Saturday, January 1, 2011

Last New Year's

by Pa Rock
Family Historian

Two thousand and ten began under some of the worst circumstances imaginable.  Gail and I were staying at my Dad's house in Noel trying to get some of his affairs in order.  (Dad had passed away suddenly early on Christmas Day.)  Gail and I had gone out to dinner at Cotton-Eyed Joe's in Noel on New Year's Eve and sat for a long time after the meal talking about our kids and our lives.  It was during that dinner that Gail talked about her ex-husband of thirty-some years, Bob Smith, and how good he had been to her and their kids since the divorce a few years before.

Hours later, still New Year's Eve, we received a call from Gail's oldest daughter, Heidi, telling us that Bob had been killed in a car wreck in Texas as he and his cousin, Bobby Jack Short, were driving Reed (Bob and Gail's youngest) and his girlfriend, Jamie Carey, back to their homes in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Bob's cousin had also been killed in the wreck, and Reed had been life-flighted to Amarillo.  Shortly after daylight on New Year's Day 2010, Gail and I and her daughter Tiffany, along with Tiffany's husband Nathan, arrived in Amarillo.  It was the first day of what was to become a very long and difficult  month.

Bob Smith was laid to rest next to his parents in Southwest City, Missouri, later that week with two of his children and a son-in-law handling the service and his affairs while Reed remained in a coma in Amarillo.  His oldest sister, Heidi, herself a physician, stayed at her little brother's bedside.

Reed survived the wreck, though the surgeon who pulled him through the ordeal said that his survival the night of the accident was touch-and-go.  He and Jamie eventually got back to Las Vegas and plan on being this coming summer in Montana.  Uncle Rocky really wants to be there.

This week Gail and her kids are on a cruise remembering their fathers (Gail's dad and Bob Smith) and focusing on the future.  I hope and trust that they are having a wonderful time and will finally be able to begin putting last year behind them.

May 2011 be a much better year for all of us!


bk in MO said...

Yes, it will be better.2010 was a sad year for many of us, not just because of your losses, which affected all of us, but also because of our own losses. My dear sister, Chay, died July 6 of a MRSA infection. It was about as sudden and unexpected as your Dad and brother-in-law's passing.
I hope for all of us that 2011 will be a better year.

Tiffany Burke said...

We had a great time on the cruise! Thank you for posting this blog uncle Rocky. Christmas Day and New Year's Eve was difficult for all of us but we made it thru just fine. New Year's Eve while on the cruise we were all at dinner together and Heidi made a nice toast to dad, granddad, and granny. We lifted our glasses, shed a few tears, then remembered the happy times.

Love and miss you,