Sunday, May 15, 2011

Tonight I am sitting in my car outside the clubhouse at our cabin to get Internet access so I can share a personal loss that leaves me sad indeed but feeling very blessed.

My beloved father-in-law died today surrounded by loving family. Many of you have heard me sing his praises and tell the story of how he was my friend before he was my father-in-law. I was up on a ladder in the florist shop I was starting in Port Townsend about 35 years ago when a tall and striking man who reminded me of what I imagined the wizard Gandalf to look like and introduced himself. He told he he owned the building next door and within a matter of minutes I found myself talking to him about renting an apartment in that building. We struck up a friendship that included his pal Ed Beeth. I was definitely an odd third wheel but we forged a strong friendship and about a year later when I broke up with a boyfriend Tom introduced me to his oldest son Doug and 11 months later we married.

It was a special way to meet my in-laws and through the years Tom remained one of my best mentors. He loved to garden, enjoyed eating, he liked politics and had some great thoughts on our leaders, he was a great dresser, loved his dogs and had real decorating talent. I had the pleasure of traveling alone to Oaxaca with him a few years back and had the best time. He was a good and loving grandfather and he must have done a lot right as a parent because each of his five children are special and they came together to shepherd him through the last month is such a loving and caring manner.

Tom's granddaughter Lanie is one of the reasons Soulumination exists and now in this next form maybe he will get to know her. I will miss him so much but his presence strongly felt through Doug, Lew and McKenzie and all the wonderful Johnson's. Sadness and blessings surround me.

I walked to the special large rock on the beach tonight and made a memorial of wild flowers that were blooming along the way. Through Tom I met many of his friends from his years at Whitman both before and after the war and as I walked home to the cabin I remembered a story from a few years back. At a funeral of one of Tom's friends Doug read something I had written but he added a few words in which he explained "that Lynette had a crush on the vintage Whitman men" And I know that is true, Tom and his pals embodied a certain style and charm that will always warm my heart. Goodbye my friend, rest in peace, Lynette

photos taken one week ago when we visited Tom on our way home from Port Townsend