Through it all…The Tough Stuff…

As an EXTREMELY busy week is behind me, and the start of a new and INCREDIBLY busy week is here,  I am reminded of all the important things that matter. Importance is a relative matter; I am talking about the good stuff. The good stuff in life that can be taken for granted from time to time without even being acknowledged for its importance until after the fact.

These last 2 weeks I’ve experienced many highs and lows each varying in nature yet the significance of each being most prominent.

Sadly I have had to go to the funeral home 2x in the last two weeks. Each visit for a woman who fought a LONG and HARD battle with cancer.  Both women were extraordinary in their own right; brave, spunky, lovers of life.  Both much too young to have gone through all that they had been faced with; yet each fighting their battles to the bitter end with the strength, love and admiration of their friends and family;  encompassing them as their battle ended and they entered their peaceful place of rest.  Their strength through the toughest of situations is such that I admire and cannot even fathom.  It is so very easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and take things for granted; take life for granted.

With the loss of 2 such women, I began remembering all our family has lost….Much has changed in my life in these almost 32 years.  So many loves lost…Loves in my family…all within a relatively short time span.  The things I remember the most are the little things…the “quirks” of each person or something they did or said…Some are relatives, some acquaintances or friends…Each stand out for one reason or another.

Here are some tidbits about some important people …. Each is missed each and everyday, but these little things are what keep their memories alive.

#1  We lost Uncle Ron to cancer in 2002.  What a  funny guy he was… His laugh was classic.  Rough exterior, but had gentle moments as well…  The thing I remember most was him taking me bowling for a Brownies function when I couldn’t have been older than 7.  That was the only time I remember it being just he and I doing something together without the whole clan.  That was something BIG to me back then and still stands out in my memory today.

#2  Gram Gobbel in 2001…She suffered with Alzheimer’s for more years than anyone should have to suffer…..ever.  What a cruel, cruel and scary disease.  She was a spunky little italian lady, who loved her sweets.  Going to dairy queen for ice cream was always a treat after we went with her for a hair appointment.  Even as the disease progressed and took her away from us little by little each and every day, she loved her ice cream.  As her words grew few and far between you knew you could gain a smile from her with ice cream.  Oh what a smile she had!  As the disease continued to take her away, I can still hear Lindsay singing You Are My Sunshine to her and getting gram to sing some of the parts with her…

#3  My step dad Lynn…Cancer is an evil thing…His short but hard battle ended in 2005.  Lynn was a proud man.  He was proud of his kids.  Proud of his grandkids… As for his accomplishments…he was very modest;  Not one to brag or boast.  He told stories and knew everyone…  Driving with Lynn you could always count on a story about how he laid pipe or worked here and there or drove that piece of equipment.  He was the KING of short cuts that somehow ended up taking longer… I’d love to hear another story or take another short cut.  The thing I respect the most about Lynn was his ability to know when to say something and when to leave well enough alone…  After having moved me to Maryland, driving and unpacking a u-haul who would have thought we’d be making the trek back home with a u-haul jam-packed less than a year later.  He knew it wasn’t easy for me.  He didn’t pry or try to get me to talk as we left to start the drive back to the hotel.  He just gave me a hug and we started to drive.  Nothing he could have said would have made me feel any better.  He knew enough not to try. 

#4 Pap Gobbel…2006…You just had to know him to appreciate his sense of humor…His stubbornness…His vocabulary.  i always wondered what was going on in his head.  His wheels were ALWAYS turning but no one would know what he was thinking.  A man set in his ways and a-okay with that.  One of the things that everyone remembers about pap were his nicknames…He himself going by Sam, Herk in his younger days…He gave nicknames to everyone and everything….from croocent (croissant), to AAmish (long A sound), to ver-i-zon (short i not long I), to winkys (Wendy’s), to “Sheegans” (our family in Michigan) to my nick name, Ginski…Have not a clue where it came from, but it was his name for me.  Pap was a tough cookie…hard to please.  Until you saw him with Brenden…He was so unbelievably sweet with Brenden.  I just wish the other great grand kids had a chance to experience that.  I don’t know who was more excited about the train bank he gave Brenden, great pap-pap or Brenden. 

#5 Uncle Bill, Lynn’s brother.  Cancer almost 5 years to the day that Lynn died.  I never realized just how much Lynn and Uncle Bill were alike until Lynn was no longer with us.  Their voices, their mannerisms, their build, habits, stories were all eerily similar.  Uncle Bill was a very giving man…he loved his sports and shared his love with those around.  Most of my favorite memories of Uncle Bill also involve Lynn.  I always, always remember the look of excitement in both of their eyes as there were getting ready to go hunting or talking about hunting.  I always wondered just how much hunting they actually did together, but I’m thinking it really didn’t matter.  they so enjoyed that time together.  I am so very happy that they were able to do it while they were both here on Earth together and am comforted by the thought that they are back together again.  Doing what ever they want to do.  

My intent in writing this is not sadness…It is in remembering the good in each of them.  trying not to dwell on the fact that they are not here, but celebrating the fact that they were here.  They were a part of my life and will continue to be through these memories. 

So yes, these are some tough things that I have experienced.  But in many of these tough spots, good things were happening all around us. 

  • Brenden was born 7 months before gram died; she got to see her first great-grandson…
  • The night before pap died, his 2nd great-grandson was born…
  • When Lynn was sick and in the hospital, his daughter married an amazing man…
  • When Uncle Ron was sick, all 3 of his boys had their soon to be spouses at their side.  All to be married within a year of each other…
  • Uncle Bill and Aunt Georgia got married…

There is good in every darkness.  there is a silver lining, you just have to hang on and find it shining through the dark moments. 

Share their memories, keep their memories…Love their memories.

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Through it all…The Tough Stuff…

  1. When I read things like this, I usually, selfishly, think about how the writer left out something that I observed or experienced; something that was a part of me that was overlooked…

    In this case when I would think about one of those points, you would write it next. You are one of the most real, in-touch and empathic people that I know. Thank you for this. Even though it shook up a lot of things–thank you.

    • I write alot and sometimes everything clicks while other times it’s a bunch of randomness that is neither here nor there.

      I am happy that you “got it.” Many may not. Those of us that were involved in the situations can truly appreciate all those little things about all of our “missing” people.

      Sorry for shaking things up for ya my dear, but sometimes it does the soul good. Thank you for your kind words…really means ALOT coming from you.

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