Patty's Mammie Grams

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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Feb 7 Back in Tucson From Phoenix

Sara and I arrived in Phoenix Monday night at about 9:15 or so, at the condo where the rest of the family was staying with Bob's dad.
George finally was able to stop his very labored breathing at about 4:40 a.m. Tuesday morning, and the family stayed with him until the hospice nurse came to pronounce him at 7:50 a.m.
The hospice chaplain came to be with the family until the funeral home came to take his body, and we met with the mortuary later that day to make arrangements for his cremation. He wanted to be buried in the Vashon Island Cemetery next to David and Sean, his son and grandson. We will be up there sometime this summer for that ceremony. Probably the end of June will be when we can get into the same house where we had a family reunion in 2002 and buried David's cremains. That was 6 years after we buried Sean's cremains. Here it is, 6 years later again.
We all drove back to Tucson Tuesday evening, after the trip to the funeral home, and after we finally went to eat at an Olive Garden close by the mortuary. Most of us hadn't eaten much for the last couple of days.
We managed to finish eating in time to get to drive back south in the Phoenix rush hour traffic.
I managed to get lost and it took 1 1/2 hours to find I 10 and get going south. Should have probably taken maybe 15 - 20 minutes NOT during rush hour. It wasn't fun and I have never been quite so scared driving around in the dark and not having any idea whatsoever which direction I was going. I finally made it back to 8620 at 9:15. I left the restaurant at 6:00.
The problem was the 101 and 202 freeways go in a circle and if you don't know exactly where you are going, all is lost. A map probably would have helped, but how hard could it be to just drive down and turn at - and then turn at - but that turn gave you a choice of east or west and I wanted to go south! That was the beginning of a very bad couple of hours. I think it is time to get some kind of directional help in my car. I will NOT be driving in Phoenix in the dark ever again.

Bob's mom is at home now, with kids trading off with support and company. Her address is - Marian LeCompte, 8620 North Pomona Road, Tucson, Arizona, 85704-2249.
Arrangements are now in place for the memorial on Saturday, February 16th at 1:00 p.m., at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, 7650 North Paseo del Norte Drive, Tucson, Arizona, 85704.
I am including this information just for edification, do with it what you wish. I know from experience that it is so wonderful to hear from everyone about how much they loved your loved one, and a memory is always nice to share.
Sara and Elizabeth (granddaughters) and I have been asked to sing at the memorial. I hope we can manage it. I have suggested an earlier taped performance, in case we cannot manage it at the time.
This has been the hardest thing they have ever had to deal with, and they are all suffering greatly. I know all of you know that, and they need your thoughts and kind wishes.
Sara and Bob are having a very hard time. Sara never really knew her Grandpa Smith, she doesn't remember much. She doesn't remember Grandma Smith at all. She was in the first grade when my mom died. The photos show her without her two front teeth. Bob and his dad were pretty much best friends, inventing things together all their lives.
These grandparents have been a huge part of Sara's life, living so closely, and she was one of only 5 grandchildren, and the only one living right in town with them. There are now 4 living grandchildren, and 2 great granddaughters.
This is a sad hour in Bob's family, this man was the glue. He was a great example for just about anyone. I don't know that he ever did anything against the rules. He didn't smoke, drink, swear, cheat at cards or taxes or games and never even drove over the speed limit. He took care of his body - watching his weight, exercising, and dancing (round dancing) and eating well. Just doesn't seem fair, but it never does.
I have blithered long enough. I guess I needed to vent a little, myself. I loved this man very much. He had a great sense of humor - very dry wit, loved puns, and loved words. He had a huge vocabulary, and was willing to use all of his words so everyone else could learn and utilize them, also. He loved to play cards and games with his family. He was a good man.
Hug your loved ones close tonight. Keep yourself safe, and I'll be thinking of all of you.
Thanks for reading this far - I know I can go on and on and on. ; )
Much love and good healing thoughts to all of you. Patty : )


At February 8, 2008 at 10:42 PM , Blogger dotnroger said...

I know this must have been a difficult entry to write, though there may have been some catharsis to it as well, but I, for one, appreciate it and thank you for the insight into those last trials and the tremendous impact this event has made on all the lives of those so close and dear to all of you, and many of us as well. Our love and prayers are with all of you and especially with Mari, Bob and Sara who all had such a special bond with this wonderful man. I, too, loved him dearly and will miss him,

At February 9, 2008 at 7:35 AM , Blogger dotnroger said...

Patty - a postscript:
Don't feel too bad about having gotten lost in the dark in Phoenix on its convoluted freeways. I was with George a few years ago when he also got turned around and drove to the end of construction in the dark. I thought it may have been to test my navigation, but I really think he got lost.
Love you,

At February 13, 2008 at 1:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Patty, I appreciate your explanations of how important your father-in-law was in your life, as well as Sara Bob. Distance robbed Sara of getting to know her Smith Grandparents well, so I'm especially glad she had a special bond in the LeCompte family. I know you are all hurting. Hugs from afar... Carol


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