Marie, my heart goes out to you and your Daughters. I am there for you should you need anything.
As a female vet, I salute you. Colleen Abrams, Kittitas
News of the death of a loved one is always an unexpected shock to the intellect. It was so when I heard the news of the sudden passing of my brother. The grieving process is more prolonged, complex and much studied from an emotional standpoint. The jolt to the mind and the thought process is very different.
Jeff and I were often worlds apart both physically and intellectually. Our life paths were equally divergent. Jeff served his country in the armed forces. He returned to his roots in the Pacific Northwest and remained physically close to our parents. He was a devoted son, following our father in his societal service through the Masonic Order. He chose a career path in a tangible field of architecture through which he will be remembered by physical structures and recorded data in the archives of cities and corporations. The projects he helped to design and build will stand as visible monuments to his achievements.
My initial thoughts when I heard that my brother was gone were not of our differences but of our common bonds. We shared remarkable parents, Dorothy and General Bartow. Mother exemplified creativity through her artistry, along with hard work and resourcefulness in securing our daily needs. She and my father shared a very private but strong lifelong love. Father showed us how to lead with compassion and to manage people and events with strength and dignity. Jeff and I had the lessons “beaten” into us as boys when our heads took turns hitting hard against the roof as Dad's jeep jackrabbited along the backwoods roads to scouting his next hunting trip.
Jeff continued the hunting tradition with Dad throughout his life in my absence. He also held a deep respect, almost a reverence for the Native American culture that was so much a part Dad's heritage and an undercurrent of our lives. I am proud and happy to be a genetic link to their endeavors even though I could not physically be there.