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.