Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Remembering Ron

This morning one of our most favorite people in the world passed away. His name was Ron Faulkner. He was a Briton, a good cook, a great husband and a very funny fellow.

I met him & his wife Betty 14 years ago when I was going to school in London and needed a place to go for Christmas. My step-aunt & uncle introduced me to these people who they had traveled with on the Continent. Instantly the Faulkners made me feel right at home in their Bournemouth-area manor. I spent both Christmas and Easter holidays with them. After that, I saw them on two separate occasions in the U.S. when they were visiting friends in Oregon between 1995 & 2003. Then Ken and I visited them at their home en route to Italy in 2004 & again in 2006. They had decided in 2004 that their international traveling days were over because it was more difficult post-9/11 and harder on them, but they made one exception. In 2005 they attended our wedding in Salem, Oregon. I mention all the visits with them because each time actually felt like it would be the last. Ron and Betty were in their golden years when we met and because we spent a lot of time talking about ailments, tablets, hospitals and doctor's visits, it clearly was a huge part of their lives. (They even took me to the hospital where Ron had treatments as a stop on our sightseeing tour of the town and we ate lunch there.) Each goodbye was truly heartbreaking but when the next opportunity came to see them, our time together was precious and memorable. Today I reread all the sections of my journals that chronicle the times I/we have spent with Ron & Betty. Reoccurring themes: the food, people they know who are literally living treasures, stories Ron told and appreciation of their amazing marriage & true partnership. Despite the hearing aid and the pacemaker, Ron didn't miss a thing. He may have slowed down as he got older but he was still a man of the world. He met his wife Betty in grade school and he knew she was the one even then--this March they would have been married 62 years. He served in WWII in the British Royal Army as a nurse over in India. He grew a profitable business selling items to tourists at the English beaches in SW England. He traveled all over the world with his wife and enjoyed sailing on the QE1 & QE2 ships. He cooked very well and cracked funny jokes. He even introduced me to his version of Baked Alaska: a block of ice cream encased in meringue flash broiled in the hottest oven imaginable. Ron, we are better people for knowing you. May your rest in peace.

1 comment:

Tracy said...

that is such an amazing story, and so sad. I makes me remember my favorite host father in Germany. I went to visit, and he passed away a week before I arrived, and I never got to see him again. :-(