I always forget that just because you are my oldest kid, you are still a very young kid. I’m sorry I always expect you to get it right the first time, and always try to get you to do things on your own when you aren’t yet ready. I will try to remember to let you be little. Because, well, you’re little.
We are all in the business of living. We plan our days out, we wake with a list to check off. We hop out of bed and begin the business anew with our morning coffee and eggs. But when the to-do list suddenly has funeral arrangements on it, everything else stops. Our family is in a grieving period. It’s still so fresh I’m unable to make any profound statements about it. But I am acutely aware that this business of grief trumps all the other work we had to do.
On Saturday morning Rob lost his grandfather, “Bunkle,” to a long fight with Alzheimer’s disease. His passing came suddenly, and though we were not completely prepared, the medical staff and grief councilors took amazing care of Bunkle and of our family. It was touching to be present in the room where a family took the time to care for each other so deeply. And it was moving to be there, giving reverence to the part of life which brings you into the next one.
So now we stop being fully present in this business of living. The deadlines have remained the same, but we are not attending to them with the same urgency we had before. Right now we are interrupted by remembrances. We are distracted by sorrow. Today we have prioritized loving our family and preparing for a funeral. Making a large meal is of utmost importance. We are taking the time to thank God for the life Bunkle lived, and the family he started. It’s not easy, but it is better than letting the grief pass you by, checking it off the list and moving on.
I’ve spent the last five years (plus the two previous) getting to know Rob. We’ve spent most of that time increasing both our own patience levels and the population of Akron, Ohio. We’ve learned to expect certain personality short-comings to repeat. We’ve learned to try not to mention those short-comings unless we’re looking to start a fight or hurt feelings.
I’ve learned that Rob is exactly half of my Dad, and exactly half of his Dad. I’d say he’s the best half of both. He’s admirably principled, a very hard worker, not afraid of being transparent and a wonderful father. I have learned to trust him with my hardest conflicts because he is the best person at helping me figure it out and helping me when I need it. He believes in me when I don’t believe in myself and he’s always on my side.
I am so lucky to have found someone to be my best friend, advocate, (paycheck), coach and coworker.
I love you Rob. I hope I get a chance to go get you a handsome gift today. I hope I can think of something that reflects how much I feel about you.
Now back to our regularly scheduled anti-sentimentalism.