Another passage

I am very sorry I did not post from ALA. I had a marvelous time and took lots of pictures and promise to fill you in on all the details within the next day or so.

But the sad news is that I had to leave ALA early because my father-in-law was dying.

Imet my father-in-law, Bill Larrabee, at the same time I met my husband; when I was three years old. Bill and his wife Edith became my parents’ best friends. They were so close that I grew up calling the Larrabees "Uncle Bill" and "Aunt Edith." I have never been able to shake that habit, so yes, I call my father-in-law, "Uncle Bill."

He was a magnificent man.

Last week was filled with sadness and many, many trips to the nursing home. The staff at St. Luke’s in Oswego, NY was magnificent, but that wasn’t a surprise. They have cared for him – and all of their other patients – with the highest level of compassion and service you could imagine. We are so grateful for them.

My Beloved Husband and I were sitting with Uncle Bill when he passed. In some ways it was different than my mother’s death last month, but in most, it was the same; the transition of a great spirit from one form to another. The day after his death, the house filled with relatives and we celebrated his life and legacy.

When we were visiting Uncle Bill a few weeks ago, he unexpectedly summed up his life’s philosophy for us with these words: "Don’t hurt anyone. Be kind and have fun."

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Words to live by. Happy June 51st, everyone.

26 Replies to “Another passage”

  1. “Don’t hurt anyone. Be kind and have fun.”

    Laurie, my thoughts have been with you through this difficult summer, even as my students delighted in Prom and I added Chains to my “Female Voices in Historical Narratives” class for the fall. That wonderfully fine quote from your father-in-law is so gentle, and so true, and so wise, my eyes pricked with tears. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing that. I send good thoughts and good words, as much as I am able.

  2. John Gardner wrote: “Some people strengthen the society just by being the kind of people they are.”

    Sounds like an apt description of your Uncle Bill. I’m terribly sorry for your family’s loss.

  3. When I met you a couple of weeks ago (June 41st, I think?) at Anderson’s bookstore in Naperville, I told you about the journey my mother is making through hospitals and nursing homes – and how your openness and honesty in this blog has helped me through it. You said “Come here, girl!” and gave me a huge hug.

    I return that hug sevenfold and wish you a Happy June 51st. We caretaking daughters have to stick together.

    Take care of yourself for us, ok?

  4. My sympathy

    to you and your family. Thank you for sharing and my heart feels for you and yours at this time.

  5. I’m so sorry for you and your husband, Laurie. Sounds as though he was a kind, selfless gentleman. My condolences.

  6. Your BH looks so much like your “Uncle Bill” – and you both already live his beautiful philosophy.

    You have two amazing spirits to watch over your family in the forest and out in the world. Heartfelt condolences, strength and warm hugs are heading your way.

  7. Sounds like a full and memorable life for him and all around him. It’s always sad when someone who was such a force in your life passes. I hope that you are well (as well as you can be, really). His life’s philosophy is perfect!

  8. Tanita Says :

    I’m so sorry for your recent losses. You share so much with us all, generously and courageously and I’m grateful. Also grateful for the words to live by; too often in the “don’t hurt everyone and be kind” we forget to “have fun.” Here’s to it, and a courageous-hearted gentleman who leaves people with happy memories.

  9. I lost track of your journal for a while (I read it through Bloglines), so I finally start following it again, and this is the post I land on. Oh dears. What a terrible time of sorrow you and your family have been having.

    It sounds like, though, you have been blessed with some amazingly wonderful people in your life, and you continue to have a wonderful family around you. You are very lucky.

  10. Sorry for your loss.
    Uncle Bill looks like a sweetie. He and your mom both lived long beautiful lives. Since they were friends in life I’m sure they are hanging out together now.
    God bless you and your family.

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