"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture
and, if possible, speak a few reasonable words." ~Goethe

~ also, if possible, to dwell in "a house where all's accustomed, ceremonious." ~Yeats

Monday, September 28, 2015

We Had Fun, Didn't We?

Ronald Ben Rosenbluth ~ 31 March 1951 - 20 June 2015
I love everything about this photo -- one glove on, one glove off, the camera, the package from amazon (and some bills, but don't worry about them), the Santa on the porch, the porch light, the falling / blowing snow in front of Ron. It truly captures the spirit of the season, and the Ron - ness of Ron!

My sister Peggy with her husband Ron
and their sons Jerrod and Daniel ~ May 2012
Last month, Jerrod wrote: "Well, we have a date for my dad's service finally. He's going to be buried in Arlington on September 22nd . . . . It'll be 3 months when he's finally placed. 3 months and 2 days. Sometimes it doesn't seem real, like if I call he'll still be there to answer my questions or to give some form of advice on this or that. I have no regrets with him passing, nothing that wasn't said to each other before he passed, no lingering doubts about how we felt about each other. We both knew we loved each other, and that we both did the best we could by each other when he was still around. But. But, I still wish I could tell him one last time, just to make sure."

Eulogy by Bruce Carriker

I would like to read this morning, a passage from the Holy Scriptures of both the Jewish and Christian faiths, or, if you prefer, some lyrics from The Byrds Greatest Hits:

To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time of war, and a time of peace.

To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die. For Ron, and for all of us who loved him, that time has come far too quickly. And so we find ourselves gathered here this morning, to say our earthly goodbyes; to close this chapter of our lives.

A few days ago, Jerrod wrote: "Sometimes it doesn't seem real, like if I call he'll still be there to answer my questions or to give some form of advice on this or that." Jerrod's remark provides a perfect segue into something that I really wanted to share this morning:

Landscape of the Heart ~ by Brian Andreas
"It is still so new and all we see is the empty space, but that is not how it is in the landscape of the heart. There, there is no empty space and he still laughs and grapples with ideas and plans and nods wisely with each of us in turn. We are proud to have known him. We are proud to have called him friend."

I asked those who knew him best to share with me some of their favorite memories of Ron, in hopes of finding something that would capture Ron's spirit for us this morning. I think the one who did that best is Ron's granddaughter, Brittany, and I want to share with you what she wrote:

"I remember when Grandpa and I went to an Orioles' game and we sat right in middle of the bottom half of the stadium and we took a selfie:
Later on we where leaving to head home and the Orioles were losing and I kept saying I was sorry that they lost and that I felt bad and he asked, 'Why are you sorry; you had fun didn't you?' I said I did, and then he went on to say 'that's all that matters then.' "

For as long as I knew Ron, he was a humble, selfless man, who always cared deeply about those around him. Brittany's story captures that so well.

We are here today, and we are sad. We are sorry to say goodbye to our husband, our father, our grandfather, our brother, our uncle, our friend. But, knowing how much Ron cared about everyone else, I am sure he would not want us to be sad. I think he would say something like this:

Sing Well! ~ by Joyce Grenfell
If I should die before the rest of you,
Break not a flower, nor inscribe a stone,
Nor, when I’m gone, speak in a Sunday voice,
But be the usual selves that I have known,
Weep if you must:
Parting is hell,
But life goes on
So . . . sing as well!

In the middle of our sorrow, I can almost hear Ron's voice, speaking to us as he did to Brittany that day: "We had fun, didn't we? Then remember that . . . that's what matters."
Weep if you must:
Parting is hell,
But life goes on
So . . . sing as well!

Later in the day, Bruce concluded, "In a world where everything is "awesome" and hyperbole rules our vocabulary, we forget that perhaps the highest compliment we can pay a man is this: "He was a good man.' Ron Rosenbluth was a good man, and he will be greatly missed."

Ron, Peg, Bruce, Anna ~ Fall 2011
Bruce's daughter Anna offered this tribute: "Today, we said our 'earthly goodbye' (that was a wonderful way of putting it, Dad) to my Uncle Ron. It was a sad day, but the memories that were shared made it so very clear that even though he isn't physically with us, Uncle Ron is still very much here. If I grow up to have half the compassion, authenticity, and capacity to love that he had, I'll have done a pretty good job. Until we meet again, I can only thank God that I had the blessing of knowing somebody like you."

Another Favorite ~ Summer 2010
Ron is looking straight at the camera with an "I know the secrets of the universe" smile; and Peggy & Diane look very happy to be at my house for a Sisters Reunion! (Click for comments.)

For those who didn't know, Ron struggled with Mantle Cell Lymphoma. Memorial donations may be made to Hospice of Frederick County – Kline House, P.O. Box 1799, Frederick, MD 21702, and please note on the memo line "Cardiac Chair."

Next Fortnightly Post
Wednesday, October 14th

Between now and then, read Daniel's In Memoriam on
my shorter, almost daily blog posts

Looking for a good book? Try
my running list of recent reading

1 comment:

  1. I liked this post very much! I feel as if I know your brother-in-law, and yet I never met him. Lovely tribute, Kit!