We had traveled back to Lyons a week before she died to see her in the hospital where she was dealing with pneumonia. She was restless and combative, screaming and calling for her son, her husband, her mom her dad. Her husband, Roy, had died fifteen years ago, her son, Dick, was in Omaha working and tending to family issues. Her daughters, Maggie and Junavae, held her hands as her clouded eyes darted about the hospital room, confused and lost in the unreality of death. She was not going to go 'gently into that good night'; she cried out; "Don't let me die" and "I don't want to die" several times, raging against the 'dying of the light'. She was asleep on the day we left to come back home to Indiana, not screaming that banshee scream or shouting over and over: "I want my Dick, I want my Dick, I want my Dick", oblivious to her attending daughters, crying out for her only living son, Richard Ayer. She would sometimes ask for her son Paul, and when told that Paul was dead, had been dead for almost twenty-five years, she would cry, "Oh no, oh no" and my wife and her sister and I would cry with her, pulled into her loss and pain being relived as she was dying. My wife, emotionally drained, was ready to go home.
I remember the younger Evie, the mother of my girl friend; Mrs Roy Ayer, loved and admired by her friends and a large and growing contingent known as family, feared and respected by her few and trembling enemies. Evie; maker of pies and rye bread, cinnamon buns and rolls, keeper of flowers and plants, of grand children and bunnies by the dozens, keeper of the oral history that flowed through her veins with the blood of her forefathers. She was the only other woman, other than my mother and my wife, that I truly loved; the only other woman other than my wife that I stood in awe of. I will miss her and I wish her a fond farewell.