I have been wanting to write this blog for some time, but it has been difficult. Most of my posts are rather positive, this one will not be, so get ready.
We received a telephone call on March 5, 2015 from Rose Marie, that her husband, our relative and good friend Bernard Scheiff had died suddenly. It is those calls you always dread, you are not ready for them, they are shocking and are very difficult to make by the loved ones. Bernard had battled with cancer for so many years, beat it and had been so well for so many years, we stopped worrying about him.
He got up that morning and died within a few hours-suddenly, unexpectedly, unrelated to the cancer.
But this can't be. We talk to Rose Marie & Bernard at least 2-3 times a week even though they live in the Bay Area and we live up in Northern California. We have vacationed together; we plan their yearly, seasonal trips here to the farm during certain harvest times so we can spend days canning, freezing and cooking. We plan on their trips here for our special area wide yard sales, which Bernard absolutely loved. We had so many things yet to talk about that we shared like gardening, chickens, cooking, politics. And whenever we are together, it is non stop laughing, having fun, and of course, eating.
Bernard and Frank were always talking about projects they were working on, or repair jobs they hoped to do. Bernard always admired Frank's ability and opinions on just about everything. A few days before Bernard died, he had asked Frank about some grouting product for his outside patio area that he was re-doing. Frank was checking with our daughter on what they used because they recently installed a new slate patio at their house and did the work themselves. Simple stuff, sharing and helping each other. But Frank wasn't able to talk to him about it. It was unfinished business.
I am a planner, a list maker, a task master, as I am called, I THINK lovingly. Every day I wake up my mind lists in my head what job/task I need to get done and in which order. My mother trained me that all the work had to be done FIRST, before you got to do the fun things of the day. That is how I have lived my life, work first, play later.
It drives me crazy, because I can't stop myself. Poor Frank-it usually involves him too!!! And my planning and tasks just aren't for the present day, but go on for planning my days and weeks ahead.
After Bernard died, my own mortality began to invade my thoughts. Suppose I die suddenly, unexpectedly.
I have so many unfinished projects that need to be done, suppose I didn't get to them all in time? I hate not finishing projects.
Suppose something happens and the wet wash doesn't get put into the dryer and gets mildew? Suppose "they" forget to feed the chickens or pick up the eggs? Suppose they forget about those plants in the green house that need to be watered a couple times a day? Suppose they forget that the dogs get fed twice a day? I don't have any food in the refrigerator, I am going to go shopping tomorrow, suppose something happens and then there isn't any food for Frank to eat? My bedding needs to be changed; I have a doctor's appointment next week; my grandson's birthday is in June and my grand daughter's birthday is in October, suppose I won't be here to be with them for those special days. I still have some knitting projects in my bag next to my chair that I haven't completed; yarn I haven't used. I need a hair cut. I need to pay some bills. I need to plant more corn. I need to email my CSA members that we will be starting up in a few weeks. Unfinished Business.
Suppose I didn't tell Frank I love him, just one last time after being married for over 47 years. Suppose I didn't tell Chris & Celli how much I love them and how proud we are of them for being such wonderful parents to our grand children. How proud we are of them for living a good life; working hard; sacrificing; being part of their community; being involved in the kids school and after school sports and activities. How proud we are of them being kind and loving to each other. Suppose I didn't have time to tell my friends how much they have been so important to me.
Frank and I had unfinished business with Bernard. We weren't able to tell him how much we loved him; what a joy he was in our lives; how unique and special he was and how much we always enjoyed spending time together with him and Rose Marie. He won't be here to help us pick peaches; he won't be here to help with the big, hot canning pots. He won't be here for his loving and devoted wife Rose Marie; he won't be here to be a loving and caring person to his three sons; he won't be here to continue his devotion to God and their church that they have been going to every week for almost 50 years.
Because he was a man with a deep belief and devotion, I am sure he will forgive us for any unfinished business that we did not do for him or with him, like telling him we loved him and that we will miss him very much.