Saturday, August 04, 2007


I'm here. (I wrote most of this Wednesday, 1 Aug '07)
I must be one very wicked person because there has been no rest for me.
The kitchen is fairly put together...the bedroom partially...and I've been busy with all this stuff, stuff, and more stuff. Boxes everywhere but.....I've also had something else going there something in the air?
Fair-warning...rambling ahead...I'm not seeking 'attention', or even sympathy.
My mind has been full of thoughts though and I was wanting to try and express them through this written language, we'll see how it goes.

It's very much a part of life, death is, when the body no longer is able to function, to house the soul, isn't it.

Richard Earl Harris
16 July 1939 - 27 July 2007

My uncle Richard, my Mom's baby brother.
In my last post I mentioned that he was having a health crisis, he's had several and he's been amazing me for years pulling through some quite incredible ordeals. I often wondered how many more he would be able to endure.
After having spent last Thursday frantically packing, time out from that for 2 hours of closing on the new house Thursday afternoon, then back to the packing, I had called it a day around 10:30 that night, hit the showers and was heading towards bed, it was 11pm and the phone rang. It was my Mom calling saying it was time to go to the hospital for a final farewell. So into some clean clothes and to the hospital we went.

At hospital I went in to see him, he was on life support, pretty much the shell of the man* and knew there was going to be no coming back from this crisis. I wished him well on his journey with love and left it at that.

The doc met with Richard's son and daughter about the next step, Steven's own wish was to let him go in peace.

Richard had several health issues but the major one was diabetes, it had progressed to the point of having dialysis 3 times per week which would leave him drained for the rest of the day. He had had amputation of one foot and partial leg due to complications...and yes, I DID knit him a sock.. handknit socks = love...they do, don't they.
He got around in a motorized wheelchair so that on the days he didn't have dialysis he could be seen on the sidewalks of Stillwater...going to the Harley Davidson store, the church where he was a member, the market, there were many little shops and stores he would stop in to visit with the shop owners...but it wasn't always like that.
When he first started having serious problems, the amputation and he could no longer live on his own...and went into the facility..he was pissed. Our family breeds introverts, we enjoy our alone time and he had had many years of serious alone time so finding himself in a place with so many people he didn't know, having to depend on strangers, having very little 'real' just sucked. He was sullen, angry, a real Mr. Scowly...but over time things changed.
He found himself getting used to the staff and really opened his own eyes to what they were offering him and of course, he got to know them.. as real people with families, and....stories. So yes, with time in developing relationships they became important to him, and he really bloomed.
He played Santa and wheeled himself to the hospital on Christmas Eve and handed out gifts to the children. He would also go to the nursery to watch the babies, he loved the babies. He became very involved with his church, asked for jobs, the members got to know him and love him, the new moms and dads would let him hold their babies, he loved this the best.
His appointments with dialysis coincided with another patient's appointments, Joshua, who is autistic, I never did hear Joshua's age but his thing was Richard started collecting keys, all sorts of keys, different shapes and sizes, put them on a big keyring and always took it with him to give to Joshua to examine while they were there.
He was still, by nature, introverted...we tend to protect that 'little' trait in ourselves, his room was down at the very end of a hall and it was fairly quiet there, he read....a LOT...and other folks living there knew, if they needed some quiet time of their own and couldn't find it in their room, they could go to Richard's room, for peace, for quiet time. He didn't seem to mind at all but the rule still.

The service was today in Stillwater, in the church where he was a member, and I've got to say it was nice, really nice. We didn't get preached at. People got up to tell 'Richard stories', and no kidding, it just made my heart sing for him, for Richard, because he had been able to break out of that hard, sullen shell and in doing so touched so many people there in his community, and received so much love in return.
They had put together a slide show starting off with an old photo of my Grandmother Grace and Grandfather LeRoy when they were young and courting...on to photos of Richard..the bouncing baby boy, the toddler with long curly hair to the boy, the young man, the father and the Grandfather.

He was 68. Now, I don't know about you but I know that when my Dad continued his journey from this earth he was just a hop away from turning 67... then I think about my own age, I'm 53, so if I live to 67 that's only 14 more years...that's so little time to think of being left, you know? It's kind of silly, I know, because it could happen at any's all so very brief anyway. This great gathering of souls on this earth...and what a planet,eh? A true song and dance place if ever there was one.

