Spring 1956: Caryl Busby at 20 years of age in upstate New York.
I had such an unexpected experience late last night. I'd been working at my computer, sorting through addresses and printing out address labels for Dylan's graduation announcements, and it was almost 11:00 when I finished. As I shut down the computer for the night, intending to put the labels on the envelopes and then go to bed, a thought popped into my mind. "You should google Caryl," it said.
Caryl Reynolds is my former mother-in-law, the mother of my second husband, Ed Reynolds. Lest you should suspect I'm given to stalking my ex and his family, let me be clear. I wish with all my heart that I'd never fallen in love with that man, and I'd prefer to forget that I ever knew him or subjected my children to his abusive behavior. I've suffered through some difficult trials in my past, but the three years of our marriage were, hands down, the worst three years of my life. My world is better without him in it. So this quiet prompting came as rather a surprise.
Christmas Day 2011: Caryl Busby Reynolds at age 76.
Naturally, I pushed the thought away and continued into the kitchen, where I sat at the table and stuck the address labels on the tall stack of envelopes. Just as I finished up, Dylan came home from work. He joined me at the table and we chatted for a while. He told me about his work day and I told him about the two mice we'd trapped that evening. (Rural life...gotta love it.)
When I finally started preparing for bed, the thought was still there. It wasn't like I was prompted again; it was more like it had never left. I just knew I needed to google Caryl's name. Returning to my computer, I typed in "Caryl Lee Reynolds." I was stunned when her name popped right up.
Caryl and me at the Denver Temple in Centennial, Colorado.
December 3, 2010.
When I clicked on the link, it took me to an obituary for Caryl L. Reynolds. For a moment my mind resisted the idea that my former mother-in-law had passed away, but slowly I absorbed the fact that the birth date listed was indeed her birth date, July 20, 1935. Even more difficult to absorb was the fact that it had only been three days since her death. Her funeral hasn't even happened yet.
I have no idea why the Lord felt it was important for me to know that my former mother-in-law has left this plane of existence, and why I needed to know right now. All I can think to do is share the news here so that those who knew and loved her during her almost-three-years as an Arizona resident will be able to express their own grief and perhaps reach out to her son at this time.
Caryl passed on four days ago, on Wednesday the 4th of May. She was 80 years old. Her funeral will be tomorrow morning at 10:00 at an LDS chapel in Cheyenne, Wyoming (Monday, May 9th).
For those who are interested, the link to the funeral home and Caryl's obituary is here: Chapel of the Chimes
Caryl with her mother, Margaret Busby, in Canandaigua, New York.
I believe Margaret was 97 at the time. July 7, 2012
I know without a shadow of doubt that Caryl was ready to move on. Her beloved husband, Ed Sr., had died of cancer in November 2009, less than five months before I met their son Ed Jr., and she mourned him deeply. She often spoke of how she longed to rejoin him. She suffered from the effects of severe diabetes, from gradually increasing blindness to painful peripheral neuropathy in her feet, and I sometimes wondered if she failed to take care of herself properly because she wished to hasten her own death and be with him again.
I can only imagine the joyous reunion that took place when Caryl crossed through the veil. They'd been married for 52 years when he passed away, and the years of separation after his death were hard on her. I wonder, too, if she's been reunited with her mother, Margaret. If Margaret is still alive in New York state, she'd be at least 101 years old by now. Certainly Caryl has been embraced again by her father, Harold Busby, who died many, many years ago.
Caryl's body will be laid to rest here, beside her adored husband, Ed Sr.
in Cheyenne Memorial Gardens.
I will always remember Caryl as a good woman who treated me and my children well. She wasn't perfect, of course; none of us are. She could be extremely sharp when crossed and her words could sting on occasion. But I knew her to be a person of great faith and strong resolve, with a giving nature, a generous heart, and the patience of Job.
Caryl and her son, Ed, on Memorial Day, 2010.
You've earned your peace, Caryl. Rest now in the joy of those you love and the light of the Savior you served during your lifetime. May we, too, meet again someday under better circumstances.
Caryl Busby and her future eternal companion, Edward Reynolds, circa 1956 or 1957.
Their eternal dance continues...