Friday, September 9, 2011
A life well lived
My father-in-law was an active man. He drove in Houston traffic. He walked on the treadmill every day. He helped babysit our daughters.
Robert Van Fossen grew up in the Great White North. In 1941 he enlisted in the Canadian Air Force. He traveled from Saskatchewan to the east coast of Canada for training. He was scheduled to be deployed as a navigator flying over Europe.
My wife's future mother hopped on a train and rode halfway across Canada to marry him before he shipped out to Europe. As it turned out, the plane they were supposed to fly across the Atlantic crashed before they left. So, instead of flying to Europe, my father-in-law patrolled Canada's Atlantic coast during the war. I can't help but think that his wife was quite pleased about the change in plans.
Robert Van Fossen was a very smart man. He was detail-oriented. If he was telling you a story, it was a good idea to make sure you had someplace to sit - because you were going to be there for a while. He was also a man who was very dedicated to his family.
The last three months have been rough on everyone. There's no joy in watching a loved one deteriorate before your eyes knowing there's nothing you can do. While there is an air of sadness, there is also a sense of relief that his suffering is over.
Farewell, Robert Van Fossen. You will be missed.