I am fortunate to have had a backup set of parents. Don and Ruby embraced our little family with all of our quirks just as my parents absorbed the Walters’ into our fold.
While our mothers had more common interests, Don and Dan had personalities more varied. My dad was impulsive, gregarious, and more involved in the moment. Don planned for the future, was quiet in a crowd, and reserved.
What a blessing to have had Don’s influence in my life! He came to our rescue every time we had an emergency, needed a greenhouse covered, buildings wired for telephones, Sensaphones re-programmed. Don’s quiet support when my parents divorced was not unnoticed.
Don shared his family with ours. When Gail and Amy were not spending time at our farm, I was included in family camping weekends, Sunday trips home to Stanley, an infinite number of evenings and weekends with an extra seat at the table for me.
But I think that I’ve learned more from Don as an adult than I did when I was young. When he retired, Don shared a lot of time helping me extend telephone wiring, prepping greenhouses for covering (I wonder how many times he pulled plastic and nailed lathe in the 50+ years Judy has been in business). He insisted that the job get done right. Tails were cut off cable ties, cords tucked behind conduit. He reminded me that what isn’t seen is as important as what is visible.
But what I think impressed me most about Don’s life was his dedication to his family. Being a provider was a task he took very seriously. He loved his children and grandchildren immensely. But mostly, he loved his wife. He always had Ruby’s back, was patient, generous, and loyal.
Thank you, Don, for being a constant in my life. Thank you for sharing your family with ours. Thank you for the quiet, positive example we each need in a chaotic world. Enjoy the fishing. And give Ruby a pinch. I know she greeted you with open arms!