Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

My Mom, Carole Jean Geisler Everson: In Memoriam

Posted on: April 24, 2012

I was going to wait for my mom’s birthday (April 24) to post this, but I just couldn’t wait.  Something in the air has brought so many memories of CJ…

I got inspired to write a limerick in memory of my mom whose birthday is April 24,

My mom was the best of them all
Even-though she was just five feet tall
Her one eye was green and the other was brown
She loved NYC, a hell of a town
On top of her head I’d put a crown
Smart, funny Carole’s the belle of the ball!

I sang the limerick for my mom and posted it on my SoundCloud page:

This is the eulogy that I gave for my mom at her funeral. I miss her just as much now as I did when she died…


My mother CJ was fun. She was smart and funny and had a wonderful sense of humor. She loved I Love Lucy, her job, New York City, Germany, Shopping, “Style” with Elsa Klench, the jewel and diamond rings Daddy gave her every Christmas (which she picked out for herself, by the way), her friends, her family.

There is a long list of things I could mention, but those things are easy to pick out. My mom was fiercely loyal to the things and people she loved and would not compromise even the smallest amount for any of them.

This made her good at all her endeavors. She was tremendously successful in all of her jobs. With her amazing self-confidence, daring and bravado, she could negotiate the best deal with anyone, for anything.

Carole Jean was lively and vibrant all the time. In fact she never actually slept – she rested at night with the lights on and the TV blaring while drinking coffee. When I came home for visits, we’d pal around the days and nights. At night, daddy was always gracious enough to “go long”, as he put it, and sleep in the guest room. Mom loved it, the possibility of someone to stay up late with and watch TV. Right before bedtime, she’d make a pot of flavored coffee and take a cup up to bed. Later, she’d even sort of doze a little, her head propped way up on a stack of pillows. I’d try and sneak to the TV “off” button and she’d open her eyes and say “I’m watching that!” I finally resorted to eye covers and ear plugs in order to feel rested on my visits home to Indy.

The picture on the front of mom’s memorial card is from a trip that mom and Aunt Gayle took to New York to visit me. We had so much fun on that trip! It was Christmas time in New York, which brings together a whole lot of CJ’s favorite things. One night mom got us reservations to eat at Joe Allen’s, a sort of famous place on Restaurant Row. But we weren’t sure exactly which street it was on. We were walking all around 8th Avenue in the 40’s. We just couldn’t find it and we were getting close to losing our reservation time. Standing on some corner, we heard a scuffle and looked over to see 3 or 4 policemen apprehending a couple of youths. Well, amid their efforts of frisking the young people against the wall spread eagle, Mom figured that one of those policemen would know where Joe Allen’s was. After all, this area is their beat and we were running late! She marched right over to the officer patting down one of the kids, tapped him on the shoulder and said “excuse me, could you tell me where Joe Allen’s is?” Aunt Gayle and I couldn’t believe it! We were mortified! That officer looked at her like “You must be crazy” and said “Lady, I have no idea.” This was classic CJ. If she wanted something, she did whatever she had to do to accomplish her goal.

My mother loved the outrageous. That she admired Dennis Rodman and I LOVE Lucy is perfect evidence. Of course, she loved doing outrageous things herself. Once we were on vacation somewhere and she was snapping pictures of everyone with everything. I was getting a little tired of posing and protested yet another photo. She kept saying “Go over there…Go over there so I can take your picture.” It was futile to fight her, so I gave in and stood where she directed. She took an extra long time with the angle on this one and waited until a group of people passed by to bellow out “NOW EMILY, THIS IS THE LAST PICTURE I’M TAKING OF YOU TODAY SO DON’T ASK ME ANYMORE!” Then she stood there and laughed herself to tears. She thought she was hot stuff. Well, she WAS hot stuff.

OH how we love her. How Daddy, Amy, and I, our whole family and all of her friends will miss her.

She added sparkle to our lives. She’s a shining star now decorating and lighting our memories. Giving us life, giving us courage to seek our best selves, and setting an example for how to live a full and complete life in every moment of every blessed day.
We love you mom.

Delivered Friday, February 9, 2001
at Meridian Street United Methodist Church
by Emily Leatha Everson Gleichenhaus
In Memory of her Mother, Carole Jean Geisler Everson


It would be impossible to “sum up” my mom a few lines of text here or there.  She was a complicated person.  Her waters were not still, but she ran deep anyway.    I’ll never make sense of it all.  Of course, that doesn’t stop me from reflecting upon her or attempting to convey what she meant to me.  In my show “It’s a Jungle Out There,” I sing the song, “She’s Always a Woman,” by Billy Joel, and dedicate it to my mom, setting it up this way:

My mother was all 5’s. She was 5 feet tall, wore a size 5 dress and a size 5 shoe, and her favorite perfume was Chanel No. 5.  She was bright, funny and undaunted.  She could be tough.  She told me once she hated that song “I’ll be home for Christmas” because of the line “If only in my dreams.”  To my mother, if you didn’t make it home for Christmas, it was because you hadn’t tried hard enough…



This picture captures a lot of CJ’s favorite things.  My mom loved Christmas, NYC and Radio City Christmas Spectacular.  She also loved those Geiger coats and velvet gloves.  We had a lot of fun together in NYC…especially at Christmas time and when we got to go see the Rockettes at Radio City.


This is my mom and I in Washington, DC
013_13 - Copy

Addendum, 10/5/2014

crayola doesn't make a color SPB cover only
Crayola Doesn’t Make a Color for Your Eyes
Words and Music by Kristin Andreassen and Megan Downes
This book is for classroom use only.

My mom passed away in February of 2001.  She was a marvelous person.  She was hilarious and feisty and not your “every day” kind of person.  Her eyes were unusual, too, since one was green and the other was brown.  I always took it as a fact, did’t give it much thought.  But one doesn’t meet a person with different colored eyes every day.  This is why I made one eye green and the other eye brown for the cover of the CRAYOLA sing-along book.


I’m Switching from Guitar to Ukulele (Moon River, Edelweiss, my mom and my grandmother)

Related Posts

This is a page of songs I wrote or adapted:

Making Up Limericks for Friends



A Collection of Singable Picture Books that celebrate CHRISTMAS!


This is a page of links to posts I’ve assembled in the memory of people who have meant the world to me.

Taking walks, noticing the world around me, and writing down what I see


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