Friday, July 14, 2017

Three Weeks Ago Today

Three weeks ago today, in the afternoon, I learned that my cousin, Bob, had been in a two-vehicle accident.  At first it was reported that both drivers had been killed. Then, that Bob had survived but was in critical condition in an Omaha hospital.
After more than a week in ICU and some surgeries, things began looking up. He was transferred out of ICU and was able to have visitors. He had a long recovery road ahead of him, but it looked like he would make it. Suddenly he got worse, a blood clot was suspected, and he died on the 6th. His funeral was yesterday.

My grandmother and Bob's grandfather were sister and brother - the two oldest in their family of six siblings. Our two families often got together. This picture was taken in 1954 before Bob was born. That's my mom holding my baby brother. My brother Ron and sister Betty are on the left. Bob's brother and two sisters are the other children in front. Dad and I are missing from the photo. One of us must have taken the picture, probably Dad. But where was I?

A year and a half later and there's baby Bob in the arms of his grandmother as he reaches out toward his mother. My dad is the tall one in back on the right. His sister is in front of him.

I think this was an anniversary celebration for Bob's grandparents' in the middle. His parents are on the left and the couple on the right is his aunt and her husband.
My dad was a first cousin of Bob's mom and aunt.

My parents and younger brother and Bob's family made a few fishing trips to Minnesota together. Left to right are Dad, Frederick, my brother, Les and in front, is Bob. I think the one in the hoodie on the right is Bob's brother, Rich. Nice catch of fish.

When I moved back to our hometown the first time, Bob was working at the Texaco station. I became attracted to one of his co-workers and went to Bob to find out more about him. Bob didn't introduce us, but I think he let Bud know I was asking about him. It took a while, but those two co-workers became cousins by marriage.

By the second time I (we) moved back to our hometown, Bob had his own business, Corning Tire & Exhaust. We became regular customers and while there were no longer the big family dinners, we did converse about family members now and again. (The last time about his Dad's service during WWII.)

Who do you suppose I went to when I wanted an old tractor tire to use for a sand box for my grandchildren when they were little? Bob.

And a few years later when I needed a truck tire rim to make a fire pit, where did I go? To Bob's. (Granddaughter Kathryn in both photos.)

Even after we moved to Creston, we still went back to Bob's for tires, oil changes and exhaust work. It wasn't just that he was a friend and family, it was also because he was someone we trusted.

Funeral flowers have changed a lot over the decades, but I think this arrangement next to Bob's casket is one of the most unique and appropriate I've ever seen.

I 'borrowed' this recent photo of Bob from one of his daughter's posts. It is the way I will remember him.

He died tragically and much too young. He will be missed.

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