Skip to main content

Rest in Peace

I have few regrets about divorcing my ex fourteen years ago.  One that weighs the heaviest was separating myself from his family out of necessity, especially the ones who were kind and gracious to me throughout the thirty years of that relationship.
I lost a brother-in-law last week.  He was a half brother to my ex, one of two sons from my father-in-law’s first marriage. They were so young when their parents divorced that when their mother married again her second husband adopted the two boys and gave them his last name. When they were of age to travel alone, they made the trek from Arizona to San Antonio, Texas to meet their paternal grandmother and their father’s second family.  Their dad had passed away several years before but they wanted to have a relationship with their half siblings.
I saw Bud (the loving name everyone called him) and his family a total of four times during my marriage to my ex. Twice they came to SA and the family gathered at my mother-in-law’s home or at our house. The other two times we traveled to their small hometown in Arizona, on the border between them and New Mexico.
Their two oldest were daughters followed by two sons.  The oldest of the boys had Muscular Dystrophy and by the time I met him he was confined to a wheelchair. He was as kind and as unassuming as his parents and was chosen MD Poster Child one year by Jerry Lewis. As the two girls graduated from high school, they dedicated one year of their lives before going on to college to help care for their little brother. It devastated us all when he passed on to glory.
On one trip to Arizona, we went and stayed with Bud and his wife for a week, and he planned day trips for us each day because he knew I loved history and “was a teacher.” Since he was retired because of his health, he was available to show us the sights.  We saved some of them for the weekend when his dear wife could join us.
He showed us the Grand Canyon and Meteor Crater.  We went to Tombstone one weekend and made a tour of several other “real” ghost towns in the area.  We treated ourselves to sarsaparillas and visited the “fake” graves of the good and the bad guys of Tombstone. We went to see the Chiricahua National Monument and tried to make out the “crying Geronimo” on top of one mountain.  He even joked with us that if we wanted we could drive through the nearby nudist colony, the famous Sangri-la.  The second most amazing sight (besides the Grand Canyon) was driving by (in front of – yikes!) Hoover Dam. That may be where I developed my fear of heights. Somewhere in my boxes of junk are scrapbooks with pictures of that visit.
The last time I saw Bud and his precious family was in September of 1999.  We stopped and spent the night on our way back from San Diego.  We were bringing our youngest home from Marine book camp.
My marriage was holding on by a fine thread and it was obvious to anyone with an empathetic heart. He hugged me goodbye and told me he would pray for me.  He said it was obvious that my husband had turned out as ornery as their father. I hugged him back, knowing that I might never see him and his family again.

Over the years I have thought of him and his dear wife, their amazing daughters, and their kindness toward me. Rest in peace, dear brother, I never forgot you. 


Popular posts from this blog

Finding My Muse

1)Because my muse has a wicked sense of humor and visits me at odd times and in inconvenient places, I have learned to record inspirations/ideas immediately before I forget them or they dissolve into nothing. I carry small notebooks, own a digital recorder, and have been known to text messages home. I will scribble on anything – old napkins I find in my glove compartment or old receipts. I even pop out of bed in the middle of the night to jot things on sticky pads. 2)Calendars are great places to find topics. I use important dates, seasons, and upcoming holidays to plan blog posts. I can also go back into my work calendar to refresh my memory about meetings, conferences, or books I have read that might be worth sharing with others.   3)I will sit with a good cup of coffee, pen and paper ready, and read the newspaper searching for topics, interesting characters, or modern trends.  News channels and other newsfeeds are just as good.   4)I love to read the TV and movie guides for titles and…

The Girl Who Eats Canned Spinach

I went to a Catholic elementary school run by strict Belgian nuns, and we could not leave the cafeteria until we ate everything served on our food tray. Once a week, they served warmed, canned spinach with our meal. The spinach tasted nothing like the way my grandmother made it, but I ate it. I gulped it down in three or four bites and it amazed my table mates. I told them we ate it at home so I was used to the taste. Now, my real problem began the day I ate the spinach off my friends’ trays so we could go play outside. As soon as the nun monitoring the cafeteria turned her back, my friends ate something off my tray I didn’t want, and I ate their serving of spinach. I only did it for two of my table mates, but the word spread. On the next Spinach Day, kids followed me to my table.I was suddenly very popular, and as soon as the nun marched off to the other end of the cafeteria, my friends and an army of others who only knew me as The Girl Who Eats Spinach, begged me to take their servin…

Facing My Fear of Guns

With the ownership of firearms comes responsibility, so I had asked HoneyBunch several times to teach me how to shoot and to help me get my License to Carry. I got my wish two weeks ago. HB and I signed up to take a LTC class. He bought me a gun, one similar to his, that would be the type we needed to show shooting proficiency, and for one whole week he tried to get me to become familiar with it, but I was hesitant. I read the booklet that came with the gun. I practiced loading and shooting it in what is called dry shooting (no bullets), and since the flyer said I would have to shoot thirty shots at different distances, I finally tried with it loaded. I was a nervous wreck. The class of twelve turned out to be close to forty people. We were of all ages, colors, and genders, and I was glad I wasn’t the only woman my age. The shooting test came first, and we were separated into two groups. Those who were proficient (or thought they were) would shoot first, and those who were novices wou…