Monday, April 03, 2017

Everything changed after 1995--Monday Memories

The pre-Christmas holiday in 1995 was wonderful at my sister-in-law Jean's home in Indianapolis.  Even Bob's brother Jimmy DeMott was there with his girlfriend, Nancy, and his children.  My mother-in-law June was doing well considering that the year before she had almost died of a bleeding ulcer and her husband had died in October.  We were, of course, sad at the loss of my father-in-law Jim DeMott that holiday and we had been making weekly trips that fall to Indianapolis to be with Bob's mother. But it was good to have everyone, including lively little Caleb and Jake, together.

Yet, after that holiday season, with the warm "Christmas card" memories, everything seemed to change. It was one funeral and life change after the other, like someone wound up a toy too tight and it spun out of control.

In less than two months, my sister Carol Yoder died of a diabetic stroke and most of my family made the trip to Sarasota to say good bye and then to Mt. Morris for burial.  We helped my parents move from their home of 38 years a few blocks away into a retirement apartment at Pinecrest in Mt. Morris.  Bob's Aunt Babe died in May 1996 and my Aunt Marian died in September of 1996.  Then I was hospitalized and diagnosed with a heart problem.  Sam Calabretta, the architect who brought us to Columbus in 1967 and changed our lives, died in January 1997.  My mother had surgery for colon cancer in June and I hurried back to Illinois.  My boss at the OSU Libraries, Jay Ladd, died that summer.  Our daughter had surgery for thyroid cancer in February 1997.  My mother-in-law June moved into assisted care, then a nursing home, and died in September 1998.  My Uncle John Dickson died in January 1999, and Bob's dear Aunt Roberta DeAngelis, his father's older sister, died in July 1999.  Our son Phil got married in February 1999 and my sister came back to Illinois to marry in August 1999 as my parents also celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary.  My Uncle Leslie, Mom's brother, died that November.  Orville Ballard, Dad's dear friend and also his uncle and best man in his wedding, died in January 2000.  It just a few weeks and then my mother died on January 24, 2000.  Aunt Esther Corbett, whose nick-name was PeeWee, died a few weeks later in California.  In February 2000 divorce stole a beloved nephew of 16 years from the family. Then we returned to Mt. Morris to help Dad move again after he bought my grandparents' former home, a Lustron, in April 2000.  It was there we celebrated our 40th anniversary in September 2000 as I retired from my library career at Ohio State University.  In January 2002 we moved from our home of 34 years on Abington Road into a condo, same community, but a few miles north.  Then I had a heart ablation to correct the problem diagnosed in 1996 while we were unpacking.  In April we moved Dad to a care facility in Franklin Grove, IL because his congestive heart failure diagnosed in June 2000 worsened, and he died May 18, 2002. In 2003 we traveled to California to celebrate with the Bruce relatives and siblings Dad Bruce's 90th birthday, and he died in April 2005.

In ten short years we had become the older generation of our extended families.

The day we moved Dad into the Lustron

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