Today has been a day of reflection for me. I attended a friend's funeral in Green River today. I remember the first time I ever met Jackie Vetere. It was at the watermelon stand.
I know she gave me many more watermelons and other types of melons than I ever paid for. She would always say, "Just take it," and I did and the watermelons were always wonderful.
I first met Jay Vetere (Jackie's husband) when I was doing a story about the Green River Missile Base. Jay had worked at the base during the missile base era and I interviewed him about the part he and other Green River citizens played during that time.
We became fast friends. I know how lost he will be without his dear wife. I will miss seeing them together at all of the events in Green River. They were strong supporters together at all of the grandchildren's ball games and activities. I don't think I've ever been to to a Green River ball game when they weren't there.
Jackie wasn't afraid to yell at the umpires, too if they needed it. She was always there to cheer on the grandkids.
I remember going to their home, not long after Jay lost his arm to a farming accident. They told me his story which we put in the paper to remind people about farm safety and also as a remarkable survival story.
Jackie kept telling Jay how blessed he was by God to still be alive and how God had helped him through the ordeal where he had lost a tremendous amount of blood as well as his arm. Her faith in God was very evident and she wanted to give credit where it was due for saving Jay's life.
I would never have thought that Jackie would be the first one to pass on. Jay has had health trials and problems and accidents; but you just never know.
Their son Tim read a poem at the funeral services and he reminded everyone to tell their mothers they love them, because you might never get that chance again.