November 20, 2014

Farewell Randy

Just ten short weeks ago my brother in law Randy didn't feel so well.  On November 12th he passed away peacefully.  We may never know what really happened but there have been lots of theories.  I am numb trying to make sense of this.  Just two days before he passed we still had hope.  My heart aches for his family.  He has a new missionary in the field right now.  He was only 60.

I got to see things unfold through the lens of my neurologist husband.  That was good and bad I suppose.  Good to be more informed, but harder because I could see the looks of concern on his face that no one else could.  "This life is fragile" coming out of his mouth quite regularly.

I know it's not fair, I know he was a good man doing good things.  He had many people who loved him.  Why?  I want to know why!  But if he were a bad man doing bad things with many people who hated him that would have been the worse scenario right?  So it's logical to look at the good things he did and the fun memories we have of him.  That certainly makes it easier for a short time.  But then you just start feeling sad and gypped.  I tell my iPhone "my brother in law died" and Siri answers "I don't know how to respond to that"  I completely understand that response.  I'm struggling to find meaning and comfort as well.

Here are some memories I have of Randy.  His family and ours used to take family vacations together.  So I recall trips to Mexico with him as a teenager.  I believe it was either Randy who once heard me swear unknowingly at about the age of 8-10.  I saw him doing something mechanical to the motorhome and asked him casually "hey Randy, what the hell ya doin'?" He laughed out loud and kindly corrected my use of the word 'hell'.  I think I may have picked that up from Randy's Dad Lavar.

Randy loved to laugh and visit with people.  He was a tease but a nice tease, never poking fun at your expense, but laughing with you.  He loved to play games and he was really smart.  He loved his kids and really really loved my Sister Marie.  I learned at his funeral that he used to call her the most beautiful woman you've ever seen to anyone who would listen.  I loved him.

My husband said something profound as we were traveling back to Maryland yesterday.  He said you know it's sad that he's left loved ones behind but for him it's actually not that bad.  He lived a fulfilling good life.  He had a strong testimony and was doing good.  His children just about all raised with his last son on a mission.  You know he really went out on top and avoided the perils of growing old.  We think that when you die somewhat early that it's so tragic, but if you've done all you were meant to do then it's really not so bad except for the separation that death brings.  Someday when we have a different perspective our separation will seem like a short period of time.

I couldn't think of any of that eloquent stuff when I hugged my dear sister.  All I could say to her is "this really sucks!"  And she agreed.  Sometimes life sucks, but looking back on the good stuff makes it better, and after time has done some healing we will most likely agree that life is good.  Randy sure thought so during his lifetime.  He was a good example to us all.

Randy Loveless