When I was a child, the thought of a parent remarrying after the death of the other parent would have filled me with horror.
But my Dad had been dead 6 years. Mom liked a widower in her Church ward. Yes, it seemed a little creepy at first that my mom was blushing over a man in his 80’s
But romance bloomed and they were married.
Bud quickly assumed the title “Grandpa Bud”, and it didn’t seem so weird. He loved the Lord and he treated my Mom with chivalry and kindness. He loved to find clever ways to fix things. He loved to have exactly the right container for every purpose. This led to a bit of pack-rattery, but when I’m in my 90’s I plan on doing what I want, too.
For our youngest son, Thomas, he was the only grandpa he remembered.
When we’d gather, no matter how big the party, Bud always said, “If you do the cooking, I’ll do the dishes.” There was always a little twinkle in his brown eyes when he’d shoo us out of the kitchen. I think it was his way of avoiding the noise and confusion (he wore hearing aids) without seeming antisocial.
I grew to love him. I think we all did. I never expected to feel like he was my stepfather, but he was much more to me than my mother’s husband.
Bud died early last month. The funeral was on his and my mother’s 16th wedding anniversary. He was 3 months shy of his 99th birthday.
There were hundreds of people at his funeral. There were about a dozen men for whom he had been their mission president. He had buried 3 wives (all to cancer) before he married my mother. So he had 3 biological children, 2 adopted children, and technically, 15 step children. That speaks volumes about his patience!
Now he’s met his Maker. I bet it was a warm reunion. He’s met my dad. I think they’d like each other.
We just never know what life holds for us, do we? I have wondered what it was like to meet the three women who had been his wives (consecutively, not simultaneously!) I understand that his first wife, the mother of his children, told him that she did’t want him to remarry. It may have been an awkward reunion.
So yet another friend waits on the other side. What a day it will be when we are together with all of those loved ones that precede us in death.
Until then, rest in peace.