Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Saying Good Bye to George the Best Way I Can

 I am going to try my best to write as I have four children running around, causing havoc.  I need to try.  My step dad, George, is being taken off his ventilator today and he can't survive without it.  It would be easier for me to move mountains than it would be for me to go there to say good bye.  I racked my brain trying to figure out a way, and couldn't.  As I was falling asleep last night, I thought of this- looking through pictures and blogging a letter to George.  And, I feel pretty good about the closure it will create for me.  I just so wish i could be there today to support my step brother and sister.  I grew up with George.  My mom and him dated and then lived together a very long time before they got married.  He was a big part of my life growing up, but sadly, not so much of my recent life.  Life got busy and I have regrets.  Sorry, George.  Before I start my letter, here are a few pictures i had time to find while watching my four children.

 This picture is the day my mom and George got married in our backyard.  In the background, you can see the arbor that they would be married under. George built it for the wedding.  My mom got George a "Groom" mug to drink his coffee in.  They both smoked and drank coffee non-stop.  He also had a mug that said "What a Guy" because that is what we said all the time to him, especially after he built something or fixed something, which was often.  I remember he made the unity candle holders for my wedding and he would send me Polaroid pictures of their progress.  One had a caption that said "perfection takes time".
 George always had a huge to-do list from my mom.  He handled it well and did wonderful work.  He was a bit of a perfectionist and took his time to do things right.  He totally redid our backyard with a beautiful, huge deck, a huge garden, a pond, a bench he made with birdhouses on it, fencing, trellis, paths, hammock, etc.  My mom and him made our backyard a beautiful sanctuary by which I hold every other backyard up to, but nothing ever comes close.  Here he is building a box for a plant that grows up a trellis.  My mom wanted it on wheels so she could bring it inside for the winter.  Jasmine grew on it.  George was rarely seen in shorts, but often without a shirt and in jeans.

The day my mom and George got married was a perfect day.   George surprised my mom by getting out his guitar and playing her a song.  So thoughtful.  George made my mom very happy.
 When i worked at Petsmart, I told my mom that we had a border collie puppy there.  George had always wanted a border collie.  My mom surprised him with his own dog (he wasn't a big fan of our cats) and George named her Samantha because he always wanted a dog named Sam.  She was the best dog. . . a little hyper and jumpy, but a great companion for him. 

This is the image of George that i will hold in my mind- wearing a v-neck sweater (i think he had them in all colors) with a dress shirt and perfectly trimmed hair.
Another favorite picture of mine-

 My mom took all of us white water rafting.  I was in her and George's boat.  I remember this was the first time I had seen George in shorts!  I also remember when a rapid threw him over the side of the boat and my mom and I couldn't do anything to get him back in.  Our guide came and helped us and just lifted him right into the boat.  My mom and George had their cigarettes and lighter in ziploc bags. 
 My mom and Aunts threw TJ and I a wedding shower that was also a rib cook-off.  It turned out to be one of the best backyard parties.  It had a theme of sweet violets, and although George always rolled his eyes or scowled at my mom's themes, he loved it deep down and would add to the theme in his own way.  He built extra tables for us to eat at.  He was always at work- helping us garden, building stuff, mowing the lawn, repainting, remodeling, etc. 
My mom, as a high school teacher, often dragged him to school functions like dances and Homecoming dances.  He rarely grumbled about it, but had to get all dressed up for the occasion or make something.  Here is when they chaperoned a dance.

Dear George,
I am sorry I can't be there today to say good bye, to hold your hand, and to support Mike and Jen.  I am also sorry that you only got to meet Jaelynne.  Life got busy and crazy.  If you met Camryn, you would see a lot of mom in her.  She is CrAzY, like mom was.  I want to say good bye to you, but i also want to say thank you.  Thank you for making my mom so happy all those years.  You made her laugh so hard and be so happy.  Thank you for loving me and my brothers.  I remember the first Christmas you and mom were together.  You bought me Troll pajamas with funky troll slippers that had purple and orange hair.  I loved those things!  I remember you always drinking coffee from Christmas mugs, making ham and cheese sandwiches,  eating ice cream with ruffle potato chips, eating Stroh's chocolate marshmallow ice cream, watching the Tigers from the recliner, building bunk beds for my brothers, remodeling all the bedrooms, salting all your food, your sense of humor, your laugh, and your smile.  Since my mom passed away, I have missed you.  I have missed you because I haven't seen you much, but I have also missed you because a part of you seemed to die along with my mom.  I know you loved her beyond words.  I know she made you laugh and smile, too.  I have greatly missed you for a long time, but now this is different.  You will be missed.  Good bye George.  Please say hi to my mom for me when you see her and give her a hug for me and tell her I love her.  Maybe dance with her, like you did when she grabbed your arms in the kitchen and danced with you. Give Sammy a big pet too.  Thank you.

I love you,

1 comment:

Aunt Andrea said...

Lindsey thank you for the pictures, sweet letter, and the closure that I felt after reading it. I enjoyed the re-cap of their short too short marriage. Mike and Jenny, were good kids, My heart goes out to them both!!

Love all of you,
Aunt Andrea