Saturday, September 3, 2022

Update 1 - A death in the family

Dad holding Bobbie as a baby
Colorized by a reader in New Zealand

Update 1: Added colorized photos from a reader in New Zealand.  Many Thanks!  Got word today there were will be a celebration of Bobbe's life towards the end of the month.  Gives me time to find some affordable airfares and a hotel.

My sister Bobbe passed away Thursday morning,  She lived in the Seattle area.  We have no details yet and I am not going to speculate as to the cause. To my knowledge she was in good health.  She was 78, 12 years older than me. My mother transitioned in 2017 at age 94.  Women are known to live a long time in my family. The last time I saw Bobbe was in 2018.  

When I was very young she used to take me to the Phoenix and Scottsdale Public swimming pools.  I was only 4 or 5 but I remember floating around in my floaty ring at one of her teenage friends swim parties.  She spent a lot of time with me then, not that I was all that close in later years after she went to college, got married and had a family of her own.  She was the first in our family to have a college degree, which she got at Northern Arizona University, my daughter went the same school.  My sister Joyce passed away in 1995.

My family migrated to Arizona in the 1950s from Montana, most of my extended family is in Montana,  the rest are scattered about the USA.  My grandfather homesteaded in Montana and married the neighbor's daughter. My dad was one of ten kids.  After WWII, and a stint at NACA (forerunner to NASA) my father returned to Montana with my mother and Bobbe. Dad loved to fly fish in Montana. 

Bobbe struggled with asthma in Montana winters and the doctor advised moving to Arizona for her lungs.  That was back when Arizona had relatively clean air.  Asthma medications then were not like they are now. Bobbe lived in Los Angeles with her husband for a while but the smog made her very ill and they moved back to Flagstaff for a time, where she found relief for her lungs.  Later, after a couple of hops, they relocated to Pacific Northwest where the rain keeps the air clean.

I hope to go to the funeral to pay my respects to my sister and her family. I am intending that I will have the means.  Perhaps with a bit of work I can.  This is unexpected. But then it always is.  Alaska Airlines runs regular trips to Seattle from Austin but I haven't priced flights yet.  

In my beliefs, she's not dead, she just left that body for another adventure in a new body somewhere. I'll see her again someday, she will look different but her energy will be the same. But not all of my family believes like that. I get that.  It is a loss, even for me, for the person we knew as Bobbe in all her marvelous strong compassion and opinionated uniqueness is gone.  But she is not forgotten.

Unfortunately I don't have a recent photo of Bobbe.

Mom holding Bobbe, Dad holding Joyce. I am not sure if this
 photo is in NY or Montana or Palo Alto.
Image colorized by a reader in New Zealand