Wednesday, August 17, 2005

A Sad Trip to Philly

On August 2nd we drove the 6 hours from Crawford, NE to Golden, CO. The morning of August 5th we got the call that we had been dreading. Andy's father's condition had turned critical and we should come 'home'. Andy spoke with him by phone that afternoon and then Dad quietly left us a half hour later. The blessing was that he was surrounded by family and he went on his own terms. He spoke to his children who were out of state, gave his list of wishes and reminders to his wife, and took his last breath while listening to the crazy bantering of his family. May we all feel that kind of contentment, peace, and love when we go.

I just want to say a few things about my father-in-law. First of all, I never thought of him in those terms. To refer to either of Andy's parents as "in-laws" almost demeans my feelings for them. He was always "Ace" to me, a nickname many called him. He was a good man. Honest, loving, warm, funny, competitive, intelligent, strong, and caring. His 50+ year marriage is one to envy: the love, trust, and mutual respect was a pleasure to witness every day I was around them. His 6 children and 11 grandchildren are examples of what a wonderful father and grandfather he was. The hundreds of friends who came to the services are another sign of how he positively touched people over the years.

Ace loved playing games - volleyball, basketball, croquet, bocci, whatever. I first learned to play croquet and bocci with this family. You would never think it could be so competitive, psychological...or at times almost a contact sport. A couple of times over the years I would try to get him to ease up on me during a game by claiming "hey, I'm a girl!". But it never worked. His retort was always "you don't play like a girl". Ha! God I'm going to miss those kind of "put-you-in-your-place" comebacks.

Here's a picture of Ace with Andy's sister, Carol, at Christmas 2003.
Here's to a good man, no, a great man...and may we each carry on the legacy he left within us. He'll never be forgotten.


At 8:33 PM , Jim and Chris said...

Our hearts are with you.

At 9:37 PM , Glenn said...

Sorry to hear about your loss guys. I lost my grandmother last week as well so I'm recently reminded of the emotions involved. I'll be thinking of you.

At 11:31 AM , Rod said...

Natalie and I were really sad when we read this post..We always look forward to reading about your travels, but this entry was rough...and I'm sure likewise for you writing it. It sounds like he was a fun person to be around, with a great family.. We're thinking about you both..and look forward to seeing you back in FLL.
regards, Rod


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