For a Friend

A year ago, the hearts of many were heavy as we received word of the passing of an outstanding lady that my wife and I were lucky to know and call friend.

We last saw her at handbell practice in early November after returning from a week-long Caribbean cruise. She was fighting chest congestion for a month, thus at the end of rehearsal, my wife and another ringer convinced her to escalate her troubles. Later that week she went to the hospital, received X-rays, was admitted, and never returned home.

Being gracious, funny, and a good one to kid, those that knew her, loved her. No matter what she did, she always gave it her best, and with the ability to laugh at herself … and, much too young to leave the living.

We, and the family, thought she would be home for Thanksgiving or shortly thereafter, but the lung cancer was too aggressive and too advanced. I can’t recall ever crying for so many consecutive days – not for any friends or my grandparents, aunts, uncles, or parents. It was very hard for us in this house, and it also impacted our entire holiday season.

Nonetheless, we grabbed our bootstraps, and focused on her husband because that is something we could do here and now. I’m proud of him as he’s done well, and I’m happy with the little part that I’ve played.

Today is the first anniversary of her passing – thus, why I couldn’t do a cartoon post. She wouldn’t be much for the today’s hub-bub, thus would be fussy with me to post as normal – but that’s ok, she’s not here to stop me … besides, I can use this to  kid her again!

I’ve thought a lot of her this week, and even write this with tears – but it’s something I had to do for a good lady.

A few days after her funeral, I posted this tribute to her, as I share a constant reminder I have of her.  Besides, I know I’m a better person today because of her role of a portion of my life – but my wife and I still miss her.

Her funeral was difficult for the entire handbell choir as she was one of us, besides, her husband asked us to play. I still recall the difficulty of that rehearsal for the entire choir, but also his strength and pride through his smile as we concluded at the funeral.

Today is a good time to share this beautiful version of Beside Still Waters we played with heavy hearts for our friend and handbell colleague.

Meanwhile, “Hey up there – how are the butterflies?” (actually, an inside joke for her that I couldn’t resist)

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 122

On Politics
Cheers to the GOP candidates refusing to attend the Donald Trump debate.

Herman Cain and Donald Trump dropping out of the race does not mean the business people cannot run for president, but it does mean that one anyone runs for president, the need to have a grasp on the issues.

Polls show that the Newt Gingrich is gaining support from Tea Party members. I find the following points interesting:

  • The group opposing Washington insiders is supporting one. The group claiming representation of the people is supporting a former lobbyist.
  • The group claiming to be against giving money to influence decisions is supporting the one who took money to influence decisions.
  • The group claiming that Mitt Romney has flip-flopped too much in terms of health care, abortion, and climate change is racing to the one who has flip-flopped on the same issues and even more.

I listened to portions of several speeches GOP candidates made to a Republican-Jewish organization. I winced on many occasions.

A question to staunch GOP supporters: How can the race for the GOP nomination be weirder?

On Headlines from The Onion (it was a good week)

  • Renewable Energy Source Encoded in Charlie Sheen’s Rants
  • In Major Gaffe, Obama Forgets to Dumb It Down
  • Nation’s Moms Demand Christmas List
  • Half-Asleep Man Pauses 20 Minutes between Socks
  • Rumors of Extramarital Affair End Campaign of Presidential Candidate Who Didn’t Know China has Nuclear Weapons
  • Chinese Paint Tops List of This Year’s Must-Have Holiday Gifts
  • Court Rules Meryl Streep Unable to be Tried by Jury as She has No Peers

On Interesting Reads
I didn’t read as much this week for a number of reasons, so here are some from bloggers.

On Potpourri
2011 became the wettest year in Cincinnati history in October – and then we had the wettest November on record; and, we started this week with 4 inches of rain. The countdown to 2X the annual average is in single digits.

I’m a Bowling Green State University grad, thus this legit headline caught my eye: Bowling Green Travels to Bowling Green. If you find this intriguing, see this past post.

Announcement: Next week I return to a full-time project. Yes, there is the professional aspect of my brain and the lure of additional money to stash for full retirement, yet there is a sadness that I will not be able to keep up with reading, writing, visiting, commenting, and whatever else bloggers do. I will probably reduce to three posts per week soon, and visit where I can and when I can.As the last time, I will visit those visiting here first.

As for this blog goes, the timing is not good because the hits here are increasing. Thursday is one of the busiest days ever! Oh well, I will brace myself for the probable slide to come.

Our friend’s brother said this to attendees at the funeral: Twenty dies before she died, two people went to the hospital for what they thought would be a routine X-ray. What are you doing twenty days from now?

Once discovering that our hospitalized friend was about to leave us, I cried at least once a day for seven days – but I’m getting better. This pic is a closer look at our handbell tribute to her at the funeral, which I said more about earlier this week. For those who enjoy handbell music, a Japanese choir performs Beside Still Waters (arr Howard Starks), which is the beautiful song we played at the funeral. Please click here to watch if the video below doesn’t work.

Meanwhile, in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.