Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

Life Is a Beach

The Beach Boys (I'm showing my age here) is one of my favorite bands. Most of their songs gave us a musical image of life under the sun on a pleasant coastal beach. A very small number of their songs had a sad note... as in losing your girl friend, or being lonely. The song "In My Room" comes to mind as I write this article.

It has been a bit over a year since Dorothy, my wife of over 50 years died. During that time I've dealt with all kinds of legal issues... too many to list here. My children and their spouses and children have been helping me cope with my loss. Some efforts were better than others... but moving on.

We make lots of promises as we go through life. When we get a job we promise our boss that we'll do a good job. We promise our boy or girl friend that we'll be true to them. And on and on... the promises we make stack up and we lose track of how many we've kept and how many we fouled up or failed to keep.

When it became obvious that there was nothing the doctors could do to heal Dorothy and her death was imminent, she made me make a promise. Soon after I made the promise Dorothy lost consciousness and never regained it. I've managed to keep part of the promise.

In case you never figured it out, a lot of my articles are written a long time in advance of publication. The Sidney Sun-Telegraph's editor was kind enough to reprint some of my older previously published articles to cover the weeks and months when I didn't write. The loss of Dorothy made it all but impossible to get my mind and spirit focused on anything other than the fact that she was no longer alive and an active part of my life.

In the last few days of her life on this planet Dorothy made me promise to keep on going. She gave me a living example of what she wanted me to do. Dorothy fought to the very end. Days before she died we talked on the phone and she did her best to be cheerful and positive. I hoped she was correct, but something inside told me that Dorothy would eventually lose the battle. Won't go into details on the lousy care she received at the rehab facility. (Shortly after her death the state closed it down.)

I made a flying trip to Cheyenne to see Dorothy in the hospital after I was notified that if I wanted to see her before she died I'd better get there. I am eternally thankful to the ones who aided me during this time. By the time I got to the hospital she was comatose. I sat by her bed, holding her hand as I watched waves of pain washed across her face. Some times she would squeeze my hand so hard that blood flow to my fingers was stopped.

Then, she suddenly got this big ear to ear grin and she gave a sigh as if she was seeing something beautiful and out of this world. She gripped my hand one last time and her soul left her body and she went to be with Jesus. I cried then and have cried many times since.

But, I remember her smile and the look of complete peace she had when she died. In the midst of this tremendous loss she reminded me that life is, indeed, a beach and hers is a sun and Son filled eternal beach. I will see her again and will rejoice with her as we walk along through the glory of God. Until then, I will do the best I can to follow her example.

Hopefully, if you are going through severe stress and personal loss, this will give you some hope. This is all temporary. Trust in Jesus and He will get you through the trials. Mine is not completely over, but He and I are still walking forward.


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