Dad died the morning I arrived in Corvallis, Oregon on October 24, 2013. I missed seeing him by a few hours. Dad was unresponsive after he went into the hospital so he would not have known I was there. I have had mixed feeling about not being there before he died. I feel like my mom really wanted me to see him but my memories of dad will be how I remember him when I left on our mission. I did not see dad until I saw him at the funeral in the casket. Mom thought he was holding onto life until I arrived. I like to think that he wanted me to remember him in better days but was pleased that I was there for mom after he died.
David and Cherry Blake offered their home for us to stay in while we were in Corvallis. They live a few blocks away from mom's home and that left mom's home available for my brothers and their families. Sister Blake knocked on our door early Thursday morning. Mom was on the phone to tell me dad had just passed away. Brent and I went over to be with mom after we showered. Richard had been able to get time off work and was there to help mom during this difficult time of dad declining. John and June have been up often. And Bill and Mary and some of their children were able to visit dad before he died.
A few days before dad died Uncle Zealand (Dad's older brother) and his wife, Dorothy came to visit dad. The next day Dorothy suffered a massive heart attack and died. Her funeral was held the Wednesday before dad's funeral. We were able to go to Salem for her funeral and see family and then 3 days later we saw family again at dad's funeral.
I had started working on dad's obituary earlier and so I finished it up and we got it into the newspaper. We decided on having the funeral the following Saturday, November 2nd, when more family members could get off work.
This was a difficult time for mom. She felt like things were spinning and like there was so much to do and did not know where to start. Brent and I just started doing what needed to be done and clearing everything with mom and my brothers as we went along.
I next started planning the program and contacting family about when the funeral was going to be. We were fortunate that our children and their families were able to come. Charitie's husband, Evan, is overseas in Afghanistan until March. He was greatly missed. John and June's children were able to come except for Alicia's husband. He also was missed. Bill and Mary's children were not able to come. They were able to come earlier and saw dad before he died but could not get off work for the funeral.
Brent started working on notifying insurance companies and government agencies. He got a good start on the business side of death but we had to turn it over to John and June to finish when we left.
I'm so grateful that we were able to come back for these funerals. Working to help my mother helped me through dad's death.