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Friday, January 20, 2017

Happy Birthday Arlene, Missing you

Posted Wednesday, March 9, 2011, at 11:19 AM

I've mentioned my sister before.  I thought a birthday blog would be appropriate for her also. 

Arlene was born Feb 11, 1957.  This summer, we'll have been without her for 4 years.  She had an older sister, and me, her baby sister.  As a family, we were always close, but I think maybe closer than most.  Maybe I'm wrong,   but I've always felt like we had a great family life, full of fun and love.  We have a brother also.  The 4 of us had great times wherever we went.  Dad was in the military, but he retired on MHAFB when I was 9-10, so really we called Mountain Home home.  Of the 4 of us, she was the only red head.  And let me tell ya, it was red.  We other 3 were towheaded as can be, and got more that way in the sun.  She got redder! 

My 2 older sisters were always more "lady like" than I ever thought of being....and I certainly meant to keep it that way.  Arlene was a good mother type of sister.  She helped my Mom with the house and loved cooking.  I remember one year my Dad said we should get her a Mother's Day present too.  huh?  But like a mother, she also had the ability to lay 'one on ya' if she felt you needed it.  And she often felt you needed it. 

When we/she got older, she grew some amazingly sharp fingernails.  So, now she had a handful of weapons, and she knew how and wasn't afraid of using them on you.  I was then much like I am now with those that I love, and I goaded and teased, and got skinned nearly dead a few times.  You know when you play with a cat, if you just don't pull away, it might not scratch?  That didn't work with her, she knew your thought eventually, you'd try to get away, and that was worse.  Oh, the memories I cherish. 

She and Ardie were good in high school, making it hard when Jerry and I got there (teachers were a bit surprised) and were so apparently different in my parents' eyes.  They got used to it though, since we were what we were.

Then she went to the University of Idaho.  Moscow was an awakening for her.  She came home and was so much fun!  Til she'd go back after Christmas break, and steal my cloths that I specifically said "Don't take this one!  see?????? Don't take it!!!!"  She took it. 

She became a Horticulturist.  And she could grow things.  Anything.  Everything.  But really, what were ya gonna do with that?  She eventually wound up in Engineering in the Barrick mines in Elko. 

She and I remained fast friends....and she helped me find my wedding dress....plan for babies....helped me thru the loss of my daughter.... and loved mine and Ardie's children.  She was an incredibly strict Aunt at times, and Ardie and I both though, "Man, when she has children, we might feel sorry for them!"

She was a corporate woman in the Corporate offices of Circle K for years, then she met Orie Noble, and had her first son Audie, 9 months before I had my last son, Joey.  I have always believed that Audi was the absolute "1st Love of Her Life"  From the moment he was born, she became a different woman.  This strict tough Aunt of my children, fell in love with that baby, and it was hopeless from that moment on.  She could never say "No" to him,..... and then Maggie was born about 2-3 years later, and she was an Angelic cherub that none of us could say "no" to.  Especially Arlene.  She tried all their lives to give them whatever she could. 

Sometimes I think that things like this are no mistake.  I don't think she "Knew" she wasn't going to be here..... but......

Maggie was about 6-7 when Arlene was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in the 4th Stage.  She was advised to "Make her plans" and pretty much that was it.  Well, she was nothing if she wasn't a fighter, fingernails and everything in her came out, and she fought like a Lioness for her cubs.  She and I & Ardie spent countless hours at MSTI in Boise and St Lukes.  (A whole nuther blog should be written about those special people)  for the first year.  Her strength became something that mystified me.  It was like a puzzle.  How did she do it?  I swear I never heard her complain, or really even wonder why me?  (Inside I must have done enough for everyone, so she apparently didn't need to)  After a year of intensive treatment, she was pronounced "clean".  Hallelujah! She had 'beat the odds'

A month later, it was back with a vengeance.  She just stepped up to the plate and kept on doing what she needed to do.  We did treatments and shopped and got to know one another better and better.  I learned to respect her even more and more.  This was an incredible woman, was all I could ever conclude.  She only continued to amaze us all. 

