Long time owner, Bob Arnold passes away
82 years and 158 days ago, Robert William Arnold entered this world. A few hours ago, he made his final transition.
For those of you who knew my father, you would probably agree with me when I say he was set in his ways. He was never one for long goodbyes, instead preferring to wave from across the room and simply disappear.
A couple of years ago when I was planning my wedding, he naturally had questions…lots of them. Most of those questions began with, “in a traditional wedding”. I answered each one diligently, assuring him it would be very similar to any wedding he had been to before.
As the date approached, I called my dad one day and said, “Dad…in a traditional wedding the father of the groom provides a toast. Would you do that for me”? In his normal smart-ass attitude, he said, a toast or a roast?
So dad…I don’t know if you’ll consider this a toast or a roast, but here we go…
One of my favorite stories he told in his toast was of a time my dad, brother and I went skiing. You see, I didn’t get the athletic gene, Buz got that for sure. What I did get from my dad was the stubborn gene. I was tired of being stuck in ski lessons, while they were on the hill having a great day skiing. So, after lunch I informed them, I would be joining them on the hill. As much as my dad tried to convince me I needed more lessons, my mind was made up. So naturally, I joined them…and I never went back to lessons.
I got many other things from my dad. I love to build things and he was always happy to teach me the skills I needed. I took over part of my mom’s garden and built a fort with his help. As I got older, he showed me how to work on my car, so I could change my own oil or spark plugs. Then as a homeowner, I had countless questions. He was always ready with advice.
So although he was stubborn and set in his ways, I wouldn’t have him any other way because he was also the kindest, most gentle and generous person you ever would meet.
It has been a rough couple of weeks as his health declined. A pre-planned trip last weekend turned into many visits to the hospital. When I headed home on Monday, I felt good, he was improving. A phone call Friday morning changed all that. Suddenly I was racing out of work, headed to the airport.
Last night, as a family we decided we only had one option, it was time to allow him to make his quick departure. True to his stubborn nature, he hung on long enough to be transferred out of the ICU, which he hated with a passion. Once settled in his new room, he took his final wave.
As sad as I am that I never got him back to his beloved Sand Dollar Beach, I can take solace in knowing he is now comfortably resting watching the waves crash, the birds soar and his flags fly. Dad I’m going to miss your advice, smart ass comments, and laughter, but I know you now have a front row seat overlooking the ocean that you loved so much. I love you and will miss you immensely.