Knitting? I have knit 2 'warshrags', small ones, 33 stitch count, there are days when I haven't had the knitting in my hands at all...
The kitchen is pretty much put away and functioning, and I love it.
We did manage to put the dining table in with the leaf, covered it with a table cloth, put the chairs to the table, that's it, the doors to the dining and formal living area have been closed for now. I'll get to them later.
Bobby put in some metal shelves in my stash closet (I love them) and Gracie and I tossed the stash in....I'll get back to it at some point to rearrange it all, to where it'll make some kind of sense to me.
For now though, there are so many boxes of 'stuff' to put away, I'm still amazed.

All manner of HUGE thank yous to everyone, wishing us well in our new home, with the move and everything. I'm so far behind with everyones blogs, it'll take time and I'll try and do my best in catching up. I've missed everyone enormously. You can't imagine.

Happy Knitting to all and continue with those good times!

*'he's just a shell of a man, if you hold him to your ear you can hear the ocean roar'.....sound familiar to anyone?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

{{{Marianne}}} What a beautiful tribute to your Uncle Richard. He sounds like a very interesting man.

You've given me much to think about. I know I will look at my more "difficult" relatives in a new, more positive way because of your post. Thank you for writing it.

P.S. Missed you too while you were gone. I know you'll be busy unpacking, but I'm glad you are back blogging.

04 August, 2007 08:29  
Blogger Ambermoggie, a fragrant soul said...

glad you got moved in safely. Sorry to hear about your Uncle,

04 August, 2007 09:07  
Blogger Knit and fall back in it said...

What a blessing that your Uncle Richard has finally been cured of his ailments. My thoughts and prayers are with those of you that will surely miss him.

You have been on my mind for several days, I have been worried about you and all of the packing and unpacking that you were trying to do. My offer still stands if you need me.

04 August, 2007 09:41  
Blogger Hege said...

Glad you are back! :) What an eventful week for you. Your tribute to your uncle is beautiful! Hope you start to feel settled soon. xox

04 August, 2007 09:49  
Blogger Jo at Celtic Memory Yarns said...

You have given him the most beautiful commemoration, a real celebration of his life. Well done.

And please don't forget that you're coping with stress on several levels at the moment, so don't be surprised if you feel very odd or strange or even find yourself falling asleep at unusual times - just take it easy and you'll ease through it all.

Love from Ireland.

04 August, 2007 09:57  
Blogger Robin said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family! ((((cyberhug))))
What a wonderful tribute...
If I were there, you know I'd be right over to help you with your unpacking...okay, and maybe knit a little in between!!

04 August, 2007 10:03  
Blogger Charity said...

Comfort and peace for all of you, Marianne, what beautiful words and ramblings you share... Your Uncle Richard sounds like an amazing person, thanks for sharing him with us.

04 August, 2007 10:50  
Blogger Norma said...

What an interesting transformation in your uncle in his later years. Just goes to show you, people continue to grow until they die. Funny that, huh?

Take some time amidst all the unpacking to unwind a bit, k?

04 August, 2007 11:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

{{{{Marianne}}}} Glad you're back, hon, but sorry to hear about your uncle. But oh, what a beautiful ramble! You made us see him, and that's a gift. It's obvious plenty of other people saw him, too; your description of the service shows that. We should all be that lucky when we go.

Missed you a lot - good luck with the unpacking, and for ghu's sake, don't exhaust yourself with it! And what Jo said. Ok, you've probably been through similar before, but one tends to forget how things sneak up on you. Remember to relax every so often, ok? ::hugs again:: Love you!

04 August, 2007 12:02  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are so sorry but sending all our love to you and your family. We have really missed you and thought about you every day . God bless , angie , Jeff and Holly xxx

04 August, 2007 12:17  
Blogger Sarah said...

Ah Marianne. Life is a funny journey eh? Sorry to hear that your Uncle is no longer on this song and dance planet , you wrote a lovely tribute. Glad to hear the kitchen is straight in the new home, take it easy and enjoy the first days, unpacking will get done in the end :)

04 August, 2007 12:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey there - It's all so worth it, isn't it? Loving people, loving places. Reminder - you could last forever too! Here's to new beginnings, strong foundations and do-overs. You know where I am!