Her Children were the Lights of her Life, and she just kept going for them.  Years continued to go by, and so much in our lives changed.  Ardie and I got divorced within a year of each other.  Jobs changed, and all of our children were growing up.  What remained thru it all, was her phenomenal strength, her Love for her Children.  Her body betrayed her, and physically, she weakened.  We lost bits of her along the way.  She had surgeries .... and she kept going. 

About 5 years ago, she and I were alone and talking, and I'd asked how she did it, and never complained.  She gasped thru the fluid in her lungs to me "I'm so grateful"  She was having a hard time breathing, and it was a few moments before she could go on.  While I waited, I thought "she's grateful??????"  I was stupefied.  When she was able to go on....she said  "I never thought I'd see my kids grow up, and do the things I've seen them do.  Never thought I'd see them finish school.  And I feel like I'd so much rather do this, than they have to go thru it"  Again, she was a mother to the core.  She'd met so many wonderful people, and she appreciated each and every one of them.  It made me also realize, that she knew the battle was not going to go on forever.  In her mind, she may have now been going on borrowed time. 

Thru everything, she never missed a family function, not a single birthday, wedding, baby shower..... nothing.  We shopped for wigs and hats, and eventually said the hell with it.  She'd earned her badge and gave up the wigs that were hot and uncomfortable. 

She headed up a "Relay for Life" in Elko..... and did a good good job of it.  When "Relay for Life" first came to Mountain Home, it was natural for me to be on the Board of Directors, so I did.  She came to the 1st one, and was at the Survivor Dinner .... My heart sang.  

The summer of 2007 was a year that my entire family just "got thru" tho Arlene smiled and encouraged us all ...and it was her that often told us it would be OK.   Parents should never say Goodbye to their Children.  I'll never forget the pain in their eyes, while they watched and loved her. 

There were times in the middle of the night, that I'd hold her shoulders and pray for her to have Peace.  Pray to let it end.  Then I'd beg to keep her..... and pray for peace.  I don't know what it is, but there is something special that exists in certain people that they just get stronger while others of us get weaker.  I spent one of the last nights with her in the hospital, and she finally told me she was scared.  She didn't know how to 'stop'  but she was tired and she knew it was time.  Her family was in Elko, and we called them that day to come to her..... and even then, when those kids walked in that room, her eyes lit up like the sun was behind them.  She spent that day and night with them, and left us July 12, 2007.  

The first Thanksgiving I was pretty sure I couldn't do it.  I did.  It was my daughter Katie that told me that Arlene wouldn't be happy with me for being so consumed with the sadness.   Without such a vital part of our family, it just didn't seem/feel good to smile and be happy.  I have of course come to realize, (Katie was right) she wouldn't have wanted me to linger on unhappiness, and would have probably have used her fingernails as punishment.  Lesson Learned.

I'm so happy now that she has her Peace and that she has a Grand daughter that is the spitting image of her.  And Autumn is a spitfire, who's gonna give Maggie a run for her money.  And I'm gonna help Autumn do what she wants, cuz Arlene would have wanted it that way. 

Happy Birthday Arlene, We think of you always.

Obviously, a Girl Scout


Her Senior Picture, MHHS Class of '75


Visiting my grandparents in Nampa



With Maggie as a baby


About 8 Years ago, loving Maggie


Last Summer, Autumn


Maggie and Autumn

Maggie and Autumn

Arlene Noble, summer of 2007


One is Arlene, One is Autumn

Care to Guess?

the two of them


Happy Birthday, We Love and Miss you.

P.S.  Today Arlene's son is having his 1st Baby.  As of publishing time, baby has not arrived.  I'm sure without doubt, that pictures will follow.

Update 3/9/11 9:00 Sammie Arlene was born today to Arlene's son. 

Sammie Arlene

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]


What a beautiful story. It made me cry. I know all about fingernails!!! my younger sister had them. It's hard to say goodby and there is always a little ache. But we are better people for having such courageous people in our lives.

