Gratitude Journal: I am grateful for family and for the love and support we give each other. I have been blessed with wonderful parents, husband and children, as well as extended family. As we have lost one, I am reminded that family is more important than anything else.
I was at the Family History Expo when Dad called during the lunch break. His long-time girlfriend and companion Rita had died suddenly during the night. She had been a little sick, but not anything that would have been life threatening. It appears that her heart just gave out. She went to sleep and her granddaughter found her the next morning.
My dad is pretty broken up. When my mother died, she had been sick for a very long time and we knew it was coming soon. In fact, it was almost a relief when she was released from her physical suffering. Dad really struggled after her death. He had never been alone in his entire life (he married right out of high school) and it was very hard on him. Even though Mom had been bedridden and unresponsive because of the dementia, she was still there and he took care of her. Being alone sent him into a depression where he drank too much, was grumpy, unhappy, and just seemed so dark.
When he met Rita, that all changed. She was a wonderful, happy person, who always had a smile. She made him smile again and they had a wonderful time together. He stopped drinking so much and became his old self. He really loved her and although they did not marry, he bought her a diamond ring as a symbol of how much he cared and that they were committed to each other.
I will be going up to be with him this week. I am concerned about him having to be alone again.
We loved you, Rita. You brought a wonderful light back into his life and you made each of us feel special.