Thursday, January 17, 2008
Remembering Douglas V. Olds
Yesterday, Michele, Ellie, Mikayla and I traveled to Bend for the funeral of Doug Olds - the man that was married to my Grandmother for 35 years, and one of the 3 grandfathers I was blessed to have growing up.
He died on January 10th, at home, in the presence of his daughter and my grandmother, at the age of nearly 91. He lived a very long and rich life - to be sure.
Mom did a wonderful job putting together the above posters (she's been with my grandmother (her mom) since Saturday) - celebrating his life. (I suppose it would be an inappropriate to remind the readers that pictures taken of me in the past are reflective of fashion styles at the time, and should not be used to judge me......) I think the picture of the wedding of him and my grandmother is especially beautiful - made even more so by the knowledge that that was the same day that my mom and dad found out they were expecting us.
At the service the chaplain used 4 words to describe Doug - I'll try to give an example of each -
GENTLE: This is a word I especially recognize. I never saw him anything but gentle. They've always had German Shepherds as pets - one special dog at a time and his love for them epitomized this adjective.
HUMOR: The hospice worker shared this one, "When visiting with Doug he exclaimed, 'I really don't like being old, but I guess I better live with it as it IS my last name'"
HUMBLE: With this description came some facts I never knew. Apparently Doug was a search and rescue pilot in World War 2 who saved many lives. Though he was willing to share stories of this experience, it was never in an attempt to make himself sound like the hero. He also wore a watch all of his life that was given to him by the parents of a boy who's life he saved from drowning. His biggest ambition was to "walk in his father's footsteps" - the man he considered a true hero. His father was the superintendent of public schools and later, that is, indeed, what Doug became. He touched countless numbers of children's lives throughout his career.
LOVING: Evidenced most especially in the very special relationship he and my grandmother shared for their 35 years of marriage. In visiting with the chaplain, he described Grandmother as "She's not just a good wife - she's wonderful". They had a very endearing marriage - with lots of adventures traveling around the country, co-owning a nursery together, managing the 6 acres of property they have in Bend, hiking around the high desert, and loving God together.
As you can imagine, my grandmother is lost in grief right now at the prospect of losing her life-mate. Please be in prayer for her strength and peace, as she adjusts to life with just the memories and not him by her side.