-- Posted by KH Gal on Wed, Mar 9, 2011, at 1:30 PM

I hated those fingernails early on....but I wish for them now.... seems so funny now, looking back.

Yes, we all learn from people like her.

Thanks for your comment.


-- Posted by jessiemiller on Wed, Mar 9, 2011, at 1:41 PM

Yes, you made me cry too...

I miss my sweet sister terribly.

-- Posted by Ardie on Wed, Mar 9, 2011, at 9:06 PM

I know you do..... I'm sure we both lay in bed, thinnking of her....and sometimes I think "I can't wait to tell her........." And then I remember. I even said to Wayne once last year..."I can't wait to....." and stopped dead. Was meaning to have them meet. She'd have loved him too. I'm sure she knows how I feel.

She was a great sister, just like you


-- Posted by jessiemiller on Wed, Mar 9, 2011, at 9:12 PM

What a tribute to our lovely daughter..She will live on in our memory, thanks

-- Posted by The Elders on Wed, Mar 9, 2011, at 9:23 PM

She was lovely because of you.


-- Posted by jessiemiller on Wed, Mar 9, 2011, at 9:35 PM

That's so beautiful Jessie, what an awesome tribute to Arlene. Made me cry. Also made me grateful once again to be part of such a wonderful family

-- Posted by justjessie on Wed, Mar 9, 2011, at 10:35 PM

She is so beautiful.

It's so interesting to see you write of her in your younger years.

I have tears streaming down my face.


-- Posted by ktlm on Thu, Mar 10, 2011, at 6:23 AM

Katie and Jess, you two are the best daughters I could ever have.

Thank you for being mine

-- Posted by jessiemiller on Thu, Mar 10, 2011, at 8:49 AM

Great writing! Thanks for sharing the beautiful story of your sister. ILY

-- Posted by idpotatoes83647 on Thu, Mar 10, 2011, at 9:01 AM

ahhhh.... my other daughter from another Mother.

Thanks and ILY too!

-- Posted by jessiemiller on Thu, Mar 10, 2011, at 9:07 AM

What a wonderful sister you are to write this tribute for your sister Arlene. Keep sharing Jessie.

-- Posted by gfhorses on Thu, Mar 10, 2011, at 1:13 PM

Thanks K, I appreciate that


-- Posted by jessiemiller on Thu, Mar 10, 2011, at 1:43 PM

Beautiful tribute, Jessie. We are both sitting here crying our eyes out. We miss her so much!

-- Posted by JerryDori on Thu, Mar 10, 2011, at 9:23 PM

Thanks Jerry & Doreen you two

-- Posted by jessiemiller on Thu, Mar 10, 2011, at 9:43 PM


your photos are fantastic, but your story is even better. i am constantly at amazed about sig and his family

love art und carola

-- Posted by artundcarola on Sat, Mar 19, 2011, at 5:49 PM


I did not realize you lost Arlene. I am so sorry!! You wrote an amazing story, and I agree with you; your family is awesome. I went and saw Katie at work today. I had brain surgery two weeks ago and was cut ear to ear. She did not run away screaming! Instead, she was very caring and understood how self-conscience I felt with a big scar and missing some of my hair. Katie was able to cut and style my hair in a way that not only looks great, it also gave me back some confidence. She was so kind and caring and not afraid to touch me although she was scared of hurting me. Of course she did not hurt me, but instead, for the first time in months I did not have a headache after she massaged my scalp. She is an amazing woman and you should be very proud of her. I know I am!!


-- Posted by avidreader on Tue, Mar 29, 2011, at 2:31 AM

Avidreader, I only just now read this comment. We have to get together soon and do dinner as we've talked.

Katie called me immediately after your visit with her and was nearly over come by her emotion over your distress. She had felt at a loss to do enough for you and wanted to do so much more. I'm ashamed to say that I somehow had missed that you had had to have surgery, and was so happy that she told me.

