Thoughts and musings about Dad and Life


Dad and Frances Arroyo

As my father lay on a ventilator in a hospital, having been brought back to life by a combination of compressions and rescue efforts of medical staff, I am pondering my life, and the lives of those who’ve impacted my life. He is the last of my parents, mother having passed, Grandma and Grandpa, my step father, all proceeding him. At 84, he has survived the longest.

It is inevitable, with the passage of time, people we love pass on. First, my grandmother, Wilma, died at the age of 64 in 1984. I was 23 and I was forever changed by her loss. The date of her loss, August 30, 1984 seared into my memory.


1984, just a couple of months before Grandma passed away.

Ten years later, in 1994, Grandpa died. I was 33, a father to 4 boys by that time and living outside Philadelphia. He had begun to suffer from dementia, which was difficult to watch when he had always been such a paragon of strength and vitality. Grandpa always commanded respect, not by being demanding or “commanding”, but by the way he always carried himself. I always liked to think of him as a man who never spoke unless he had something to say. He was quiet, and when he spoke, you listened.


About 1978, the Mcgrew’s anniversary dinner.

Mother died about 14 years ago, December 11, 2007, in the middle of the worst ice storm in memory, Shirley Anne Beio, my mother died. Very reminiscent of today’s crisis, travel was nearly impossible.


So, today I wait for news of my Dad. I had made plans to visit him over Thanksgiving, last November. I was in quarantine from exposure to the coronavirus, so was unable to make the trip. The Pandemic has made us rethink plans, try to reschedule.

I’ve lived in Boise almost 5 years now and have not made a trip back so it’s been that long since I’ve seen loved ones. I know that my Dad has been separated from his family most of his life. He was in Oklahoma when his mother, my grandmother Aurea died. I can appreciate how difficult that must have been for him as well.

“Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. But I rather believe than time is a companion who goes with us on the journey, and reminds us to cherish every moment because they’ll never come again. What we leave behind is not as important how we lived. After all, Number One, we’re only mortal.”