Prayers For My Brother

Bob Rose

Bob Rose

My brother, who had been there to protect and watch over me all my life had
suddenly gone off to war. We prayed daily that God would bring him home safely. He would write home and it was very comforting just to see his handwriting and to hear all the adventures of his life in ‘Nam. We would write back to him, and I know he enjoyed having our letters as much as we loved getting his. My mom missed hearing his voice, so she bought 2 tape recorders. She sent one to Bob and kept the other so for a while we all got to record messages to him, and listen to the ones he’d send us in return. But then the tapes stopped coming and we didn’t hear from him for a long time. We feared the worst, and prayed even harder. Later we learned that his tape recorder had been stolen or somehow went missing. But we started getting letters from him again and breathed a sigh of relief. Unfortunately there was no such thing as the internet then…no Skype, no Face Time, and no cell phones, so we were left waiting for the mailman to bring us news of Bob.
He came home on leave once and our folks brought home McDonald’s hamburgers for dinner, because that’s what Bob was hungry for. He couldn’t get over how fresh the bread was, and how good the food tasted. We were all stunned at how many he ate in one sitting!
He came home for Christmas one year and that was a really special time for the family. It had always been a special time of year for us, but had been very lonely after Bob joined the Marines. But that one year was extremely joyous for all of us! We were all back together and so happy…until he had to leave again and go back to the war. Life carried on normally at home. My parents went to work, and my sisters and I returned to school, and as always, we continued to pray daily for his safety.

Kathy Williams The Book Worm

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Ninety-Five Words

A.D. Rose on his 95th birthday.

A.D. Rose on his 95th birthday.

The following is a poem written by A.D.’s granddaughter, on the occasion of his 95th birthday.  Enjoy!

Kathy Williams  The Book Worm

 

 

 

 

NINETY-FIVE WORDS

By, Kristyl Williams Boies

For ninety-five years,

With love so strong,

One rose kept blooming,

Five generations long.

 

Strong yet gentle,

Handsome with charm,

He found a lovely lady,

To have upon his arm.

 

He became a father,

Loving his rosebuds so,

Playing and laughing,

And always on the go!

 

He grew his family,

Teaching faith and love,

And that all things good,

Are from the Lord above.

 

All the rosebuds grew,

And new roses arrived,

To love and to nourish,

And so they thrived.

 

Now ninety-five,

He gives through prayers,

We receive great gifts,

By being his heirs.

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“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Mt 5:4)

A.D. & Margaret Rose

A.D. & Margaret Rose

Grief is a very difficult topic to address.  It’s a very personal issue because it’s unique to each individual.  If the person who has passed away was very close to us, the grief seems unendurable.  For every situation that causes our loved ones to die, such as accident, illness, murder, suicide, each one can add another level of grief.

But God promises us that those who mourn will be comforted.  So, who comforts us then?  Is it family, friends, or both?  Or is it God Himself?  After my brother passed away, it was my brother who comforted me.  The same brother that used to protect me from neighborhood bullies.  He was the same brother that used to tickle me senseless.  The same brother who helped me with math and any other problems I had.

It was my brother who wrapped his invisible arm around my shoulders when I was inconsolable after his death.  He was allowed by God to reach between this world and the next to comfort his grieving sister.  Imagine then, how much more amazing was the comfort that he brought to our parents.  They were with him when he was first diagnosed, and they were with him during the long seven month struggle as his health continued to deteriorate.  They were with him right up until the bitter end.

“Messages From The Other Side”, is the very touching story of my brother’s battle with cancer.  But it also reveals the messages received by my father during my brother’s long illness, as well as the messages he and my mother both received after my brother’s death.  This book is for anyone who has ever lost a loved one and provides much comfort within its pages.

 

Kathy Williams  The Bookworm

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Birthdays

This past Sunday, as many family members as possible, gathered to celebrate my father’s 95th birthday.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today, June 10th, is my brother’s birthday.  He would have been 67.  The photo below was taken by my younger sister, Carmela, as our parent’s visited Bob’s grave on Memorial Day, 2015.

A.D. & Margaret Rose visiting Bob's grave

A.D. & Margaret Rose visiting Bob’s grave

 

 

 

 

 

Kathy Williams  The Book Worm

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Moving

bob in COAfter moving away from our farm in Texas, we moved into a rental house in Santa Fe, NM.  I was in the 8th grade then so Nancy must have been in the 9th.  I think Carmela was just starting first grade and Bob graduated from high school about mid-way through the school year.   His graduation ceremony was on a school night, so Nancy, Carmela and I were not allowed to go.  We stayed home and baked Bob a graduation cake instead.

That was about the ugliest cake I’d ever seen!  Half of it fell off when we were frosting it, and we tried to “glue” it back together with more frosting.  It didn’t work, so it was a jumbled mess by the time Mom, Dad, and Bob got home that night.  Bob didn’t seem to care though.  He ate it and said how good it was and thanked us for making it for him.

I don’t remember what job Bob got after he graduated, but I do remember he loved to go skiing with his friends.  He had a little VW bug that he spent a lot of time washing and waxing and riding around in.  He spent a good bit of time waxing his skis too.

