A Mother’s Tears

By Kitty Delorey Fleischman

Photos Courtesy of Velma Morrison

Velma Morrison, the late Boise businesswoman and philanthropist, who entered the Idaho spotlight after her marriage to Morrison-Knudsen Company cofounder Harry Morrison, died on June 20, 2013, at age ninety-two. She was a longtime friend of Kitty Delorey Fleischman, who wrote her life story, The Bluebird Will Sing Tomorrow, in 2003. In this excerpt from the book, Velma tells the wrenching tale of her son Gary’s tragic death at age seventeen. She advised Kitty to ask whatever she wanted about the incident on the night they talked about it, because they would never discuss it again. Velma steadfastly refused to read this chapter. The information was verified through newspaper reports, files at the Boise Public Library, and family sources.

Even from her earliest years, Velma knew all too well that, for all the good times and good things that came her way, life had its share of tears.

She has suffered more than her fair share of bumps and bruises along the way.

It’s hard to imagine anything more painful than losing a child.

Velma lost her younger son, Gary, in the kind of needless tragedy that shakes a mother to the depths of her soul and sends her to storm the heavens, begging an answer to the simple question “Why?” over and over again.

There is no answer except what her faith tells her it was God’s will, and it is hers to accept. Acceptance closed the wound, but the scar never heals.

Nearly forty years and innumerable tears later, Velma still struggles to tell the story of Gary’s short life and his sad death.

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