Monthly Archives: August 2012

Getting ready to say goodbye again

Losing a loved one is difficult. Losing three within a short period of time is horrendous. We were still healing from my mother-in-law’s passing when Lucy died. Now we’re dealing with the loss of my father-in-law less than four months later.

Bob was a great man. That was evident in how well he helped raise his children how tightly they group together during adversity. He accepted his daughter-in-law and sons-in-law into the family and eagerly helped with repairs if any of us needed assistance. He showered his grandchildren with love and he enjoyed them very much. Even though he was on the quiet side, he had a great sense of humor and a very engaging personality.

He worked extremely hard to provide for his family. Bob repaired tires on mining equipment. He had a number of times being outside making repairs at -55°F or colder, or at 90°F or hotter because the equipment could not always make it back to the shop. Bob work on tires for wheelbarrows and for the ten-foot diameter tires on the giant earthmovers. I loved hearing him talk about his job, especially after he retired.

Losing Betty was hard for him. They married 58 years ago and were blessed with four wonderful children. When Betty’s health started to turn for the worse, he devoted himself to taking care of her until the end. Even though we expected Betty’s passing, it still came as a blow to all of us. After her passing, his life was full of rapid changes and adjustments. None of us really had time to fully heal when Lucy’s time with us ended.

No parent should ever have to lose a child. Lucy’s battle started out very promising but became more challenging as time went on. The last five months of her fight were the toughest on all of us. Lucy’s strength, determination, and dignity displayed during her battle were a direct result of the love, strength and devotion she saw growing up. Lucy’s loss was extremely hard on him. His health deteriorated quickly afterwards.

Now Bob is no longer with us. He’ll remain part of us until each of our times on earth ends. The big paradox of life is it has to end with death, at least in the corporeal or physical sense. Many, if not all, religions and spiritualties mention an afterlife where a soul (or life-force or energy) transcends after leaving the body. The afterlife is timeless and the person’s soul can watch over those of us remaining behind in this existence. Bob has made that transition and is with Lucy and Betty. It’s not the same as him physically being with us, but it provides a measure of comfort that he’s at peace and can still guide us through our lives.

Steve, Liz and Micaela; Suzy, Derek and Kristin; Julie and Brady: thank you for keeping me as part of your family and loving me as one of your own, especially in these trying times. It shows just how great a man Bob was. You’ve honored his legacy well.

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My father-in-law died tonight

Lucy’s family suffered another devastating loss tonight. My father-in-law, Bob, died tonight at 10:45 pm. The irony is Lucy also died at 10:45 pm. His health has been in decline the past couple months. He passed away surrounded by his surviving children, his daughter-in-law Liz, and me.

Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

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5, 6, pick up sticks…

The thunderstorm last night did very little damage. There were two impressive wind blasts that ripped through. My poor little anemometer showed a peak gust of 22 mph, but according to the Beaufort scale, the wind was roaring at close to 60 mph at times. I did get about ½” of rain. Here’s hoping I get a chance to mow the yard this week. I filled my yard waste container just with the clumps of leaves ripped from the silver maples. Thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes! It’s amazing how many restaurants start giving a senior discount at 55. Lucy was quite the bargain hunter and was looking forward to my birthday this year. I have a goodly stack of Buy One Get One (BOGO) free offers. The problem is most of them are expiring between the 11th and the 18th. Lucy’s birthday was February 5th. We would each sign up for these offers. The six month spread meant we could burn off the calories by the time the next wave of offers came through. Please keep my father-in-law in your thoughts and prayers. He’s had a terrible year and is battling some health issues. Losing my mother-in-law and Lucy eight months apart has not helped. He’s one of the nicest people in the world, too. It’s still insane at work. I went in for several hours today and will get use the VPN tonight to try getting a bit more stuff done. The yard work is slipping a bit and the kitchen is getting cluttered. Lucy wouldn’t be happy with that. The rain perked up the tamarisk, and the blue flax is reblooming. The white flax might bloom again. The Rudbeckia plants are blooming or close, and the bee balm and Echinacea are having a banner year. Even the clematis plants which got pummeled in a previous wind storm are blooming like crazy. I’m still trapping Japanese beetles, but it looks like they are winding down. I’m finding cicada skins all over the place and even got to see the final minutes of one emerging from the beetle skin and becoming a green flying insect. The dragonflies are plentiful and I saw a few iridescent damselflies this year despite the drought. I did have to see Lucy today. Even when I was doing the heavy business traveling, we always managed to spend time with each other for our birthdays. The string is still intact, though I will miss her birthday kiss. That’s one of the large number of adjustments one makes after losing a spouse. There are so many little things that go into a marriage, yet when all those little things are gone, it leaves a gaping hole. It’s also part of the healing process. One learns to adjust and keep trying to move forward. Thank you again for the birthday wishes!

Lucy's bouquet from the cemetery

Lucy’s bouquet from the cemetery

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