Sunday, January 31, 2010

Words for my Father

Now that I am back, I want to post the four eulogies that we part of the memorial service for my father. Each one provides a different perspective on who my dad was, how people thought of him, and his impact on others. This first one is a brief statement from Max Gaspar, my father's uncle, who could not attend the service due to illness. Max is an amazing man of 93 years. He knew my father for 77 years. His letter was read by my Aunt Karen.

I met Fred Hunter in 1932 when he was a lad in Sioux City Iowa. His sister Gee-Gee, was my high school girlfriend and eventually my beloved wife. Fred and I bonded early, and I taught him to swim when he was seven years old, we remained good friends forever.

When he returned from the South Pacific [WWII] where he contracted Tuberculosis he was in Barlow sanitarium in Los Angeles. He kept his brilliant mind active with reading, racing model cars and running a betting pool.

Our son Jim visited Fred and Lynn where the talk was about cars, good wine and guns. Lia [Max's second wife] and I also visited them in Pennsylvania and Fred and Lynn were often favorite guests in our home in Sun Valley Idaho.

Fred was multifaceted. He was an expert on wines, poker, automobiles, history, and of course psychology. Above all he was always friendly, warm-hearted, and upbeat in spite of his travails, Lia and I will miss his phone calls, his visits and his friendship.

May God treat him kindly as he so well deserves.

-Max Gaspar January 5, 2010

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Winter on the vineyard

In the presence of grief and uncertainty beauty persists.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

They Call It The Blues

This has been such a sad month. First Douglas' father passed away on New Year's Eve. Then we lost our dear friend Nancy Wright to cancer. And the devastation in Haiti this past week has been heart-breaking.

Douglas has spent the past month in Pennsylvania trying to take care of his father's affairs. The more time he spends there, the more apparent it has become how seriously ill his mother is. His mother is having serious issues as well. It looks as though she has Alzeheimer's. Her disease is farther advanced than anyone had realized. Douglas feels as though he lost both his parents over Christmas.

Meanwhile back in Pasadena, I have been running solo with the kids. It sounds like it should be awful, but it hasn't been bad. We have a good babysitter and a wonderful ward who are very helpful. Douglas in Pennsylvania is not that much different from Douglas working in Santa Monica. On the upside, I can sleep in the middle of the bed!

Please don't ask me what we are going to do about Douglas' mother. I don't know. I don't know anything. And that, on top of everything else, makes me feel very sad.