I got an email a few minutes ago. As soon as I saw the name I knew the news wasn't good, even though it could've been. It was just one of those feelings you get; a knowledge of what's about to come. Sometimes you hope you're right, sometimes you hope you're wrong. I'm sorry I was right this time.
Robert J. "Rob" Herold, 88, of Delaware, died Sunday (Nov. 2,
2008) surrounded by his family following a brief illness.
A research chemist for General Tire in Akron with multiple
patents to his name, he was active in the Unitarian-Universalist
Church for many years and an avid gardener and photographer.
Subsequent to retirement, he lived in Leesburg, Fla., for five years,
enjoying canoeing and boating. He and his wife Ruth then moved to
Willow Brook retirement community in Delaware, where he was
active on the gardening committee and in the Delaware Unitarian-
Universalist Fellowship. He is sorely missed.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Ruth; his children and
grandchildren, Robin (Terrie), David (Karen and sons Willie and
Sam), Keith (Yanli and daughters Maria and Isa) and Steve (Bonnie,
son Nathan and daughter Rachel).
I loved Rob for his sense of humor, which was sweet and gentle, just like he was. I loved Rob for his patience, for his smile, for his face, and for how he cared for his wife. I will miss him despite our difference in age. I worry for his wife, who has either dementia or Alzheimer's. We commented many times how lucky Ruth was to have Rob because we didn't know how she'd get along without him. I don't know how she'll get along now without Rob, but I do know she's coherent enough most of the time to miss him. My heart goes out to her, and to their family.
To end on a lighter note, today is supposed to be the last day of good weather here. The high is going to be around 73, with sun and clear skies. Tonight it's going to change to rain and storms and tomorrow it'll only be 50. The kids and I are going to put the garden to bed this morning, then make another batch of pumpkin seeds before lunch and nap. The seasons are marching on and dragging us with them, whether we are ready or not. Time is such an odd thing, moving so slowly sometimes and so quickly others, and almost always in reverse of how we want it to. I try to live in each moment, to be present and aware of time as it happens instead of dwelling on the past or dreaming ahead. I don't want to miss now, because it's all we really have. There are nows I'd like to stretch forever, and nows I'd like to have sweep by. In the end, though, all I can do is ride the tide and try to take in as much as I can, because all rides end the same way. I hope when my ride ends I'm lucky like Rob, surrounded by the people I love. I hope I will have made the world just a bit better, and that more people knew love and laughter because of me. We're entering into a time of rest and quiet in our area of the country, and for the first time in my life, I'm glad. This year has been as rough as it was wonderful, and getting the garden ready, bedding it down, seems like a good metaphor for what winter will do for this year. I can only hope that just as 2008 came in with loss and grief, it will go out with hope and love and new life.