I never did tell the story of Our Gentleman on here. He wanted his privacy so I respected that. But I feel it is important to learn life lessons. And his is one of ours.
At the beginning of 2011 we received a phone call looking for some help for a veteran. Dear Hubby is the Commander of the local AmVets post. We have had these calls before and been able to be there for different folks. This time they were looking to help get a motel room for a veteran. So off we went to get a room for the weekend.
Well in our visiting with this veteran we learned that he was all alone. He had been locked up for 20 years and was finally free. But he did not have contact with his family and had no safety net to help him get on his feet. He was looking to get his V.A. benefits started as well as his social security. At 66 years of age and no employment history for the last 20 years he was in quite a jam. Several times during the weekend we would stop by and check on what was going on. Come Monday morning he would be out on the streets all alone. We had already learned that he arrived in our town (used to be his hometown) late Friday night and had slept below a large oak tree. That is just not right for a older man to have to do.
Dear Hubby and I talked it over and agreed that we should help all we could. So Our Gentleman came to live with us. This was to be short term til he had his benefits and could get a lil apartment of his own. Alas in getting caught up on his medical he was diagnosed with cancer of the throat. By now he had become a part of us. Princess Emma loved to dance around him. Other Mother and Poppa would sit and talk to him by the hour. Not many a Monday night went by that we were not out for Cheap Pizza Night, all 8 of us if not more. Other Mother started doing the driving to take him for his treatments. And step by step we grew to be our own lil family.
We have been a family for 9 months. We thought we would be a family together for 20 more years. And now we are a family that is missing an important member. There was also the joy of him finding his grown children and ex-wife. Along with his niece and nephew and his brother. He was able to visit with them and share much of the past he had lost. Watching him learn all the new technology was fun too. He loved his cell phone as well as his laptop. It was a whole new world for him. Our Gentleman was kind, loving and knew how to impart lessons in a gentle manner. He had a great sense of humor and would often shake his head with a lil laugh loving that once again we shared our human nature. He taught me to look down the road and know that somewhere over the horizon was the next part of my life's journey. And that as long as I knew in my heart what I was doing was good that it did not matter what others believed.
He was able to connect on each level, weather it be Princess Emma at 5 years old or Granny M at 77 years old. Other Mother and I often shared private jokes that formed from his cancer treatments. But that helped him see that this was a step to recovery. Dear Hubby and Poppa learned more about caring for the earth from Our Gentleman's knowledge of farming he did at his fathers side. College Girl saw the humility in him. She also recognized that he had class, from the top of his pretty bald head to the tip of his birch cane that helped him get around.
So understand we have lost an amazing man. One that most did not know was even around. But that shared his life with us as we shared ours with him. I know that he would tell me not to cry. Not to be sad as we laughed way too much to lose that joy. I know he would be advising that I keep looking to the dawn of the day. And more so to make sure his hair looks good! I am going to miss our bald loving friend.