Daughter of Emil Roehrig and Lee Foster
Kefka once said, "If you keep the ability to see beauty, you will never grow old." Her eyes were windows to a soul that could discern the beauty in a world that often taxed that ability in others.
As a mentor and guide to her sons, she offered the wisdom of innocence and the knowledge of experience. She never demanded that the world be looked at through her eyes, but rather that the world be taken with a measure of forgiveness and sometimes a touch of humor. Her teaching was by example and not an insistence that any mold or method be adopted. She always maintained a sense of humor. It was her feeling that if we take life too seriously, then we stand a good chance of making life unbearable. She worked at being happy. Her attitude was what she could do, she would do well, and what she could not she would try anyway and not be too concerned with the results.
Possessions never possessed her. She was never afraid to give anything up if it meant helping those she loved.
Physically, she was beautiful. As a young woman she was attractive in a pin-up sort of way. As she aged, her beauty settled to her like a comfortable coat. Her eyes were always clear and reflected a quiet intelligence that appraised without criticism. Her smile was a magnet to smiles around her. She walked purposefully--head up, shoulders back. She maintained a carriage of equality with all whom she passed.
Her voice was soft and reflected a warmth from within. She talked gently without abrasion no matter what the volume. In conversation she was at all times mindful of other participants, favoring relinquishing the floor rather than losing the thoughts of another. As a mother her voice could penetrate even the raucous tumult of a parade to reassure a young son who had momentarily lost hand contact with mom. As a wife her voice could put to rest doubts as to her husband's ability to accomplish that which was necessary.
But, it was her eyes that were remarkable. She did more communicating with her soft brown eyes than hours of measured conversation could accomplish. As children, a look from her could transmit courage, reassurance, faith and the warmth of "right or wrong I'm on your side." As young men those eyes could convey confidence that you were the very best kind of person and that if you were doing it then it must be worth doing and she would support you no matter the outcome. As a wife her eyes were peaceful islands in life's unpredictable river. They transmitted optimism and sincerity at times when those qualities were seemingly hidden in others.
She was a friend to her husband and sons. Her friendship took many forms. Mostly, it was allowing them room to fail--supporting them right up to the time of failure and them sweeping away the failure with a bolstering surge of confidence and support. In her eyes there were no failures, only temporary setbacks which could be overcome by a fresh perspective or a new approach. Often, she could reduce what was felt to be crushing defeats to insignificance.
She never warned or criticized. What you were doing was obviously what you thought was right and she would not undermine your effort. In fact, whether she felt you were right or wrong she would do all that she could to support you. If you failed, there were no recriminations. And, when you did succeed she could turn those small successes into major triumphs.
To her children she was a buddy. She never hesitated to go no matter what her personal trepidation. When they want to go rafting down the Chatahoochie River she went. When they wanted to learn tennis, she joined in to learn too. When they too up handball, she was there to play along. When they decided sailing was the thing, she gladly went through a two-day sailing school and joined them on the high seas. She encouraged her sons to try whatever they felt was right for them and supported them in whatever activity.
She was a trusted listener to personal secrets. What was related to her would go no further than her and she would not judge that which she did not approve or understand.
Outwardly, she was calm and reserved, but inwardly she possessed a drive and determination that dominated any project she undertook and carried her through to its completion. She was a believer in knowing what you want before you go after it. Once she had decided on a course, she gave her everything. It was as if she saw herself at the end of the project and everything in between was only tidal motion on a preset course. She was not one to allow herself to become bored.
In addition to being a full-time mother, she also obtained a four year college degree in finance, was active in the AAUW, became a property tax analyst, struck out on her own as a tax consultant, acquired her Real Estate license and, ultimately, became the proprietor of her own garden center which combined her business acumen with her longstanding love of plants.
Our mother had tenderness toward everyone. She reached out to some of our friends with the same love she had for us, and they called her mom too. For that we were proud. She avoided upsetting or causing anger or unhappiness. She was generous but did not spoil her sons. She taught us independence but would not deny us our dreams. We knew we could do no wrong as far as she was concerned, but in basking in her pride of us we knew when we were wrong. She accepted our faults and never criticized us. She defended us to others, surpassing whatever grief we may have caused her. Her pride in us allowed us to believe in ourselves. To do anything that we wanted to attempt without hesitation and without fear of failure for being inadequate or imperfect. She encouraged and supported our dreams. As many activities as she was involved in all the time the responsibilities which she shouldered, she still provided us with ideas, newspaper clippings, source information, and suggestions which told us she was always thinking of each of us. When we were far away from her, it always amazed us that when we needed her, before we could make the move to contact her, she would telephone or her letter would arrive. She let us know of her dreams and desires, but never demanded help to fulfill them.
As my wife I had the greatest 37 years any man could ever have. She was beautiful, extremely conscious of me, my shortcomings and my temperament. We visited with each other in the morning before getting ready for work and at night after work. There were no secrets between us. We were completely open. A very warm, relaxed, beautiful relationship. She never denied me anything. If I wanted to do or go somewhere she was agreeable. If I wanted to go buy something she was ready. She was willing to move to the end of the earth with no complaint if I wanted to and if I would be happy or contented. As my wife she never complained, only praised. I would marvel that if she wanted something she could concentrate and will it to happen and it would. She provided me comfort and security.
She will be greatly missed by her family and never forgotten. The love we were allowed to share has been and will continue to be an inspiration to all of us who knew and loved her.
© R. L. Carroll, S. G. Carroll, T. P. Carroll
If you think you are beaten, your are
If you think you dare not, you don't.
If you'd like to win but you think you can't,
It's almost a cinch you won't.
If you think you'll lose, you're lost,
For out of the world we find
Success begins with a fellow's will-
It's all in the state of mind.
If you think you're outclassed, you are;
You've got to think high to rise;
You've got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.
Life's battle don't always go
To stronger or faster man;
But soon or late the man who wins,
Is the one who "thinks" he can.
----Walter D. Wintle
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