Posted by: alethacs | December 17, 2009

Miss Monie

Ramona Ladine Gentry

 September 1, 1950-October 4, 2009

In October, our dear Monie passed away.  Truman always called her “Miss Monie” & she liked that.  She also loved Christmas.  I never really got the sense she cared too much about what she got–but she wanted to make sure everyone–especially the children–received their heart’s desire.  My childhood Christmas memories were delightful, in large part due to her.  So, I have waited to post this till now as my thoughts are with her frequently this season.  Although he’s only 5, Miss Monie made a big impact on little Truman, who continues to speak of her in the present tense and just yesterday commented on, “what a good mind Miss Monie has.”  We love you, Monie!

Ramona.  Monie. 

The force of your character, the strength of your will, and the size of your love:   all larger than life.  Anyone on the receiving end of your generosity felt the electric strength of your personality.

Nothing you did was every small.  You were the ultimate queen of the  over-the-top gesture.   Always the MOST.   Always the biggest present you could think of that would please the recipient the best.  Somehow, you always knew what each of your children wanted most, and you provided it. 

Our earliest Christmas memories were orchestrated by you—a room full of treasures, Santa’s workshop itself transported to our house.  Presents upon presents piled upon each other reaching to the boughs of the huge tree at the Big house.

Oh!  And what a laugh—I can hear it now, at one of your own jokes or witticisms.  You bandied words to match even the best of them and your sarcasm could bring a wry smile to the most serious of folks. 

A roaring voice, you were the Mother Lion ready to defend your kith and kin.  Ever fiercely loyal.  Ready to meet all enemies.  And a  role model you will ever be for standing up for what you believed in, for what you thought was right, no matter the cost to yourself.   Pity the one who crossed you or your protectees.

A heart bigger than even your voice.  Your love and commitment to your family, your mother and father,  your home, your farm, and your heritage surpassed all others.   

The courage to match the mightiest warrior angels.  Never afraid to show your feelings, always a kiss and hug at parting, a following out to the driveway to watch us go.  And calls waiting for us at home before we returned.   You were not afraid to show your vulnerability by asking for what you needed—when would the next visit be?  When could we call again? And could we help you do x, y, or z?  Every  request always followed by lots of I love you’s and even I owe you’s, with gifts, again, soon to follow.

A memory like no other.  THE memory of the Gentry clan—every fact and piece of family heritage, you retained, and you could relate a story about.  And you alone of all would remember the departed ones on Decoration day.  Oh Monie, who can replace your? 

The keeper of family treasures.  THE one relied upon by us all to do the dirty work of going through old family belongings from homes and years past to collect the treasures and pictures therein; and NEVER to sell but just to cherish.

The loyalty of the bravest dog, you were unquestionably loyal, forever dependable. And our pictures tell the tale– There you are at all my graduations—even though you had to travel hundreds of miles to get to them.  There you are again at my wedding, and there you are again holding and cooing to my children, bequeathing yet another generation with the wealth of your generosity and love. 

No matter the occasion, you had a present for the wee ones when they came to see you—even if it was your favorite blanket off your own bed, if they took a fancy to it.  And who could forget the child-sized ride on train?  They never will.

Ever the consummate mother, you gave more than you received back from your children.  You gave and you gave, and we thanked you and loved you, but did we match your love?

You wanted, above all, to be appreciated, to be honored, to be remembered.  And so that is what we can do, even now and as our days go on.   My second child was born on your birthday, September 1, an auspicious day, as you said-“he will always be good with money.”  So there is no doubt, as we mark each of Isaiah’s birthdays, we will set an extra place at the table for you to join us.

 And, even more,  there is no doubt that any of your children will forget the force you were in our lives.  The deep sadness and longing we feel at your passing is simply the footprints you have left upon our hearts. 

I love you Monie.  And I will never forget. 



  1. awww that was beautiful e! 🙂 i loved your memorial to monie! i’m sure she is smiling right now 🙂

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