kaffy_r (kaffy_r) wrote,

Dept. of Goodbyes

Goodbye, Rob

My step-dad, Rob Stirling, died in hospital just now; my brother called me on the way to the hospital to let me know. He was, I think, 95 (I keep forgetting his age, which is ... strange.)

He had moved from the apartment he and Mum shared, to live with his oldest daughter, Marilyn, several months ago. As I said in an earlier post, he had been in failing physical health for some time, and in failing mental acuity for a shorter time, according to my brother. He went in to hospital for the final time Tuesday, after having increasing difficulties breathing despite being on oxygen, and my brother told me then that he didn't think Rob would come home. He was right. They gave him morphine to allow him some comfort in breathing, so I can hope that his passing was easy.

My brother was apparently unable to read him the letter I wrote to him, but he was able to get the letter to someone close to Rob who wasn't in his immediate blood family. Mac said she told him she wasn't sure Rob understood everything that she read to him, but I choose to believe he at least knew that Kathy From Chicago still cared for him.

He was not my father, but I knew him much more than I knew my father. He made my mother happy. He cared for his children when their mother was unable to do so. He was loyal to his own siblings, at least one or two of whom treated him less than honorably.

I wish I could travel to Nova Scotia for the funeral. I'll have to make do with a call to Marilyn, and a card, and perhaps a visit to his grave when I do get up there. I don't know whether he will be buried next to my mother or not - the Stirlings sleep in a separate graveyard, and he may wind up there. No matter what, I'll visit him.

He was a hard worker, a stubborn man, a kind man, and a good one. I will miss him, and the day feels kind of empty right now.

Here are a couple of pictures: the second is of Mum and Rob back in 2009, at the home they shared before they moved to their apartment. The first is a picture of my brother and Rob showing off the Chicago Cubs sweatshirts and World Series newspaper I sent them for Christmas in 2016. I had pictures of Rob at Mum's funeral, but no, let's remember him as he was. I apologize for the large sizes.

(Posted manually since LJ is not allowing crossposts from Dreamwidth today.)

Tags: family, passages

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