Stories About My Family & Friends
I did one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do; something I’ve never wanted to do: I went to a child’s funeral (visitation as I won’t go to the actual funeral).
I know what you’re thinking, “he’s 30 years old, he’s not a child.” Technically, you are correct. However, to me, he is still a boy. Shaun is his mother’s child and his father’s child. From one parent to another, our children will always be our child.
I came home from the visitation and reflected on what to say about this young man. I decided to start at the beginning. I knew Sandy (Lewis) Cribb and Bobby Lewis since before they were “Sandy and Bobby.”
(Oh, the stories I could tell, but won’t.)
Within a few years, they became parents, twice, to two very beautiful children, first to Shannon and then to Shaun. My first thought of Shaun was of 1991 and them bringing him home from the hospital. He was so stinking adorable! Such a precious baby.
I reflected on his childhood – always blonde and blue eyes. So blonde, in fact his hair was almost white. His smile; his laughter; his mischievous side that often came out around his cousins; his sister, Shannon, trying to rein in her little brother when he was being a stinker; Shaun as a lanky teenager, then a young man, beginning his first steps into adulthood… driving is father crazy as he tried to be a master carpenter like Bobby… or doing anything that made use of his hands.
Shaun was a smart boy and he liked to use his hands. He may not have been the master carpenter that his father is, but he could still do some things. I can still see him standing there with a crooked smile on his face.
I sat with Sandy and her husband (Bun) for a few minutes. We sat just a few feet away from Shaun as he lay there sleeping, but I couldn’t bring myself to go up there. I couldn’t bear to bring myself to see this… child… Instead, I sat with Sandy for a few minutes, then spoke to his aunt, his uncle(s), grandmother, and a few of his cousins.
He left behind a slew of people, parents, sister, family: including his own children. His own children! Babies having babies… where does the time go?
Before leaving, I expressed to both Sandy, then to Bobby, that I did not like the obituary. It was, as most obituaries go, cold and impersonal. I wanted to write something nice about Shaun and with their consent, I would do just that. I wanted to say something positive about him, to describe and share the Shaun I knew.
Sandy agreed and said she’d like that. I had hoped she would. “The truck just fell on top of him,” she said numbly. “He was trying to fix it…”
Bobby, likewise, agreed concerning my writing something about Shaun. “He died doing what he does best: fixing things… we tried to teach our kids to spread kindness and do things for others… for friends, and that is what he was doing: he was fixing a friend’s truck for him.”
Modern times says we are celebrating a person’s life and not mourning their death. On the contrary, we’re doing both especially when they’re taken from us too soon. Shaun Lewis will be missed and his memory will live on through his family, his children, and his friends, so until we meet again, rest in peace, you precious child.
My husband and I were in Toledo when we stopped in Rossford to visit with one of my older brothers. I asked him about his occupation. I have so many vague memories of him owning his own NAPA store/franchise and now, he owns a bar in Rossford.
“What exactly do you do for a living?” I asked while sitting with him in the bar he owned. “Are you a bookie?”
“No, no, honey…, not at all,” he answered. “I’m a financial consultant for those who wish to earn money in sports games.”
Remembering all those holiday family meals with him in front of the TV, I realized, it wasn’t just for enjoyment. It was his life… his money was at stake.
I laughed at the memory and his ridiculous answer and said, “You’re a bookie.”
My brother hung his head in defeat and conceded, “Yes, I’m a bookie.”
I crack up whenever I remember that moment. He’s a riot!
During the week of Christmas we kept our granddaughter. She’s soon to be four and as all grandparents believe, she is the most precious thing we’ve ever seen. In fact, she’s so precious that even the dog loves it when she visits.
I have kept a journal of the dog’s play with my granddaughter:
Day One: I’m so excited! The tiny person they call Angel Pie is here (hopping and wagging tail) – we will have so much fun playing together. At least she throws my squeaky toy and runs after me. She seems to enjoy my toy as much as I do. The bonus is, Dog Mom lets me lay on the couch with her as long as I put my head in her lap. Oh and I get tons of cookies from her, too.
Day Two: She’s back, she’s back! Look, Angel Pie is back and we’re going to have so much fun! I will follow her everywhere. Today we’re playing dress-up – Wait, what are these things she’s putting over my eyes (paws the sunglasses off her face several times). Oh boy, there goes the squeaky toy…
Day Three: It’s cookie time again (runs and gets her toys). It’s my favorite time and we get to play, play, play. Why is she putting a cape (beach towel) around me and Dog Mom’s hair band? It’s okay. I will sit very still so as not to disrupt her creativity.
Day Four: You’re back? Okay, just keep those cookies coming and we can play some more.
Day Five: Holy fur balls! She’s back AGAIN. Doesn’t this kid have somewhere else to be? Help me, someone… anyone (hides under my desk and refuses to come out when shes being called). You can shove those cookies in your tiny little ears, kid. I’m not moving (at least until Pie crawls up under the desk with her).
The dog was thankful for the weekend break, but my granddaughter is back this week too. Won’t they be having fun?
For the record… these two are buddies and the dog follows her everywhere she goes and hangs on to her every move.
I have a Blue Healer rescue dog and when we first brought her home, my son-in-law swore she tried to attack him because she jumped up on him to be petted.
In his defense, he didn't know the dog, however, no matter how hard we tried to tell him she was just wanting some love, he wouldn't listen. He even stated that he didn't want my 4 year old granddaughter around her for fear of an attack.
I wish I had taken pictures of this, but… while she was here visiting, she found an old beach towel. After she brought it out to the living room, she rummaged through the desk drawer and pulled out a pair of her little-girl sunglasses then took both items over to the attack dog.
My granddaughter started wrapping the towel around the dog who sat very patiently and very still while she did this. When the towel was around her, she placed the sunglasses on the dog’s face as she announced, “There, now she has her cape on and her sunglasses too!”
The attack dog, quite slowly, turned to me with a look of “please come get this child” expression before she was rescued (again). I wish I had taken a picture of her in the “cape” and sunglasses – it was so adorable!
(photoed is the attack dog playing dress-up with my granddaughter on another day - Look at that smile)