I don't like the cliche, 'Death is part of life.' The last two weeks have been full of death for people I know.
William Clinton Irving
On Thursday morning my father left a message. I knew it was serious since he never leaves a message. My grandfather's oldest brother Billy has passed away overnight of a heart attack. He was 85.
Billy was an interesting person. In his youth he suffered a deep fever that caused his growth to be stunted and his mental capacity to be diminished. He made it thorough the sixth grade and began farming with my great grandfather. When great grandma Lois passed away in 1966, Billy and my great grandfather sold the farm and helped great uncle Dick with farming. Great grandpa died in 1980, Dick passed away in 1990, and Billy moved to a nursing home in Corydon, Iowa in 1998. He loved living there and passed away on May 1, 2008 at the nursing home.
There are three things I remembered about Billy. First, I almost always saw him wearing bib overalls. He was a farmer at heart, always one with the animals and was a master at helping animals needing help. Second, his smile was contagious. I rarely saw him without a big one on his face. And third, he always threaten to cut off our ears. When we were young he would always pull out his knife and pretend to cut off our ears. We would scream, sometimes run away, but in the end laugh because he had a huge smile on his face.
I am happy he is back with my great grandparents, I will miss him.
The death of Michelle is still a shock. She passed away today at the age of 52. Michelle was a reporter for a television station here in Des Moines. I remember her most not for the stories of impact but for her personality outside of the station. We were at Shelia Brummer's wedding and she was a dancing machine. I fondly remember the times at Hairy Mary's as well as Sambetti's. She was always willing to laugh, smile, and SO giving. We will miss you Michelle.
Growing up there was a huge RV parked across the street for part of the year. It belonged to Jim and Maymie Baughman. They would take the huge RV down south during the winter, and run a RV park. They always had grand kids running around and always willing to say "Hello." Jim was a great neighbor, and I am glad to of known him.