Benita Jane (McCormick) Olson (1927 - 2011)
Of all their accomplishments, none brought greater joy to my great uncle and great aunt, Phillip and Benita (McGinnis) McCormick, than their two adopted children, Phillip Eugene and Benita Jane, known as Bud and Jane.
|Jane McCormick, Chicago, Illinois,|
My mother, Joan (Schiavon) Huesca, told my sisters and me many stories about her cousins, as they lived only a few blocks from her in Chicago, Illinois. She was quite the tomboy and played mostly with her cousin Buddy.
Jane preferred to stay out of the mischief that my mother and Bud always seemed to make. It would not be until many years later that Jane and my mother grew close as they discovered in each other common values and experiences as daughters, sisters, wives, and mothers.
At Jane's funeral in 2011, her daughter, Suzanne, shared this poem from her mother's leather scrapbook. Jane had penned it at the tender age of 16. The Chicago Tribune had published it, no doubt making Jane's own creative mother, Benita, quite proud.
Wistful and wise, the poem is subtly humorous and self-effacing, so characteristic of Jane's personality. It reminds me of one of her favorite childhood authors, A.A Milne, who wrote the Winnie-the-Pooh books.
When I was very young (almost a year ago)
And thought myself so awfully wise,
I'd sigh and smugly say,
"Aren't children brats?" and
"What makes them act that way?"
I saw them with unseeing eyes.
But now when little girls are lost in make-believe
And grimy boys make cops-and-robbers' sounds, I smile
Glad to hear that happy noise
And wish that I could lose myself, or climb a roof
And skin my knee, as do the boys -
We're young for such a little while.
- Benita Jane McCormick
Chicago, Illinois, 1944
(Gratefully published with permission from
Jane's daughter, Suzanne Olson Wieland.)
Copyright © 2015 Linda Huesca Tully