Sunday 31

Jan. 31st, 2010 09:37 pm
madgravity: (Default)
Sunday 31- I did my stretches.
Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 41 and 59 degrees, calm winds, humidity around 45 percent, sunny skies.
According to the National Weather Service: “Monday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 59. Calm wind becoming southeast between 4 and 7 mph. Monday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 40. South southwest wind around 6 mph becoming calm.”
I thought I’d post a little something now that a few days have gone by and I’m able to reflect on this past week without falling apart. It all happened Tuesday when I got a call at 1:03pm from Stoney’s son Jimmy saying that Stoney had passed away and that Roger Smith had found Stoney and was over there now. I quickly got there almost running into Roger’s VW that was parked in the driveway I was such in a hurry. There was Stoney seated in his favorite chair as naturally as can be watching TV except he wasn’t moving. He had a calm expression on his face and it appears that he passed on peacefully. Roger asked that we don’t call the authorities for a spell so that we may spend some time with him, and I agreed. We talked of old times we had with him just like he was still there alive. We cried, we laughed, and we reminisced. We were waiting for Stoney’s son-in-law Denny to call us back to tell us that he had made arrangements with the mortuary before calling 911. I suggested that we instead call Sherry who works for the county and is a friend to come and make the call. After Denny called I placed the called to Sherry and she arrived about a half hour later and made the call that would bring the authorities. After doing this she went outside and broke into tears; knowing this would happen I went outside to comfort her. It took the authorities an hour to arrive giving us three friends a little more time alone with Stoney before they kicked us out of the house.
I told Sherry and Roger that I’d stay until they took Stoney away. Roger was cold and went to his home because we couldn’t go back inside the house and it was raining. Sherry sat with me for an hour or so before she had to leave making sure I’d be okay first. The coroner arrived and finally released Stoney for transport at 9:45pm. I followed Stoney as they wheeled him away and told the attendants as they put him in the van to be gentle with him and that he was loved; they assured me Stoney would be treated with respect. Then I put my hand on Stoney and said goodbye to my old friend.
For some reason I went into protective mode deciding to wait at Stoney’s home until his son Jimmy and the rest of the family arrived the next day. Andrew called telling me he was driving out Wednesday to visit Stoney and I had to break the news to him. He asked me how I was holding up and I told him not to well and that I had a hard time eating because my hand shook so bad that I couldn’t get the food to my mouth. He said that he’d see me soon but I didn’t know that he would jump into his car and drive all the way from Los Angeles; he arrived here at around 3am and was a great help keeping my mind together. I told him I didn’t want the house to be empty when Stoney’s family arrived. We talked until 9am when he had to leave for a meeting. Jimmy arrived at 11am, then the rest of the family about 3pm. I stayed with them until around 6pm. I believe I was awake for some 36 hours and went home and slept for a straight sixteen hours.
The rest of the week went past in a blur and I need not write about it even if I could remember.
Stoney was my best friend and I had talked with him the night before his passing. One thing I told him that I never did get around to until that night was “Stoney you are like family to me and I will be always there for you” and he said “I know I feel the same way about you”. Saying and hearing these simple words were a great comfort to me in the days that followed.

Stoney

Jan. 28th, 2010 10:11 pm
madgravity: (Default)

With a heavy heart I must inform you that Bob Stonebraker (Stoney) had passed away quietly while watching his favorite Western TV shows on Tuesday 26 of this month. He would have been 90 this April. Stoney would tell me and Roger Smith stories when we went over to his house for dinner. No matter how many times he’d tell us the same tale we’d always have a fun time hearing them again. Here is my favorite:
Stoney told us a story of when he was being shipped over to the Philippines during WWII. He traveled down the Sacramento River on a paddlewheel to the Liberty Ship that would take him there. Once onboard a shipmate told him to eat lots of bread to avoid seasickness. Never being on a ship before Stoney got two loafs from the mess hall and hurriedly ate them all!
Needing to keep his hands busy Stoney was always asking his Sergeant for something to do on the long voyage, but there was nothing the Sergeant needed done. Later a notice went up on the bulletin board stating that if you didn’t keep your area clean you would be put on extra duty. So Stoney left his area in a mess: bed unmade and clothes lying around. He was quickly put to painting the Officer’s quarters. One Officer liked Stoney’s painting job so much that he offered Stoney a drink and asked if he wouldn’t mind continuing painting around the ship. Well Stoney was glad to take him up on that offer and painted his way over to the Philippines.

Life is a wondrous gift that we are sometimes reminded of when someone precious is no longer present among us leaving a great void in our lives to fill.

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