Archives

Title Posted
How the Safehold Series Won't End (Joke Post by David) Aug 2014
July 2013 Honor Harrington Movie Update Jul 2013
You know that old question about what actress should play Honor? Sep 2011
Guest Professor David Weber! Jul 2011
Tuscon Festival of Books Schedule Information Feb 2011
Thank you, everyone! May 2010
One More Goodbye Dec 2009
Creating the Matrix, Part II Sep 2009
Creating the Matrix, Part I Aug 2009
Capability, Credibility, and the Problem of Mistakes Jul 2009

Filters

Narrow the posts above by selecting a series or specifying a keyword.

Options

David's Essays

A collection of David's thoughts, musings, and writings that didn't really fit anywhere else...so we collected them all and put them here for you to peruse at your leisure! 

One More Goodbye

  • Series: General
  • Date: December 01, 2009

I’d like to tell you about a remarkable lady.

Her name was Bobbie Irene Wilson Rice, and she was my mother-in-law. She was born in 1928, she saw three quarters of the 20th century, and she was one of the finest, strongest people I have ever known.

She was never wealthy, never one of the great and “important” people . . . except to those who knew and loved her. In a time and a place where it simply wasn’t done, she ended an abusive marriage and raised two children: Robert Michael Rice, who gave the United States Marine Corps 22 years of his life, then went into law enforcement, and Sharon Lynne Rice-Weber, my wife. Bobbie’s daughter. Megan and Morgan and Michael Paul’s mother.

I met Bobbie when she was in her mid-sixties, and I remember what she told me then about all the terrible things that would happen to me if I ever hurt her daughter. That was typical of her. I don’t believe I ever once, in all the years I knew her, heard her put herself first. She defined her life in terms of her responsibilities to those she loved, and she did her level best to meet those responsibilities. Oh, she had a temper! And there were times when she could be cranky, grumpy, and downright irritating. But that wasn’t what made her who and what she was to all of us who loved her. What made her who she was was love, humor, courage, stubborn determination, and kindness.

Over the last few years, her body began to fail her. She had several strokes and heart attacks. She had a hip replacement, and her scoliosis and osteoarthritis got progressively worse. She had pneumonia, and we saw her being stolen away a little bit at a time. She rallied again and again – she was always a fighter – but eventually it began to grind down even her indomitable spirit. We who had known and loved her for so long felt her slipping away from us, and we didn’t want to let her go.

I won’t be talking to her again – not and hearing her response, at least. She died Friday morning. It wasn’t easy letting her go, but much as we loved her, we realized that there comes a time when love means releasing the hawk, freeing the dove, allowing the weary traveler to go home at last. She was tired, and she was lost, and we loved her. And because we loved her, we said goodbye.

I’ll miss her. I’ll miss her humor, her smile, the love she had for those about her. And I’ll treasure her, for the very same things. And my world will be a little poorer for her absence. But I’ll also look into her daughter’s eyes, and that’s where I’ll see the echoes of Bobbie Irene Wilson Rice. There and in my son’s red hair and freckles and blinding smile. And in my daughters’ huge brown eyes, sandalwood complexion, and beautiful faces.

We are the people we touch. Our reality is the echo we send down the years of our families and loved ones. Our touch is in the memory of children and grandchildren, passing on the hugs and kisses we gave them. My mother-in-law touched a lot of people, including me, and I celebrate her life and every day I got to know her. I rejoice for her, for her freedom from pain and fatigue, for the greater joy I truly believe she’s found in the completion of that journey we all must take. And I grieve for her son, for her daughter, for her grandchildren, for her great-grandchildren, and for myself, because of what her freedom has taken from us.

Goodbye, Bobbie. We love you.