My Mom, Dad, and Dayer LeBaron’s Death
“Mother love is the fuel that enables
a normal human being to do the impossible.”
In one or two places, my Grandmother Maud LeBaron is recorded as having said:
“Joel “must be crazy if he’s claiming to have received any priesthood authority from his pa! Dayer was completely incapacitated; incapable of talking or using his muscles in any way, shape, or form in the last few months of his life!”
In A-Lateral Sclerosis/ALS/Lou Gehrig’s disease, most sufferers, in their final stage, remain mentally alert, but are unable to use muscles — other than those of eyes and brain–to the point they can no longer even swallow food.
They can only look at you intently with their eyes. As I said in the previous essay, that’s the stage Grandpa was in when Mother’s two youngest brothers brought him to visit us,
Shortly before he died,
So he could say goodbye to his Esther
While she was by his side.
Soon thereafter, Grandpa Dayer
Passed to the other side.
Then Ma received a letter
Saying her Pa had died.
“Papa’s soul has left this world,”
After reading the letter,
She disappeared to hide
In her bedroom
Where I discovered her, red-eyed,
As she wept and writhed,
Alone on her bedside,
The open letter lying by her side.
It’s the only time I ever saw that Ma cried.
She was grieving intensely because she’d so hoped and longed to return to Mexico to be near her beloved papa and family again. Instead, her father died, ill and without her. And she would never again see nor be with him in this world.
Four years before her father Dayer died, Daddy had moved Mama away from her home and motherland, Mexico, to live in the United States; promising he’d take her back again — as soon as he could afford to support his family in a foreign country where he, an American, wasn’t allowed to earn a living wage.
However, Daddy was all too happy NOT to be around Ma’s pa. I recall him frequently referring to Grandpa Dayer as, “That damned ole A.D. LeBaron!” Whenever Mama brought up her pa, Papa blurted expletives and diatribes, such as the following:
“Yer crazy, crack-pot Pa ain’t worth a damn!! He’s NOT a man of his word! The less I have to deal with him, the happier we’ll all be!
He’s a fart; full of himself, full of shit, and full of foolish notions and shenanigans!
“Yer pa can’t be trusted — even far as I can toss ‘im! Can’t be relied upon to do a thing but preach, tell tall-tales, and take advantage of everyone financially with his never-ending money schemes, false promises, fabrications, and revelations!
“That damned ole A.D. is all talk! The money he owes me, I expect we’ll never see again! But you can bet he’d be back tomorrow beggin’ to borrow more if I gave him half a chance!”
To be sure, neither Pa nor Grandpa had much tact. I’m not surprised they clashed, these two outspoken, fanatic, Mormon-Fundi “priesthood holders.”
We have to “prize” the time these stubborn stalwarts ever got along long enough for Pa to get “the prize,” my Ma, away from her pa … who also prized Ma!
~ Stephany Spencer-LeBaron