It wasn’t long after the school year ended that we moved to Taos, NM where Mom, Dad & Bob all worked at the one and only newspaper office there.   Bob stayed with the family all through the summer months that we lived in Taos.  He transformed one of our bathrooms into a dark room where he could develop his own photos.  At the end of those three months before school started up again, we were on the move…this time to San Francisco, CA.  There we lived in what they called a “flat”, but was really just an apartment.  We were there for about 2 weeks, before we were on the move again…this time to Eureka, California.

We had a nice house in Eureka, although I’m pretty sure it was a rental.  My dad got a job at the newspaper office there and we were planning on staying.  My mom went out and bought a house full of furniture.  We were finally getting settled somewhere for the first time since we’d left our farm in Texas.  Everyone seemed to be happy there.  Then one day my dad came home from work and announced we were going to be moving AGAIN!   Most of the furniture went back to the store, everything else was left for the movers to pack up and deliver to us in Colorado, and before I knew it, we were on the road heading for our new home.

After living in a motel for over a week, my parents found a rental house and we moved in, but the movers didn’t deliver our belongings right away, so we had to make do on just the stuff we’d brought with us.  My mom was and is a genius when it comes to making do!  We were camped out in an almost empty house, but we were all comfortable.  The one thing we had sorely wished we had brought with us was our winter coats.  We hadn’t needed them in CA, but we sure needed them in CO!

Finally our stuff arrived!  We could dress warmly for the Colorado weather, and sleep in real beds.  We spent many pleasant hours sitting around the dining room table as a family, playing Canasta and other card games.  I think Bob’s favorite game arrived with the movers, and once the house was settled, he and my dad spent many hours playing chess.  In the spring of that year, we moved again.  My parents bought a house just a couple blocks away from our rental.  I remember Bob helped with that move.  And not long after we were settled into our new house, Bob joined the Marines.  Nancy and I were still in high school at the time…an all girl’s Catholic school.  Carmela was still in grade school, I think. While we were busy with school stuff, our brother was serving our country.  We were very proud of him, but the Vietnam War was going on at the time, and we were all afraid for his safety.

Kathy Williams  The Book Worm

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My Brother…My Hero

Big brother and protector

Big brother and protector

His name was Bobby…well, that’s what we all called him when we were growing up.  Later, when he was older, he asked us to please call him Bob. No matter what he was called, he was my big brother…my hero.

He protected me from the bees that always buzzed around and scared the pants off me.  He protected me from the neighborhood bully on more than one occasion.  He helped me with math homework that I could never seem to get the hang of.  When I was seven, after being admitted to the hospital for eye surgery, he bought me a beautiful porcelain lamb planter with a pothos growing out of its back.  He cured me of poison ivy with a concoction he’d made with his chemistry set.  And he carried Nancy to the house once after she’d stuck the tine of a cultivator through the bottom of her foot.

Big brothers seem to have a code they live by, which automatically endows them with the ability to protect their little sisters.  At least that was the impression I got from Bob.   When he was ten, he was put in charge of babysitting me and Nancy in the middle of the night while our father drove our mother to the hospital to give birth to his third little sister.  He took that responsibility very seriously.  He made me and Nancy go back to bed while he stayed awake until our father came back home several hours later.

Bob was a typical boy.  He loved to play, he loved to explore, and he loved learning new things.  He mostly seemed to be interested in science and that carried on with him throughout his life.

One Christmas he got a microscope as a gift and was constantly searching for anything to put on a slide to examine.  As luck would have it, there was an ice storm one day, and the schools were closed.  My mom thought it would be a good idea to keep us busy learning instead of lying around watching TV all day.  She gathered us all at the old red Formica dinette, and told Bob to get out his microscope.  She was making rolls and thought Bob, Nancy and I would enjoy watching yeast grow.  She took a tiny bit of the bread dough and put it on a slide.  We all took turns looking at it and we were fascinated…Bob most of all.

Bob got a bicycle for his tenth birthday and after he learned how to ride it, he was riding all over the neighborhood.  He would go out visiting his friends, go to the neighborhood convenience store to get something for my mom, but he also liked to go exploring around the creek that was just down the street from our house.  He would come home so excited because he’d found some Indian arrowheads.  One even looked like it still had a little speck of blood on it.

Bob’s imagination and his thirst for knowledge never stopped.  When he was 17 he enlisted in the Marines.  While stationed in Vietnam, he took every opportunity to expand his knowledge, traveling to tropical and exotic places when on leave.  He seemed to find beauty all around him.

Bob was so smart that by the time we had all grown up, I could barely understand a single thing he was saying.  I remember asking him a question once and he started thinking out loud….something about pie.  Now pie was my favorite dessert, but I had no clue why he would be talking about pie since it had no relevance to the question I had asked.  As it turned out, he was not talking about the kind of pie that you eat, but some mathematical terminology known as pi.  Unfortunately I don’t remember the question I asked, or what his final answer was.  He got me thinking about pie and that’s all that stuck in my head.

Kathy Williams  The Book Worm

 

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Happy Memorial Day!

My brother Bob in VietNam

My brother Bob in VietNam

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