My youngest sister, Allyn Hadlock is in beautiful Puerto Vallarta, Mexico this weekend having a special birthday/Valentine’s Day holiday trip, lounging on the beach. It was a special gift from her husband, Chris. They have been married for 35 years, and Chris wanted to give his wife and valentine a special trip to celebrate. So this year they are sitting in 80° weather, while the rest of us are trying to keep warm in 23° weather. I would really be mad at her, if it weren’t for the fact that I think the trip was an awesome idea, and I can’t think of anyone who deserves it more. The trip is an all inclusive weekend, and so they are feasting on all the wonderful foods there are, and lounging on the beach and the pool, of course. What a wonderful way to relax.
Allyn has worked in the billing department in a medical office in Casper, Wyoming for some time now, and a while back when they reorganized, she was made a supervisor. She works very hard at her job, and this vacation was a welcome break. In her personal life, she is known as “Grandma” these days…a job she doesn’t take lightly. Her grandchildren love gong to see her, and the oldest two, Ethan and Aurora Hadlock often spend Sunday afternoons with Grandma and Grandpa. It’s a great time for everyone, and they never get tired of it. They also have Adelaide Sawdon, and Mackenzie Moore to round of the crew. Adelaide lives here and they get to see her quite often too, but Mackenzie lives in North Carolina, so seeing her takes a bit of planning. Still, those trips are precious, and they all enjoy them, and when it comes to seeing those babies, try keeping the grandparents away for long. For them, family is, after all, the most important thing in their world.
Nevertheless, being a grandma isn’t the only part of being a couple that is important. This weekend is a rest and reconnect weekend. Since the resort is all inclusive and the only place they have to be is the places they want to be. There is nothing to do but relax and enjoy themselves, and I’m really happy that they get to do this, especially when it comes to getting away from the cold Wyoming Winter that is still rearing its ugly head around here right now. I think that for Allyn and Chris the sun, sand, surf, and palm trees is just what the doctor ordered…a weekend in Paradise. Today is Allyn’s birthday. Happy birthday Allyn!! Have a great time on your weekend in Paradise!! We love you!!
I wasn’t there when my future Uncle Jim met my Aunt Ruth, of course, because I wasn’t even born yet, but I can imagine how he must have felt, because he had found his one and only. All it took was one look at the two of them together, and you could see just how deep their love was. There would never be anyone else for either one of them. They were married on September 15, 1946, and began a life full of love, laughter, and later, a desire to see new places and find their special paradise.
After living several places, they found that special place in the mountains near Newport, Washington. There, with their family around them, they settled down in their last home. Grief had crossed their paths while living in California, when their middle child, and oldest son, Larry was killed in an accident. Washington would become a retreat…a way to get beyond their grief and feel alive again, in the beauty of nature. They had always loved the great outdoors, and now it would become a healing balm for their hearts too.
When my Aunt Ruth passed away, on May 11, 1992, Uncle Jim’s heart was broken, and maybe his spirit a little bit too. The love of his life was gone from him for now. She existed only in his future now…in Heaven, waiting for him to join her again. For many years now, Uncle Jim has been living in the past…the one thing that the Alzheimer’s Disease couldn’t rob him of. He could see his lovely bride…his one and only…beautiful as ever, always beside him, reminding him of the wonderful life they had shared and the wonderful future they would share soon.
Uncle Jim passed away yesterday at the good old age of 91. He lived a happy life but his body was tired and it was time for him to leave this life and start the next one. He was surrounded by his loving family, and the wonderful nurses and CNAs who had cared for him for the past 7 years, and who will miss him terribly. His joyful voice, singing as he wandered through the halls of the nursing home, is silenced now, no more to delight those who loved to hear it. His smiling face no more to brighten the day of all who saw it. And there will be more than one nurse who will miss being chased around the home by this little old man saying he loved them.
His antics done here on Earth, Uncle Jim has gone home, to begin his future in Heaven. He was met by his one and only, Aunt Ruth, his son Larry, and all the family who had gone before him. He is free again, with his body and mind intact. The disease that had kept him bound all these years, no longer has its hold on him. He is free, healthy, happy, and surrounded by the loved ones who were awaiting his arrival. We love you Uncle Jim, and while we will miss you very much, we are thankful that you are safe in God’s loving arms. We will see you again very soon.