Saturday, June 10, 2017

Life Changes . . . and Connections

        Before we moved to Tri City, I had a premonition that one day Roland and I would be involved in helping to raise Ally.  It's not that I was trying to write Jeanie off into the next life - although it wasn't unexpected.  There was concern that she would die before Ally had finished school.  Ally will be two in August and therefore has not even started school.  And just because I had that premonition doesn't mean Biff will be packing up and moving to Oregon any time soon.  It may not be in his plans to come to Oregon at all - unless Roland talks him into it.  Biff does have other options - or will have. 

        His mother comes from a rather large family, and although half have now moved on to the other side, he does have family in Wyoming.  One aunt wrote me to say that Biff is welcome to stay with them.  At first it puzzled me.  Why would she offer to put up this young man that she doesn’t really even know?

        She and her husband have two daughters.  One of them had actually been named after Biff’s mom.  His maternal grandparents had raised their eleven children on a dairy farm. When Roland had gone back to visit, he went out with the family to milk the cows and feed and whatever other chores are involved.  They thought he was a hard worker and had actually offered him the farm for his future.  But Roland was a city kid.  He was having fun at the farm, but wasn’t confident or even had an interest to take over.

        I hadn’t thought much about it until now.  I know there was a brother who lived in Ogden who had planned to move their with his wife and take over.  He had coached the high school wrestling team and taught classes during the school year.  By summer he would take off for three months to go boat fishing in Alaska.  I believe it would be the last Alaskan adventure he had lined up before the move back to Wyoming.  Only he went to his bed sometime during the time that the fishing boat was in the water.  One of his comrades had gone to wake him and learned that he had passed during his sleep. Wyoming wasn’t meant to be for that brother.

        But now I wonder, maybe the request came not just to assist Biff, but allow Biff to assist them at the farm.  Biff said cows just happen to be Ally’s favorite animal. 

        Before he and Jeanie were married, he spent a lot of time in Syracuse with her family.  He practically lived with his in-laws before they were married as we'd see him less and less.  Because of Jeanie's health, and then her mom's health, and I'm certain that finances were a factor, they had never moved out from her parent's house.  I would think it would be awkward for all of them to have him continue living there. But I don't know. 
       My brother-in-law Bill is really good friends with his late wife's family and keep in touch.  Even Kayla has become friends with her family. I know I have mentioned on at least two posts, that Roland and I have actually had more contact with his late wife's family than his own.  So there are possibilities. 

        I sent an email to his mother's oldest sister (this is not the same one as the one in Wyoming) to let her know.  She was actually the first person I contacted - even before my own family. I can't even explain why - except that it felt important to let her know.  Perhaps Ally and Biff could stay with her while he's adjusting to transition.  I think she lives the closest of all of his relatives - including his brothers.  Perhaps that's why I felt impressed to write her.

        Of course I had to tell Kayla.  Both of our husbands have been in Biff's shoes.  Biff was six when his mother passed away.  There will be a viewing tomorrow night and the funeral is set for Monday.  Two locations so far apart from one another.  Probably an equal driving distance from the ward where our three boys finished junior high and graduated high school. I had asked the bishop to post a link on the ward page in facebook (as I, myself do not have access to it) He wrote back to say not only would/did he post it to the pages (plural) but would announce it in sacrament meeting as well.  I hadn’t expected that.

        There are so many thoughts flowing through my brain right now.  I hope to get at least half posted.  May Biff find the strength that he will need to carry on and proper guidance and assistance from the rest of us.  We all have been truly blessed.

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