As a stereotypically introverted writer, the vast majority of my friends are online. So, I’ve chosen to share the tragedy that has struck my family with those of you who count yourself as my friends.
Early this morning, my mother called to let us know my stepdad had passed away during the night. It’s not a sudden surprise, but nonetheless devastating.
Seven years or so after my dad passed away, my mom reconnected with a friend from her youth. After a bit, this friend asked my mom to meet a gentleman she’d worked with, a widower and recently retired. The friend thought my mom and this man would have a lot in common.
So after a couple of phone calls, Reno came to my mom’s church, and took her to lunch after the service. They fell hard for each other right away. They both approached their families carefully, fearful of negative reactions, but thankfully, both sides were happy for them. A few months later, they were married.
As deeply as Reno had loved his first wife, my mom, Clara, became the love of his life. My mom was completely in love with my dad, but Reno became the new love of her life. They had nearly five years together.
Then, a few weeks ago, Reno became ill, unable to keep down food or drink. A trip to the doctor showed a bowel obstruction, and he was rushed into emergency surgery to clear it. The obstruction turned out to be a massive, inoperable, malignant tumor. He was left with a colostomy, and plans for chemo after he healed.
The next few weeks were pretty rough, but finally, he’d seemed to be improving, getting stronger. Then, over the weekend, he started having trouble keeping food down again. Yesterday morning, he had a serious heart attack. He’d had some heart problems in the past, but seemed to be well on that front. They aren’t sure what caused the attack – possibly infection, a blood clot, or the severity of his dehydration, or something else not readily apparent. And last night, he was gone.
And so closes one of the greatest love stories I’ve ever witnessed.