Memorial Spaceflights

Paula Mae Jones

"In my end is my beginning"
1953 - 2006

The Old Astronomer

Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light,
I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.
--Sarah Williams

Dear Mom,

Everyone really misses you. We were all so shocked when you left - you were going to be the first person to live to be 200, remember?

Grandma is planting a tree in her garden for you. I guess you already know that her last brother and sister have left as well. Between losing Grandpa, you, and her last two siblings, I don't know how she has any strength left.

I haven't spoken with Aunt Nita and Aunt Val much. After we all got together at Grandma's to say goodbye, we went our separate ways again. It's painful for everyone to talk about you not being here anymore.

I do talk to Uncle Dave a lot. We talk sometimes about how you would react to current events. Can you believe that Pluto is not a planet anymore? Yeah, me neither. We laughed when we thought of what you would have said about the scientists who made that decision.

Kevin... well, he's Kevin. He puts forth a strong face, and tries to be the rock for everyone else - sometimes you wouldn't think I was the older one, lol. I worry about him though - you know how he tends to bottle everything up. You'd be proud of how well we've stuck together through all of this. Not one disagreement, and we've both backed each other all the way. We shield each other well when times get tough - I know that would make you happy.

Mike says he misses the talks the two of you had in the evenings. Shawn's like Kevin, he doesn't talk much about it, but he sure was proud to hang the painting you gave him in his room. Corey, he talks about you all the time. They both miss you, and have little keepsakes that they remember you by. Whenever I make nachos, the boys call it "Mom-chos," since they know it was your recipe.

I was able to meet some of your co-workers that I had not met before. Most of them said they would miss seeing your smile - you always had one, no matter what. I also met some of your neighbors - they told me how much they would miss coming over in the evenings to listen to you play the organ.

As for me, I miss all those things about you and more. I've hung your beautiful space paintings all over the house, and I think about you all the time. You are the most beautiful person I have ever known, inside and out. I hope someday I can learn to be half the woman that you are.

Enjoy the ride Mom - we got you great seats, and one of your all time favorites is even on board to keep you company during your flight!

We will always miss you Mom - see you on the other side.



"You cannot die; you are Everlasting Life."
-- Abraham-Hicks

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