Thursday, May 14, 2009

IN LOVING MEMORY OF DONALD LEE BOWMAN

I just returned from C-bus where I said goodbye to one of my oldest friends...who happened to be the father of my children. I've known Don for a long long time. Obviously we had our ups and downs, but you can't raise four children...four really good people....without building a relationship with each other. So up until virtually the very end, we were still finishing each other's sentences, quoting from the same old movies, and still reciting old favorite family jokes ("not only are your original eyes gone....").

Some of these remarks are from the words I spoke at his funeral. I still can't believe that last sentence. But anyway, as the kids got older, and we knew that they would bring others into the family (which is what they are supposed to do!), we took to calling ourselves The Bowman Six. It was our own little way of staying connected, I guess. Side note: As we huddled ourselves together football style, the day after the funeral, the kids and I, Eli called us "The Bowman Five" and then said, "One day, we'll be "The Bowman Four" and then "The Bowman Three" and finally, "The Bowman One". At this point, Emily said, "Yea, I'll be really sad that day", while snickering-implying that she was going to outlive everyone. Eli quickly retorted-"Don't worry, Dad can keep you company". Yea...that's the Bowmans.....never a dull moment.....

We fell in love with our children-in-law. They are gifts that our kids brought to the family. And through them, we received our grandchildren. And because of this, Don and I learned that we don't divide our love, we multiply it. We learned that lesson together.

And my last lesson from Don is this: None of us, not one, have any right to expect another day. It is a gift and we should treasure it. This is my last gift from Don Bowman. my final and lasting gift. And I didn’t get a chance to thank him. But, I can thank him now. I can thank him by cherishing my time with my children. And they can thank him by cherishing their time with their spouses. No time for anger. No time for pettiness. No time for not appreciating each other and we can use the time we have each day by thanking Heavenly Father for another day with the ones we love.

Soooo.....way to go Don....ditch me with all these kids.....like I have ANY idea what to do...."you just keep thinkin' Butch"......

13 comments:

Stephanie Jette said...

You always know what to say. I love you Mommy.

Cindy said...

Sigh and exhale, you say it all so well..
Beautiful picture..It is a picture of 5 people but what it really is, is a picture of love. Lucky you!
Glad you are back.

Love,
me

The Katzbox said...

Jetson-I love you babydoll...always and forever...

Cindy-I love you also...and I owe you a thank you note...we LOVED your card and your arrangement...it meant so much....your words were so beautiful and so sincere....I told the kids how much Don loved you...he got such a kick out of you...I remember when you and I moved in together and Don came over...he was in HEAVEN...two girls that he adored under the same roof...we three were talking about something and instead of referring to the "Japanese" you said "Japan people" and he laughed SO HARD!!! He still said "Japan People" years later, Cindy... YEARS LATER!!!...so funny....thanks so much again for your card, we love you...

ennbee said...

deb, i wish you well. i know these days ahead will be tough - and WEIRD.

let me know if i can help.

The Katzbox said...

Ennbee, thanks so much...I realize you know a lot how this feels...I don't think that last sentence was grammatically correct, but oh well...thank you...I may email you if it gets too weird...you're a pal...did you check out the photo at the top of the blog? HAHAHAHAHAHAH

Cindy said...

Too funny, I never paid much attention in school, hence my limited vocabulary. I do not remember that but I believe it. Back then I was to shy to pick up the phone and order a pizza..Thank gosh things have changed.
Just got back from San Diego where we had a celebration for Mike's 60th birthday. Thinking of you, your family and Don I held on to Mike and our friends just a little bit tighter and found myself thanking God several times a day for the beautiful glorious moments we shared. Moments that are already just pictures and memories.
When you are rested up..lets do something good!

Eli Bowman said...

I'll miss Dad...but he would laugh that I was on my tippy toes for that "Bowman 5" picture.

The Katzbox said...

Eli! I looked and looked at that and thought, "Wow! Eli has not only stepped up to take care of the family, it appears that he has physically stepped into the role!" I actually thought that....you are such a stinker....yeesh......

The Katzbox said...

Oh my gosh, your dad would also laugh that I totally fell for it at a metaphysical level...

Emmy Slusser said...

haaaaaaaaaa!! Eli! That is so funny. MOm, that says so much about you. I love my mom!
I will miss dad so much, but I am so thankful for the remainder Bowman 6 minus 1. It makes me appreciate the ones that are here. .actually, it makes me CHERISH the ones that are here.

Diane said...

Don would LOVE this picture. And Eli, I THOUGHT you looked tall when I looked at it. I am so glad we got to share last Saturday with you all. No words, really, to describe the funeral. Except perfect. And awful. All at the same time.
And the Bowman Six? Well, I'd say it's still six. The big guy just went ahead to scout out the next campsite.
Love you guys....each and every one.
Oh, and Miss Em, during your talk, when you said "So I guess I still win"...well, I had to work HARD to keep from laughing way too loud, but then I looked over at David, and he threw his head back and laughed like crazy, and your Grandma was smiling bigtime. Gotta love a family like that.

Emmy Slusser said...

Phew! Thanks, Diane! I think anyone that knows dad and our family would have laughed, but I think my remarks may have shocked a few people. I did say "lesbian bar" over the pulpit.
*Lightning strikes*
but, that story was so him, that I couldn't leave it out. Man, he was so funny!

The Katzbox said...

Well Emmy, there you go!!! Momma Diane to the rescue!!! Diane, Em was a little concerned about her remarks from the pulpit (which I was perfectly okay with) but you simply confirmed everything I felt. I told her, "the people that knew us and loved us would laugh and appreciate it and the people who would be offended were never our friends to begin with"...BINGO DIANE!!!!!

I love you so much, buddy....I was so happy to see you walk into that room....so very very happy.....that must be what it will be like in the Celestial Kingdom huh? :)