Last night at about 12:30am we got a call from Bob's youngest brother. I ran to answer the phone already knowing it wasn't going to be good news. Bob's father (we called him Magoo) had passed away in his sleep just minutes before.
Bob's father had been admitted to the hospital last Sunday night and the doctors made it clear to us he had a very bad case of pneumonia. Visitors were limited and Bob was there on Monday. He came home upset saying that his father didn't seem to know where he was. He told Bob that the guys had brought him over from work but that he needed to get back. Bob said, 'Dad, you know you retired 20 years ago, right?' and his Dad replied 'Yeah, Bob that makes it easier.' Which is such a Magoo moment.
We heard varying reports from the family (with 7 sons and the dramatic flare they were born with you tend to get many versions of any instant) from he's looking great to it's over to once again, looking great.
Saturday afternoon Bob and I went to see him at the hospital. When we got there Bob's oldest brother was there and I told Bob I would wait outside while he went in with his brother. Bob says Magoo couldn't talk but raised his hand to let him know he could see him. Bob came to get me shortly after but by the time I got there he was sleeping soundly. Not wanting to wake him up I stroked his hair and whispered encouraging words. I had never seen him sleeping before but he looked like an older version of Bob and my heart was all soft and mushy.
He wasn't wheezing or coughing or in anyway struggling for breath. I came away with a sense of peace and really, a hope that he was on the mend.
Luckily that night Mom was able to visit him for the first time. She herself had been sick and had been told to stay away. I think he was waiting for her as it was only a few hours later that he went in his sleep.
Our Magoo had 89 wonderful years here with his family and friends. He loved his wife and worked hard to raise his seven boys to be responsible men. He enjoyed a good argument and complaining was his hobby. He was a home body and the idea of travel was nothing but a pain for him to consider. We live maybe an hour away but it wasn't unusual for us to get a call on the day of a planned visit to hear that Magoo had a headache or other strange ailment. Being who I am this never upset me because I know what it's like to not want to leave your home.
None of this tells you why this man was nicknamed Magoo by his kids. Turns out if there was a way for something to go wrong, it happened to Magoo and quite frankly it was normally his own fault. The beauty of the man was that he could laugh openly at himself and enjoyed the many times his boys would tell one story or another.
Quick story that always had me in stitches was the story of one Christmas morning. Since the clan is HUGE there is a lot of Christmas paper around after gift opening. In an effort to clean up Magoo carried the piles of paper down to the lower level and stuffed them into the fireplace. Now I can only imagine what the fireplace looked like when he lit that match but it was very surprising to the family when he came upstairs with his slippers on fire. How he didn't feel it I'll never know but he always had a good laugh at himself with that one.
He was such a sweet man and I loved him for who he was and I'll be forever grateful that he raised the fine man I'm privileged to call my husband.