to reach out and embrace life so completely. Every day counted with you.

Sports-- you excelled with such apparent ease and grace! Water skiing was not exciting enough, within a week you were on one ski, then no skis. Tennis, golf, snow skiing, you mastered all of them. Did I ever tell you how much I admired you? I believe I did. The most incredible aspect of your outstanding athletic ability was that you were never conceited about it. Bragging was not your style, and your ability spoke for itself. Kindness and encouragement was the “Annie” way.

Neuman, what a big charmer! You and Erik have been wonderful parents to him. He even likes the treats I bake for him, how tactful. It was heartwarming to watch you interact with your nieces and nephews, the love was so apparent. The fact that you thought ahead for their college funds is amazing and so like you. The love you gave your parents and brother was also obvious, and they adored you with good reason. You are the daughter, sister, sister-in-law, granddaughter, aunt, niece, cousin, and friend everyone would choose.

You will never be forgotten. The gift of your memory will live with your family and many friends forever. Annie, you are so very much loved.

“In the moments when we think of those who have gone before us to Heaven . . . at those moments, they are thinking of us, too.”