Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Bob, You Will Be Missed

Bob's is a Love story, for the love of his life, Shirley, for  his sons and daughters, and their children... for his extended family, his farm, church, and especially God.  It is a good thing he was a big man, because that it is a lot of love.

Bob peacefully passed away yesterday morning.   His love will continue to be felt through generations.

-Bob and Shirley-
As he steadies his balance with the best grip he can get on his cane, Bob clasps the gentle hands of his dear Shirley.  Their wristwatches symbolize the importance of time.  They have had almost sixty years together, six children, many grandchildren, and now great-grandchildren.
He still has the broad lumberjack build of a Minnesota farmer.  Petite Shirley is even smaller with age, but there is a strength from within her that has rehabilitated Bob from the stroke.  Somehow she has been able to keep up her household routine with the same love for setting the table and feeding a large family as she has for decades.  Shirley is Bob’s extra hands and caretaker.  Bob has had to let go of some of his masculine pride so that his wife can lovingly button his buttons, click his seatbelt, and drive them to appointments or church.  There is a shared sense of humor between them and the bantering just makes the adjustment easier.
He was the head of the house, driving trucks and huge farm equipment.  She was the full-time mom, with an assortment of aprons for time spent in the kitchen.  There were cows to milk, eggs to gather, gardens to tend.  Days began with the sunrise and were long and full.  There were the seasons for plowing and planting, summertime fishing and mosquitoes, and the long, dark, cold winters.
From the beginning, their journey has been one of side-by-side togetherness. This season of their life together has brought them to a different daily routine.  They end each day with a precious ritual.  Bob must sleep in a hospital bed and Shirley has a bed adapted to her weakening knees.  They share the same room with their beds close together.  They take each other’s hand, give thanks for a wonderful rich life and they pray for loved ones. Hands clasped, they fall asleep.