Promise and peace

How does the saying go? “You can pick your friends but you can’t pick your family.” Something like that I think. This past weekend, I tried like heck not to remember a certain date, but my Facebook wouldn’t let me forget. Neither would my Timehop app. Five years later it’s still hard not to remember the events of the last day my father-in-law Steve was still alive.

Before bed Sunday night, I was scrolling through Instagram like I do to let my brain disengage, when I happened across the words, “May every sunrise hold more promise, and every sunset hold more peace.” I thought, as much as I don’t want to write one more blog post about missing Steve and remembering the anniversary, I need to. I need to remember otherwise I just might forget.

The morning of Jan. 20, 2012, I captured several sunrise images out the patio door on the east side of my house. It was a Friday morning and I’m pretty sure I was the only one up. The sky radiated red. Now that I think about it, I should have taken that pretty sunrise as a warning – “Red sun at morning, sailors take warning.” It should have been my warning. Later that weekend our lives were forever changed.

Before my husband and I were married, I would have considered his family my friends. We weren’t officially married, but we might as well have been since we lived together for 7 years before deciding to make it official. I chose my friends to become my family when we decided to get married. As much as I hate to admit it, I got along with Steve a lot better than I did my own dad. We were a lot alike I think and although my dad and I share many similarities, we’re very different. Steve was often near by where we lived I could count on him being at the farm or work if I had trouble with something on the ranch or my way home.

The quote I found last night, “May every sunrise hold more promise, and every sunset hold more peace” makes me think that even with the red warning of the sunrise, by late that night even though we were heart broke at our loss, we had peace knowing he’d been found and didn’t suffer. I know in my heart he’s in heaven, but my head selfishly wishes he was still here. Here for my boys to get to spend time with their Grandpa Scott. Here for Chance to meet. Here for me to call when I need something or for me to tell him about the rattlesnake I killed or the tidbit of ag information I’d learned through work. Here for us.

 

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Steve Scott feeding Shaun Scott, Aug. 6, 2011.

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Remembering

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.

Lois and Bertis at our wedding reception in 2009.

Lois and Bertis at our wedding reception in 2009.