Posted tagged ‘sadness’

Goodbye … Again

March 16, 2018

Muri_JackieLast week, we said goodbye to our dear friend, Jackie, who passed away after an extended hospital stay.   We had been visiting her twice a week at the hospital, both to enjoy her company and to give her daughters (who both have their own children to care for) some time off.   We watched and waited for signs of improvement but at least to our eyes, they never really materialized.   Jackie was tired and somewhat groggy much of the time but as we sat and talked about our almost fifty years as friends, the Jackie we knew would make regular appearances, the radiant smile and her laugh lighting up her hospital room.   Last Wednesday morning her daughter called us to say, You’d best come down and say goodbye, she’s not going to make it.  She was unconscious when we arrived but we took turns sitting beside her, talking to her, saying our goodbyes.  Late in the afternoon, after the family had arrived, she was taken off life support and quietly passed. (more…)


Mom and the King

March 10, 2018

muscialsI grew up to the sound of music (and, yes, The Sound of Music) on the TV/Stereo Console in the living room, right under the picture window that looked out on Bradley Street. That is, I grew up to music when Dad wasn’t home.  Dad liked it quiet and I can remember Mom lovingly lifting the needle for one of her favorite LPs at the sound of Dad pulling into the driveway.   I get it.   I would have music playing all the time (it actually is, in my head) … my wife Muri sees it as background at best, off even better.  Like so many things that define me, I got my love of music from Mom.   What did she listen to?  Yes, there was some obligatory Montovani, 101 Strings and yulFerrante and Teicher but mostly she played big bands (especially Glenn Miller), classical music (she favored symphonies) and Broadway musicals.   I still remember the lyrics from South Pacific (Some enchanted evening …), Oklahoma (where the wind comes sweeping down the plains ...) and My Fair Lady (I’ve grown accustomed to her face …).   Then there’s The King and I.  My Mom’s favorite.   She saw it in New York and immediately had a crush on Yul Brynner.   It was the only time I remember my Mom owning up to a crush.   I think my Dad was OK with it because he had more than a little bit of the King in him.  Then I went away to college and became educated (technically) and sophisticated (supposedly), too cool to listen to Broadway musicals.  Once I was married, my wife and I became fans of live theater, but I resisted seeing those uncool musicals.   It would be years before I admitted my love of musicals and began to add them to our theater repertoire.   Sophistication be damned, right?   At 73, I’m nostalgic. (more…)

Older … Sadder … Wiser

September 4, 2017

SWI am aboard a Southwest flight from Cleveland OH to Orange County, returning from funeral services for my sister-in-law, GeorgeAnn, who passed suddenly from a massive heart attack last Monday.  There was a viewing on Friday night and on Saturday, a brief memorial service at the funeral home and grave side, then a luncheon back at the funeral home.  Everything was beautiful and in keeping with GeorgeAnn’s personality, upbeat, a celebration of her life rather than an occasion for grieving.   Personally, I am a crier.  When I lose someone, I need to cry and I’d rather do it with loved ones than alone at night or in my car at the park.  I didn’t know GeorgeAnn as well as most of the people attending so I went with their lead and only teared up a few times.


Tell Them … Again

August 31, 2017

This week, my brother’s wife, GeorgeAnn, passed away from a heart attack.   Just over eight years ago,  my sister-in-law, Sandy, passed away after weeks of fighting to recover from cancer surgery.   One passing sudden, taking your breath away, the other slow, agonizing … but the shock is the same, a loved one taken too soon, at least from our perspective here on earth.  And in the case of GeorgeAnn and Sandy, two truly good people who brought love, light and care to the lives of family and friends.   Back in 2009, I wrote a short post titled Tell Them, wondering if Sandy knew how much we loved her, how special she was. The message of that post was this: Tell them. Tell the people you love just how much they mean to you and tell them how you think they’re special. Don’t wait. Don’t be wondering someday if they knew.

So, here I sit in mentor OH, waiting to attend GeorgeAnn’s viewing tonight, wondering if I’ve gotten any better at this business of letting those I love know how much I care.  George Ann was funny, quirky, outspoken and compassionate.  She was a natural caregiver who cared for friends and family during difficult times, including my sister, Pat, and she was the light of my brother’s life.  She literally saved both my sibling’s lives in the past few years.  Did I thank her enough?  Did she know how much I loved her?  Perhaps.  But I’ll pass on the same message: Tell them … again.  Tell the people you love just how much they mean to you and tell them how you think they’re special. Don’t wait. Don’t be wondering someday if they knew.

Life … in Session

April 25, 2017

thermoThe first time I heard the saying, Life is in Session, was about 24 years ago in a 12-Step meeting for families and friends of alcoholics.   Someone was going through a crisis and after they shared about it, they closed with, I guess life is just in session.   I’ve probably heard the phrase thousands of times since then and it has never been used in reference to a pleasant or exciting event in life.   It has always been associated with a difficult stretch of time, probably because families and friends of alcoholics seem to have more than their share of those.   It is not so much a complaint as an acceptance that life is not always easy and that we are probably best off trying to learn something from what we are going through instead of just complaining.  The notion that life is a classroom offering lessons we are intended to learn appeals to me philosophically … it even fits with what my Mom taught me about life … that it’s for growing.   As somewhat of a lifelong student, it’s a notion that helps keep me going if I can see the value of the lessons I’m learning.   But I’ve never done well in required course if I can’t see their purpose. (more…)


April 2, 2017

This is a repost of something I posted at the end of 2009, the year I started Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog.  I don’t remember what was going on but obviously I was looking for guidance.  This has been a difficult few months and I find myself looking again.   The same thoughts apply.

Years ago, my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer.    When she went through surgery and the subsequent radiation, my son’s cat, Mr. B, was staying with us.   Mr. B was an affectionate people-loving cat to start with but when my wife came home from the hospital, he became her constant companion.   He’d curl up next to her on her pillow whenever she was in bed and drape himself over her neck when she came home exhausted from radiation treatments.   A genuine bond formed between them.   After the twelve weeks of radiation were over, we made plans to go back east and visit our families.   The morning we were leaving, Mr. B was killed by a coyote in our front yard which was devastating to both of us.    I don’t remember which of us it was that suggested that he was an angel who’d been called home because his job looking after my wife was done.    Interestingly, when I told my sister what had happened, she suggested the same thing.  Of course, we aren’t the first to suggest that our felines might be angels … Allen and Linda Anderson’s book, Angel Cats – Divine Messengers of Comfort, is full of similar stories. (more…)


March 30, 2017


I am most often a grateful person who can look to the good things that life has given me instead of focusing on the difficulties.  That is not an ability I was born with, in spite of the fact that I am the son of a woman who could do exactly that, even in her later years when the effects of diabetes were making her life harder and harder.   Fortunately, pragmatic optimism and an attitude of gratitude can be learned … my particular education came in the rooms of a 12-Step program but I am sure there are other places it can be found.  However, for the last few months … and in particular, the last few weeks … issues with my adult son have dragged me downward.   A clash of lifestyles made it necessary for us to (finally) push him out the door and this week, after several false starts, he moved out … not, of course, without some nasty arguments with us on the way.  To say life at home has been stressful is an understatement and it certainly doesn’t end with his moving.  He is still our son and still on our minds. (more…)