Stay on earth not nearly long enough

By Grant McGee: Local columnist

Word came from Huntsville, Ala., a couple of weeks ago that my Uncle Roger died.

This was the fourth of my mom’s siblings to pass in two months. First there was Aunt Mary Alice, then Uncle Lloyd, followed by Aunt Carol and now Uncle Roger.

Four brothers and sisters in less than two months. Maybe you know of this happening in your family but it’s something like I’ve never known.

My mom wasn’t bothered so much by the passing of the first three. “It was time for them to go,” she told me. But when it was Roger’s turn it made her sad.

“He was just 77,” she said. “He was so young.”

Mom was upset. I wanted to say something to make her feel better.

“Ain’t this a helluva place, Mom?” I said. “We come to this beautiful planet, hang around a bit then we have to go. What’s that about!?!”
She laughed.

When I said those words I realized I had captured how I felt about the passing of a friend last month.

It’s hard to describe how I felt when I opened the Clovis News Journal a few weeks ago to find a picture of Christine Casaus on the obituary page. There was a wavy jolt in my head. It made me feel a little dizzy.

It hadn’t been that long ago that I was riding my bicycle on Hull Street when she pulled up alongside of me and asked about a contest we were having at my day job.

Christine liked to enter our contests.

I had no idea Christine was in ill health, much less that she’d be leaving us in a short time. She was so full of life.

I met Christine years ago when I had to take my reporter’s notebook down to the Curry County Courthouse to cover whatever was happening there. She worked in the court clerk’s office.

I’ll always remember Christine’s good energy. I’ll also remember something I gave her because I knew it would be in good hands.

I used to collect art and statues of Our Lady of Guadalupe. When I was getting ready to leave Clovis for Arizona a few years ago I decided it was time to stop hauling my favorite statue from town to town, especially since it was getting chipped with every move.

I had bought it in Agua Prieta, Sonora, because it looked so authentic.

I wondered what to do with this statue. I wanted it to go somewhere where it would be appreciated. Then it hit me who’d know what to do with Our Lady. I packed her up and took her to Christine. Her face just lit up.

I’m sorry I didn’t get to say goodbye to Christine.

I’ll remember the last time I saw her, that day on Hull Street. A snapshot of her, talking with that good energy she always had will be in my mental photo album for the rest of my life.

That picture will join others in my mind, other folks who left too soon, who left without a proper goodbye.

I would like to have told them how good it was to know them and thanks for what they shared.

Yep, it’s a great life and we live it in a mighty fine place. It’s just a doggone shame that we’re only here for a little while then we have to go.

What’s that about?

Grant McGee hosts the weekday morning show on KTQM-FM in Clovis. Contact him at: