I have just come from helping to send my dear friend, Ron, Home. I sat with him, alone, most of the morning as his body prepared to go. What a blessing to be at his side, holding his hand, comforting him as he took his last breaths and peacefully left us.
Ron has been my neighbor and friend for 20 years. He is a Farmer and I am a Farmer’s Daughter. We hit it off from the get-go. This last year I’ve spent many hours sitting with him, feeding him, and cheering him on, through some serious health challenges. He is finally free of those problems. I’m so happy he’s finally able to go Home. And I am sad. And I feel tired and a bit lonely on this beautiful Fall afternoon. I will always remember Ron. I see his farm from my kitchen and bedroom windows. Now I will watch his orchards and gardens and the old barn, and think of our long talks amid the blossoms in the spring and the bushels of fruit in the fall.
Ron waited until the harvest was in to go. Yesterday in the rain I left his side to go out and pick his grapes which I added to mine, to make juice that will be sweet and a fitting reminder of Ron in the coming months. Ron was a crusty man with a soft heart deep down inside. My kids were always scared of him, but they and all his neighbors and friends loved the fruit he shared so freely. Ron gave more than he took. He will probably be pleasantly surprised when he finds himself now in a beautiful place where he will be known for his fruits, not just the ones he grew.
I will miss you, Ron Rieske.