Monday, November 22, 2010

Teddy Bears by Dave....

After the week in Watseka we returned home. Greg went back to his work schedule and I have mountains of laundry from my trip to Denmark and the week in Watseka. Just as I settled in to my routine and I was notified that my former brother-in-law, Dave Showler had died. At age 52, he had a massive heart attack. It was such a shock. So I traveled to Michigan to attend his memorial service on the 23rd of October.

Dave was a great guy who happily played stay at home Dad for his daughters. He got them off to school each day and was home to meet them when their day was done. Amy works for Ford and Dave’s schedule was more flexible than hers. He was a great Dad and he loved the role.

Twenty five years ago when I was married Amy’s brother, Dave and Amy came to visit us in Arizona. Dave brought with him a set of bears that he had made for me. You see, Dave’s Mom had turned the family garage into a Fabric store. Mary Tietz and I had spent many hours in her store purchasing fabric for my kids clothes. We became quite close to Joyce, Dave’s mother. SO that is how I first met Dave. I would see him running out of the house and off to football practice, band practice or something at the school.

Then later he would start dating Amy, my sister-in-law. I had not realized that David had learned to sew. I should not have been surprised but I was when he told me that he had made the bears for me. “You did ?” I asked. “You mean your Mom did, right?” I said. “No I did!” Dave said. I was surprised. In our house all the girls learned to sew but the boys did not.

Through the years we found out that Dave was no ordinary man. He was an extraordinary man. He was a loving father and being that stay at home parent was the most important thing to him. He was a loving husband and companion to Amy. I have been divorce from Amy’s brother for 20 years now. I do not know my nieces very well and they do not know me at all. But what I saw of them at the service told me that Dave and Amy have done a great job of raising them and they are going to miss their Dad

Those bears spent twenty five years in my house and I thoroughly enjoyed them. I decided that it was time for them to go home where they belonged. So I took them to the memorial service and gave them back to Amy for her and the girls to enjoy.

Will miss you Dave. Rest in Peace.



Saturday, November 6, 2010

Where has the time gone....

Where has the time gone? It is now November and this weekend the snow has begun to fly in Indiana. I meant to get right back at my blog when I returned from my trip in September but so much has happened which was just more important! Family events we would rather not think about but when the day comes, you make the best of them.

The first event was the death of my father-in-law, James Henry Gerkin on the day after my return to the states from Denmark, September 22, 2010. He was failing while I was over seas and I knew the end was near. I sat in a cathedral in Copenhagen asking God to help him hang on until I could get home. You might think that it was selfish of me but I really did it for my husband. I did not want him to be alone when he got the news that his father had died. My husband supported me when my parents died and I want to do the same for him.

As I emptied my suitcase and started laundry from my vacation, I repacked a smaller suitcase with clothes for a wake and a funeral. We called the Razzano House Bed & Breakfast and reserved a room. The week was a busy one. All of the Gerkin family members were able to make it to Watseka for the wake and the funeral. The weather was still sunny and warm, beautiful early fall days. It was good to see everyone but we wished it had been for other reasons.

James was such a gentle man. I have only known him for 17 of his 96 years of life but in those 17 years, I never heard him raise his voice. I have seen him mildly irritated but never really mad. He treated everyone that he came in contact with gentle, tenderness. He was a faithful Christian man who had planned to make it to his 100th birthday if God had been willing. He is missed but he was blessed with 96 years of life. So be it!

James Gerkin at one years old in 1914

I am sure that as Jim entered into heaven he too probably asked, “ Where has the time gone?” 96 wonderful years of life - So be it!