Thoughts about Bert from Family and Friends

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Distinguished service award, 1984

I will miss you very much!






3/14: My heart is very full. I got the news of Bert's death at about 11 this morning- and came home for the rest of the day where I can be alone and think and grieve.
Even though I was prepared for the news- I wasn't! I was surprised at the depth of my sadness and sense of loss. I had said my goodbye in December being fairly sure I would not see him again as I was doing this play. But saying goodbye and really saying goodbye are two different things. I so wish I could have been with Tom, Ann, Peter and Joan and Pat as they helped Bert let go. In my heart I know he knew you all were there and was grateful. I love you all so much!

When I was a freshman in high school, I wrote an essay about Bert, entitled "My Ideal". Daughter Adair found it in our attic ten or fifteen years ago and gave it to him for Christmas, to the howls of the whole family! Yes, I was younger then and certainly missing my full-time father after the divorce; but my admiration and love remains to this day. How I will miss him! Tom





Oh the thinnest man....
Oh, speak to me darling.....
We're back on the Pickerel again....
Let's break this portage in to 6ths.....
Follow through, damn it!
It's what up front that counts.....
I am so proud of all six.....

More recently...
I hate this place.....but I know there is no alternative.

I pray he has found peace at last!

Hours and hours of cold rainy miles 
Rushing to your side for a last goodbye; 
Passing fields and rolling hills gently tinged with green 
And stark winter trees glowing softly red with new buds about to burst open. 
The sadness in my heart at your passing 
Is balanced by the familiar joy of the vernal rebirth 
And the knowledge that you are finally at peace.

One of the Burns Sisters wrote the following in a song to her father. I cannot say it any better than she did.

You can walk away now 
You can walk away proud 
I'll never be alone because you're part of me 
I'll never be afraid, I know you're with me 
You taught me how to live in this world.

Be at peace Dad



Peter Monday morning, with tears running down his face: "Dad wants you to know that he loves us all and is proud of us all. Don't worry Dad. We'll be OK. We will take care of each other."



As I walked out into the brilliant afternoon I rememberedů

You waited for the sun
you waited for the sunshine
to lift you gently from us
during the cold rain you remained 
still and resting in the warm embrace of your family
lovingly caressed with stories, songs and tenderness

You waited for the warm sunshine
to lift you from your tortured body
to lightness, energy and the deftness
you so treasured and painfully relinquished long ago

You waited for the sun
to lift you gently from us
to bathe our tears in the warm sunshine
that you now shed down upon us

J. Fox-Bow 4/6/00



Aunt Trudy told Joan a wonderful story about why Dad was so special to her.  When Trudy met Bud, her future husband, they were in California and her mother was living with her. When they decided to get married, Ethel told her she could not walk her down the aisle at the wedding as she was just her mother. Trudy called Bert in the east and he came right out to California, having never met Bud, and walked her down the aisle. Trudy said, he was just like that - he would do anything for you. 


Edited July 19, 2007