Sometimes there are people in your life that you expect to always be there. You never expect something to happen to them and for them to not be there. Especially if that someone is somebody you don’t see everyday.
When my father-in-law died last year, the thought, “never in a million years did I expect him to die,” kept running through my brain. I know I said it more than once at the time. In all honesty I never expected Steve to be gone before my own dad simply because my dad is diabetic and has had heart surgery in the past. Steve was relatively healthy to me.
Last week, my sister texted me and asked if I had heard anything about Bertis. “Nope, why?” was my reply. Bertis was Steve’s best friend and for many years a great family friend. Bertis helped look for Steve when my mother-in-law couldn’t get a hold of him. He and Fletch were the ones who found Steve. Never in a million years did I expect Bertis to die. But he did.
So many emotions came back to me because it’s only been a year and a few months since Steve died. It was just all too familiar. My first thought was of Bertis and Steve meeting in heaven. I thought, I sure hope they are having a cold beer and catching up.
Then I thought back to my wedding day when he handed me a $100 bill and made some joke. Wish I could remember what it was. Then I thought of his own daughter who is getting married this Saturday and how she won’t have her dad to walk her down the aisle and that he will never meet his future grand kids. I remember Bertis giving me my first beer after I had Shaun and shooting the breeze in his farm shop.
For the life of me I can’t remember when the last time I saw him was. It’s not really that important in the grand scheme of things, but my mind wants to focus on it. I thought I had a photo of him, but the only one I can find is from my wedding of him carrying ice. But it’s how I most remember Bertis – at the farm with a short-sleeved shirt, an East Kansas Chemical hat and his Wranglers. Only thing missing was the cold beverage in his hand.