20161109

Some bad, some good, some great -- November 2016


Some posts write themselves.  Either a photo or a place dictates what follows.  Others balk at being looked at, much less being exposed to one and all by writing.  This one, this post, I never, ever thought to write, it just wouldn't be necessary.  My healthy youngest brother, Rob, who entertained us, played with his young great-nieces and -nephews, and who shared a bike trail with us at our Boston reunion in June, learned he had aggressive Stage 4 lung cancer in July, and passed away Saturday evening, Nov. 5th, 2016.  He slipped away while no one was looking.  As shocking as this was, his passing spared him from weeks of lingering, perhaps enduring agonizing pain.  Those of you who follow my blog know that in Aug/Sept, Jimmy and I spent five weeks with him in Mobile, AL, helping him through the hoops and hurdles of dealing with a terminal disease.   It wasn't easy, but it was a privilege to help someone who meant so much to us.  His passing leaves a hole in our hearts.  He will be missed.


Rob Nykvist, 1957-2016


Above, Rob was usually game to play the jokester, and his antics always made us laugh. Below, Rob, (in his customary orange shirt) and Jimmy ride along a tree-shaded bike trail in Massachusetts, something the three of us loved to do.  I've already lost two brothers to cancer and it sucks.  My oldest brother, Rus, in Boston, seems to be doing better with his cardiomyopathy.  Nannie and I and Rus and our spouses plan a memorial-type get-together for Rob sometime in 2017.  This hasn't been a good year for me and Jimmy, family-wise, beginning with his son's death last January and now Rob.  I tell you, it sure brings mortality to the forefront of my brain.  We struggle now with our grief.



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On a lighter note ... we have a very nice house, at least we think so, with warm, golden-oak hardwood floors throughout, including the kitchen. Built in 1965, our house was remodeled before we bought it four-plus years ago, and we ended up with a wonderfully spacious great room, etc., but apparently no one wanted to tackle the old kitchen drawers. I've had a bone to pick with those drawers since we moved in because the runners were worn down and they stuck -- wood grinding on wood, dropping tiny wood chips, splinters and dust in each drawer below! Last month, Jimmy, my hero, redid those danged drawers, all 11 of them. It was a lot of hard work, and I offer up compliments with every opening and closing.  Thank you, Jimmy!


This is how engineers begin a job. 


Not much room to get arms inside.




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And now for the great news.  Study the photo below, look at the shirts that son, Matt, and his wife, Jen, wore for Halloween.  I love those shirts.  I love the reason for the shirts ... no, not the guy on the left with a frothy beer stein, but the girl on the right showing a ... baby girl in her tummy!  Yep, they're expecting their first child about March 1st.  I'll be a Gramma!  Wow, imagine that ... me a Gramma!


I am overwhelmed with joy! Look how happy they are. 
 Life goes on, the circle is complete, and I bow my head in reverence.


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And finally, Jimmy has his new list on the table, our luggage is laid out in the spare bedroom and a few items have appeared on the bed (so as not to be forgotten).  Now that the election is over, I can spring the line that I've been saving, regardless who won the contest:  "I'm leaving the country."  To be exact, Jimmy and I are bound for a month "Down Under," with Road Scholar.  We've ticked off calendar months since early spring when we booked the tour:  six months, then two months, and suddenly our departure is only a week away.  And we are getting really excited!  Another dream come true for both of us, visiting New Zealand and Australia   Not sure how much or how often I'll be able to post while we're away, but stay tuned.  I'll give it my best shot.

11 comments:

  1. Oh Nickie, I am so glad that you have this trip all waiting and ready to go. You know it will help you heal a bit, slowly, but a bit, and maybe easier than at home. Maybe. I am just so sorry that you lost your baby brother, so very sorry. I am so very happy that your beyond beautiful son and daughter-in-law are bringing a baby girl into the world, just for you, of course! Congrats to Jimmy on his drawer job, that one looked daunting! Big hugs to both of you.

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  2. The big wheel turns; one departs and one arrives.

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  3. I'm so sorry about your brother.
    Exciting news about the baby and your trip. Looking forward to your posts!

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  4. The circle of life ... one ends, another begins, and in between we must make the most of each moment. That baby girl is going to bring joyous relief to you as you continue to mourn the loss of your brother. Have a wonderful, wonderful time Down Under. We really enjoyed NZ, and are looking forward to our own foray into AU in February.

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  5. Wow that is quite the post!

    So sorry to hear of the loss of your brother, way to soon in life. I am glad that he slipped away fast and didn't have to linger in pain. Our thoughts go out to you both and your family.

    Congratulations, on hearing the news that you will soon be a Grandma and Grandpa. I hope everything goes well for your son and his wife during the pregnancy.

    Sounds like you will have a wonderful time down under! This is definitely on our list of places to visit, just not sure when but guaranteed we will get there one day. Looking forward to your posts from there.

    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

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    1. Thank you. Yes, quite a post, all the way around. We look forward to posting about our "down under" trip!

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  6. Sorry to hear about your brother, but what joyous news that a baby is on its way. Every day we have on this earth is a gift.

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  7. You have our sympathies…it's always hard to lose people. I grew up in Mobile…don't know how familiar you are with the area but we lived on Sienna Vista off of Springhill Avenue between Mobile and Florida streets. Back in the 60s/70s when I was growing up…we were the street that decorated at Christmas sponsored by the Garden Club and cars lined up for blocks to get in and see the lights.

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    1. I wasn't there, but my brother lived in Mobile from the 60's on thru his death. He was in Springhill Hospital when he passed away.

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  8. Anonymous4:12 PM

    My heart goes out to you regarding Rob. You have talked about how much he meant to you. I'm happy you guys will be going on vacation, but know you both are in my prayers. MOB

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  9. So sorry for your loss. Then a new life is such a blessing!

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