Aged hands have not lost their quickness
as they catch and return
a wobbly throw
from the youngest grandchild
Reflexes react as they always have
anticipating or changing effortlessly
for each uneven pass
Years of practice are chiseled in their form
still they are steady
Aided now by the curve of a cane
wielded as deftly as any hockey stick
to retrieve the ball
from behind the couch or under a chair
As I watch these two
Iím not sure whose delight is greater
The merry eyes of an aged athlete
or the gleeful fascination of a toddler
learning a game from his grandfather

JPF-B October 1995




White shirt,
Bow tie,
Shining eyes,
Ready smile -
Pictures from the past.

Hand in gesture,
Words so slow,
A mind in motion,
Teaching me  -
Scenes from the past.

Plaid shirt, still body, sun reflection on glasses, quiet, quiet
appreciation of his son doing the taxes and his Sibelius in the air, and then once again...the hand, conducting, and once again, the smile. A memory for my heart, from February 27, 2000.

I am sitting at home, the day off, going slow, crying with friends and alone, reading Conversations with Dad, and telling stories of my own.  I am full of so much appreciation for Grandpa and all that he was and gave to me.

I want to bubble with fond memories, and I hope to be with all of you as soon as we can.  I also am so proud and thankful that I have always had this family and still have all of you after Grandpa's death.  I miss him very, very much and wish I had been there to say "one more goodbye."  He was for me what no one else will ever be, my grandfather.  But I have enjoyed how much I treasure him and our family and how much love we still have, both for him, and for each other.


Dan Dan


Gumdrops, chilled white wine, and the perfect tomato... His steady, proud manner of telling tales... Doing stats by hand (!)... His reliable presence at (mediocre) tennis games and graduation... His long lasting, brilliant smile... What an honor it was when he asked me to engrave his cane... What an honor it is to be his grandchild.



Mary Anna and Katie

Katie and Mary Anna

Unfortunately, I never really got to know the wonderful grandfather I had. By the time I was old enough to really have a conversation with him, he was slowly forgetting things, making our talks extremely difficult. I do know that he was kind and loving, not to mention extremely loved himself....I could have learned a lot from him. But he has taught me many lessons, maybe he didn't say them to me verbally, but he was a great teacher if one was willing to learn. I thank God that I was willing to learn, I learned about the love and importance of a family. That is the best lesson I have learned in my life.


Marty Marty

Shelley Bert and I had weekly lunches together in 1994. I remember his warm greetings, tuna fish sandwiches, slow walks down the road, barrel grown tomatoes and talks about anything that came to mind.

During the midday visits, we would often look through Fox family photo albums. The photos would trigger stories -- stories about Canadian canoe trips, family milestones & holidays. Bert told me that it gave him much happiness to see his two sets of children come together as a family. He said he felt "blessed" by how well everyone got along.

Bert - thanks for sharing those stories with me, and for doing so with such grace, charm, wit and a twinkle in the corner of your eye.


Drew says "Go GrandBert!" Drew and Connor

Susan Susan

Kaela and Jenner Jenner and Kaela



Edited July 19, 2007