If you are reading this, then I am gone. If you knew me, doubtless you would not be surprised to learn I wrote it. I've always been one to appreciate the humor in any given situation.
I've loved my years in Montana. I was not born or raised here but certainly should have been. I didn't come from California to change Montana into the place I left or to find things "wrong" with this state. I embraced Montana and appreciated being able to live here.
My life has included lots of friends and a number of lively experiences, animals I have known and loved, and relatives who have enriched my days. My thanks go to a special sister-and-brother-"in-love," a sister, many nieces and nephews, followed by a second and third generation of grand nieces and nephews. My husband of nearly 50 years, Dan Stout, predeceased me by more than six years.
My religion was Nature itself, my church was the great outdoors, anywhere outdoors. The plants, animals, skies, and mountains were my fellow worshipers and I soaked up Montana's natural gifts to my last days.
If you choose to remember my time here, add a native plant to your yard, show kindness to an animal in need, adopt a shelter pet if you are able; and support those shelters if adoption is not in your future.
Take a walk or a hike and soak up what Montana and Nature have to offer. Give a stranger a big smile. Show up for a friend in need. That gesture goes further than "Call me if you need anything." Never stop being amazed by what each day can bring. Wake up each morning grateful you have the gift of a new day.
Now if you will excuse me, I have some friends waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge.
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am a diamond glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you wake in the morning hush;
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there; I did not die.
(attributed to Clare Harner and/or Mary Elizabeth Frye)