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Ben Batey

Obituary

Ben Batey Obituary
MY HUSBAND BREATHED HIS LAST AT 2:30 A.M. ON AUGUST 1, 2014. IN THE BOOK OF MATTHEW, JESUS WAS ASKED ABOUT MARRIAGE. HE ESTABLISHED SEVERAL RULES ABOUT MARRIAGE. THE PHRASE ABOUT WHICH I HAVE MUSED THIS PAST YEAR IS THAT "TWO SHALL BECOME ONE" IF THIS IS THE GOAL, HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN? WHEN ONE MEMBER DIES, HOW DOES HALF OF A WHOLE COPE?
THE FIRST QUESTION, I BELIEVE I HAVE ANSWERED FOR MYSELF. TWO PERSONALITIES MUST MELD BY MAKING DECISIONS WHICH ARE GOOD FOR THE WHOLE, NOT FOR JUST ONE-HALF OF THE WHOLE. SELFISH EGOS MUST LET GO OF "ME FIRST". EASIER SAID THAN DONE. IT TAKES A LONG TIME AND HARD WORK. SOMETIMES WE FAIL AND MUST START AGAIN. HOWEVER, A MARRIAGE OF MANY YEARS IS A TREASURE WORTH THE WORK.
I WAS ONE OF THE LUCKY ONES. BEN WAS A PERSON TO BE ADMIRED. HE WAS INTELLIGENT, BUT HE LET OTHERS DISCOVER THAT. HE NEVER BRAGGED. HE SPOKE WHEN HE NEEDED TO DO SO. HE WAS QUIET BUT NOT WITHOUT CONFIDENCE. HE HAD A SOLID SENSE OF RIGHT AND WRONG, BUT WAS NOT JUDGEMENTAL. HE WAS CALM .WHEN I DID SUCH THINGS AS LEAVE THE WATER RUNNING AND FLOODED THE UTILITY ROOM AND THE CLOSET IN THE ADJOINING BEDROOM. HE HELPED CLEAN IT UP, GOT IN HIS CAR TO GO WORK AND NEVER MENTIONED IT. HE WAS BLESSED WITH A LOVE OF HIS WORK, AND NEVER WISHED HE COULD RETIRE.
MOST OF ALL I ADMIRED HIM AS HE WRESTLED WITH A DEMEANING DEMENTIA AND PARKINSON'S. FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS HE SOLDIERED ON FIGHTING ITS LIMITATIONS LIKE A CHAMP. NEAR THE END, HE CONFIDED TO HIS BELOVED CAREGIVER THAT HE HAD HAD ENOUGH.
THE SECOND HALF OF THE QUESTION-"HOW DOES THE SURVIVING HALF COPE" MUST BE ANSWERED IN A PERSONAL WAY BY EACH PERSON WHO EXPERIENCES THE LOSS. I HAVE CHOSEN TO HONOR MY MARRIAGE BY TRYING TO TAKE THE FRUITS OF BEN'S LABOR AND CONTINUE THE BLESSINGS HE LEFT. THIS IS HOW I HONOR A SPECIAL MAN. MY BEST FRIEND-BEN BATEY--- OF WHOM I THINK UPON THE OPENING AND CLOSING OF MY EYES EACH DAY.

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Published in Bakersfield Californian from Aug. 1 to Aug. 2, 2015
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