04 August, 2007 13:56  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing your stories of your Uncle Richard. I can tell he's still with you, even though you can't see him--and he will be, each and every time you tell a story.

Glad to hear you're moved in. Enjoy the unpacking as much as possible, and don't take as long as we have (1 year later and I'm still finding things...)

Good to have you back--I missed you :)

04 August, 2007 18:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hugs to you, Marianne. Your uncle sounds like he was a very special person. How wonderful that he was able to move past his anger and enjoy the remainder of his life. Your tribute to him was beautiful. I'll be keeping you and the rest of his family in my thoughts.

04 August, 2007 19:00  
Blogger Glenna C said...

I send hugs and condolences and all well wishes! and I hope the unpacking goes well. I'm in the packing stage myself right now and am starting to have some dread...

04 August, 2007 19:20  
Blogger Kitty Mommy said...

What a beautiful, inspiring story. So often, when people's health declines and they end up in a skilled nursing facility they start out like your Uncle Richard and never get past the angry and depressed stage. How much richer his life and the lives of those he touched have been because of it.

I'm glad to hear that the unpacking is progressing...hang in there!

04 August, 2007 19:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just sent you an email, but had not read your post yet - I would have written differently.
You express yourself in writing so well, Marianne...I love the "true song and dance place" part. Your life sounds so hectic (although it seems as though you are handling the stress well!)I hope it balances and becomes more peaceful. Best to you.

04 August, 2007 19:35  
Blogger Faren said...

I'm sorry about your Uncle, your writing brought him to life for all of us, so now we can remember him too. Like everyone else is saying, watch out for all the stress! I'll be thinking about you.

04 August, 2007 19:54  
Blogger picperfic said...

oh Marianne...I'm so glad you're back, I did truly miss you. Your news about your uncle tears at my heartstrings. Love and trust brings love right back at you! Glad you are getting settled in, I can't wait to be in your position! xoxox

05 August, 2007 06:43  
Blogger Dianne said...

Marianne, Thank you for sharing Uncle Richard with us..he sounds like such an amazing soul..must be a prerequisite to be a member of your family. Much love and huge hugs to you and your Mom for your loss.
Loved reading the moving always, you gave me a great giggle too..and if I were there, I'd roll up my sleeves and help you out.
Love you!!

05 August, 2007 12:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You do know that he is whole again. What a wonderufl sense of family you have, and a sense of time and place that some people never seem to attain. Thank you for sharing his life, his story .

06 August, 2007 16:47  
Blogger Nikki said...

big hugs Marianne! 7/27 just wasn't such a hot day for Uncles who were sick (or maybe it was... depends on how you look at it I suppose.) the really weird thing, My uncle Don died at 10:30 that night and My Mom called ME at 11ish pm. I know different time zones but still...

good luck with the unpacking and all. Remember to knit and relax some too ok? :)

06 August, 2007 18:27  
Blogger Dana said...

I'm so sorry for the loss of your uncle. He sounded like a true character and it's very clear that he will be missed and remembered dearly.

07 August, 2007 14:59  
Blogger nonizamboni said...

Dear fellow Marianne--I missed you! I'm glad you'll be able to come out to play soon.
You have such a way with words; your tribute to your Uncle was powerful and left tears in my eyes. Don't think I'll ever look at a key quite the same again. . .so touching. I am truly sorry this happened.
Blessings on your new house. Don't work too hard.

07 August, 2007 17:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing that with us. Sorry to hear of your uncle's passing. Happy that you have such fond memories of him. I wish your uncle Richard a most auspicious journey ahead.


You are more caught-up on blogs than I am. I didn't even know you were moving!?!

07 August, 2007 19:30  
Blogger Tola said...

peace to you and your family. what a wonderful uncle you had.

13 August, 2007 13:34  
Blogger Jackie said...

A beautiful tribute to your Uncle, Marianne, really touching, sad and at the same time brought a smile.

Hope you are settling in now.

I love to read your posts, so positive and upbeat.

Take care, Jackie x

17 August, 2007 11:53  

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