Saturday, July 15, 2017

Thinking of Sunsets


Our summer to date has been quite bittersweet.  We had the trip of a lifetime in Iceland (more on that very soon), but we returned to sad news all around.  First, Beverly Murray passed away, suddenly, after feeling a headache for most of the day. She collapsed at 5:00 pm, and was gone by 11:00 pm, at the age of 86.  I spent my youth playing tennis on the tennis court in her back yard, which she and her husband, Bob, so freely shared. My parents spent every summer gardening with her, knowing that if they didn't keep their rows in top shape, they were out. (Bev loved a beautiful and well kept garden).  She raised five tremendously successful and wonderful children, loved horses, and had the highest pain tolerance of any person I have ever known.  

Thirteen days later, her husband Bob, a Korean War Veteran and tireless supporter of every ambition I ever had, developed appendicitis.  He went under anesthesia, and never came out, passing away at the age of 88, having just seen everyone he loved at the funeral for his beloved Bev.  He was interred on July 3rd, 2017, beside her. Bob was a pilot who flew 100 missions in the Korean War in 86 days. Many of his squadron mates never achieved that milestone, dying in the service of their country before they could return. Bob vowed to live life to the fullest after that, and did so, graduating from Harvard's business school, becoming a successful business man, and a pillar of our little community. He was also one of my dad's best friends.  The United States Air Force honored Bob by having two F-35s fly over his grave on July 4.  It was quite a site to see.


Within a week of Bob's passing, Kim Burningham, Bountiful High debate coach and wonderful public school teacher, passed away after a very short battle with liver cancer, the same disease that took my dear friend Marilyn Muir Jager, whom I had gotten to know so well in Mr. B's classes so many years before.  He was one of a kind, dedicated, tireless, patient, calm, and unyielding in the things he knew to be right, a great example to all those he taught so well.  I was lucky to have him as a teacher.  

It is a hard thing to see that the world hurtles forward leaving such good people to the mists of memory.  Bob, Bev, and Kim all lived on Canyon Crest Drive, between my home and my best friend Doug Folsom's house.  I can't tell you how many times I went up and down that street, but it was home to me.  And now it is a home that feels far too empty, missing something fundamental to its very essence. Doug's parents have also passed on, and I can't imagine anyone who comes after in these places will understand the magic of this little community of kind neighbors. It was a Camelot of sorts for me, a place of good, hard working people, with solid values, who were honest and kind and faithful, who supported each other and went about doing good, filled with hope and believing both in dreams and in the goodness of other people. I hope, for the sake of the country Bob courageously fought for, that somewhere a few more of these magical places remain. I don't know whether they do, but I know that this one is passing below the far horizon, and I am feeling it.