She is truly an amazing woman, mother and nurturer. I couldn't be more proud of her. A few days later she was doing my hair and was talking about how brave you are again.... I reached out and patted her leg as she stood next to me, and was again struck by this wonderful woman I am proud to have raised.

Thanks for your comment! Love you very much


-- Posted by jessiemiller on Wed, Apr 6, 2011, at 8:36 AM

Uncle Art, you and I both are lucky to be part of such a family. Thank you for being you!


-- Posted by jessiemiller on Wed, Apr 6, 2011, at 10:20 AM

A wonderful remembrance, Jessie. It's written as only you could have written! :)

-- Posted by Snoshu2000 on Tue, Jul 12, 2011, at 3:04 PM

Darn! You always make me cry. You capture Arlene so well. Love, Ardie

-- Posted by Ardie on Tue, Jul 12, 2011, at 6:26 PM

Earlier this year I was told that Arlene didn't appreciate me, and that she wouldn't like it if Audie and I named our daughter after her. I beleived it for the past few months, but after reading this I've come to a completely different conclusion, so thank you, Jessie for sharing the real Arlene with us. Arlene was an all-around amazing person, sick or not. She still inspires me to this day. Sammie Arlene is now four months old, and her older sister, Sydney, will be three in November. Although Sydney isn't biologically her granddaughter, I know Arlene loves and watches over her just the same. I am proud to say that some day Arlene would have been my mother-in-law, and I wouldn't have chosen anyone else for the part. Some of you may think I have no business saying what I have, but I love her, and she's important to me, and no matter what her memories and pictures will ALWAYS be a part of our home. For recent pictures of Audie's girls feel free to visit my facebook link below! :)

-- Posted by ilas on Fri, Jul 15, 2011, at 1:00 PM

ILAS, I have not had the opportunity to get to know you, but I'll tell you something without a shadow of a doubt. Arlene could at times seem gruff but there was not a bone in her body that wanted to be unkind to anyone. She never told me a harsh word about you.

Her children's happiness was all that mattered and if you help make Audi a happy man .....then she'd walk thru fire for you.

I know Audi is working thru his own "Devils" and I'm thankful you're there for him.

Arlene is watching closely both your girls and she will never cease. Don't you ever doubt that.......they'll be part of what keeps her Legacy alive. Some day you can tell them about their Grandma who would have given her life for them, and who in her own way, felt she had, (and never regretted it once)

Was trying to think what ILAS stood for you I guess you I came up with "I Love Arlene's Son"

Honor her and your beautiful daughters by doing her proud ......can you imagine her joy at that?


-- Posted by jessiemiller on Mon, Jul 18, 2011, at 8:02 AM

Lol, you got the "I love Arlene's son" part right :)

-- Posted by ilas on Mon, Jul 18, 2011, at 10:08 AM

Always remember everyone has an opinion. Don't let what you may perceive as negative .....always turn it around to positive.

I myself have been tough on Audi, and angry, .......I'd like to think in an effort to expect more from him.

The fact is that I love him and always will.....but I won't ever agree or lie to him all nicey if I don't mean it.

Arlene wants this family to be strong and DO WHAT IT TAKES NO MATTER HOW HARD OR IMPOSSIBLE IT SEEMS.


-- Posted by jessiemiller on Mon, Jul 18, 2011, at 10:19 AM

Hi Jessie,

So sorry to hear about your loss--I lost my oldest sister in August of this year--she took her own life--and it's been very difficult.

I'm glad you had so much time with her before she died. She sounds like a wonderful person.

Fran A.K.A. Horsegirl62! :)

-- Posted by horsegirl62 on Tue, Feb 11, 2014, at 4:00 PM

Thank you, Fran

-- Posted by jessiemiller on Tue, Feb 11, 2014, at 4:02 PM

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Jessie Miller
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I am interested in this Community, County, and the beautiful state of Idaho. Most of my photos will be in Idaho, but from time to time, they will be my vacations aay from Idaho. You'll see lots of my Children and Grand children, along with others in my family. Of course there will be horses and horse related things, and things I photo'd horseback.
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