BRODY: The last word

This is Jean Brody’s last column. Jean passed away Nov. 18.

After a long fight with bronchiectasis, her lungs simply could not process enough oxygen and she slipped away surrounded by her children and grandchildren.

My name is Steve Poos-Benson. I am her son-in-law.

Since her arthritis became so severe that she couldn’t type and her eyesight so dim that she couldn’t see the keyboard, she’s been dictating her columns to me.

Every Wednesday, I’d go buy take out and we’d sit in her little apartment at Brookdale.

We’d laugh and talk about writing and the writing life. Then I’d break out the computer, which she never understood and had long despised anything that smacked of technology, and she would dictate and I would type.

What always amazed me is how week in and week out she’d come up with ideas to write to you about. The older she got, the more her imagination and creativity would come to life. It was like she could travel the world through the road of her imagination sitting in her soft leather chair.

Saturdays were her writing days. She would break out her little pad and squint her eyes using a magnifying glass to see and think and write.

I’ve found myself wondering if she knew this would be her last column what would she want to tell you? I think there’s a few themes that have guided her work for these past 30 years that she would want you to embrace.

She would want you to be kind to animals. She had a life-long love of animals. From her work with wolves, her goat Willie T For Trouble, and to the cats that sat on her lap, she believed that the mark of a person’s moral character was how a person cared for the most vulnerable, those that make up the animal kingdom. She’d want to tell you one last time to dedicate yourself to the care and wellbeing of animals.

She’d want to tell you about the love of family. Jean loved her husband Gene. He was the feature of many of her columns. We learned of their undying love for each other in their many adventures. She regaled us with stories of Granny and Grandaddy Pete. We loved the romance of her parents, Marion and Luby Peters. She had a long dying commitment to her brother Jim Peters in Florida and her nephews and nieces.

Jean also loved her children, Clarke, Phoebe, Dede and Katy. The death of both Dede and Katy broke her heart.

Her loved embraced her grandkids from Kentucky, Florida, Iowa, California and Colorado. My children were blessed to be raised within the love of their Mema.

She also extended her love to her son and daughter-in-law, Rebecca and myself. Jean loved her granddaughter-in-law Rachel. Jean loved it when Phoebe would bring her great grandson Holden to visit her.

Jean would tell you in a last column to always forgive, enjoy and love your families.

Jean would want you to live your life’s purpose. Discovering and living her purpose is what gave Jean so much drive in her life.

Her life purpose was writing these weekly columns for the past 30 years. Jean loved The Winchester Sun which faithfully published her columns.

She thoroughly enjoyed the town of Winchester.

When the paper would come to her assisted living home, she would cut out each column and put it in a memory album.

Later in her career, her columns were published in the Fairplay Flume, the Chaffee County Times, the Ouray County Plaindealer, and in her daughter-in-law’s bulletin for Sunday worship.

Jean would want to thank her editor, Whitney Leggett of The Winchester Sun.

She’d thank Robert McAllister for creating a website to record her columns and for collating all of her columns in books that she read and treasured.

I often wonder about the countless thousand lives she touched over the years. She would tell you to discover and live your life’s purpose.

In a last column she would tell you to be kind and compassionate to each other.

Jean hated conflict and could not stand to be in the midst of it. She would do all she could to avoid hurting anybody’s feelings. She wanted all people to be gentle and kind with one another.

As she contemplated a last column, she would want to thank her daughter, Phoebe, for her undying love and care. Phoebe was her guarding guide and stay. She saw to Jean’s comfort, security and health. In the midst of the pandemic, Phoebe made sure Jean was cared for.

Jean would also want to thank all of the caregivers at the Brookdale Assisted living in Littleton, Colorado.

Her last word to you would be to cherish life. Discover joy. Embrace every day as a new opportunity to celebrate the gift of being alive.

Jean would tell you to enjoy the love of God and to believe in God’s eternal care.

Ultimately, Jean doesn’t have the last word. She would want you to continue the conversation as you brought her many life lessons to fruition.

Above and beyond anything else, she would tell you her readers, “Thank you and I love you.”

We were all blessed by her life. Her view from the hill, and from the mountain were wondrous things indeed.

And for the last time, her signature sign off .. The view from the mountain is wondrous.

Jean Brody was a passionate animal lover, mother, grandmother and friend. She previously lived in Winchester, but most recently resided in Littleton, Colorado. Her column appeared in The Sun for more than 30 years. This is the final installment of her column. She will be deeply missed.