Saturday, January 5, 2013
Yesterday Mike's favorite brother-in-law, Ralph, who was married to his favorite sister, died after a long struggle with multiple health issues that plagued him for the last several years. He was a delightful man. Smart, witty, loving and caring, charming, and one of the nicest people I knew. Both he and Mike's sister had been married before and came into each others lives well after 40. It was obvious from the start that they were just right for each other and they remained happily together for nearly 30 years.
When we lived in CA, they lived about two hours away from us on the other side of the Bay, Close enough that we could see them several times a year and we always spent one of the major holidays together. We very much enjoyed their company and they felt the same. When we were together we talked and laughed and ate and generally had a really good time. Ralph was the only person I have ever met whose heritage was Basque! He had an interesting life and over the years we had many stimulating conversations and good times together. When we moved to Austin, they were the people we missed the most from CA. Shortly after we left CA, Ralph's health began to decline and he had multiple problems for years.
The last year was particularly bad and he was hospitalized nearly 20 times and ultimately was moved to a skilled nursing facility. Yesterday his battle was over and he is finally at peace.
Many years go by without hearing of the death of someone who is close, and that is just fine. We never want to have more of that kind of loss. But in the last 9 days I have lost three dear people from my circle of friends and relatives. "Three Days" out of the last nine. That is a hard blow. I only recall that happening one other time in my life.... in 2003 when my mom, T.A.'s dad, and one of my aunts all died within about 3 weeks. That was devastating.
Death comes in threes, we have all heard that from time to time. It isn't of course, really so, but when it does happen, it is a shock, unsettling and very, very sad.
Rest in peace, dear Ralph. You have earned your rest. We will miss you very much.