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Bobbette Burke Jackson

Obituary for Bobbette Burke Jackson

August 8, 1924 - November 11, 2018
Austin, Texas | Age 94


When I think of my mother, the word that keeps coming to mind is balance.

She took up snow skiing after she was 50. She was slaloming on water skis well into her 60's. I would come home from high school and she would be standing on her head doing yoga in the living room and she loved her tai chi. My children owe their grandmother for their athletic DNA.

But she also brought balance to all aspects of her life and to those she loved. She was the yin to my father's yang. She was the support and foundation so that I could aim high. She was the ballast that kept the family ship upright.

And within her, she had her own balance. She liked to play herself off as the dumb blonde but in reality, she was the one who ran the house and all the books.

She was raised as a cowgirl in Nebraska, got caught in barbwire when her horse was spooked by a rattlesnake nest and could ride with the best of them but she also literally could waltz through a room. In fact, I remember sitting on the floor as a young child and seeing my beautiful mother in a ball gown getting ready to go off to some soirée. My mother had grit but she was also a real life Cinderella.

And she could recite Shakespeare. I'm not talking about just "to be or not to be" but the whole Hamlet soliloquy. And not just Hamlet, but dozens of soliloquies from dozens of Shakespeare plays and sonnets.

But as typical of that balance, my mother's favorite poem was a very simple one and I'd like to share it with you now....

By Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see
A poem as lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

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