Monday, August 26, 2013

Loving Hands

Richard "Rich" Allan Penrod
July 3, 1949-August 16, 2013

My dear, sweet husband, who had been battling prostate cancer for going on eight years, passed away on August 16th. Rich was always the trooper, going through surgery, anti- hormone treatments, so many different kinds of meds, a clinical trial at MD Anderson Cancer Center, twenty-five months of chemo, more meds, radiation, and then finally there wasn't anything left to try.

The last three months, he slowly declined by sleeping more and not being able to do as much. About 2 1/2 weeks, before he passed away, he started sleeping so much more than usual. The oncologist recommended that Hospice be called. They were wonderful, but really it was the loving hands of all of our family that came through for him. All four of our children came and slept at our house and we all took care of him. The last week of Rich's life, he slept 24 hours a day in a hospital bed, right beside our bed. On the last day, our whole family was at home,  when he took his last breath and passed away.

Rich and I had been together since our freshmen year of high school and we married in 1970. He was always my protector, my rock, my strength and our "go-to-guy" for family and friends. I always felt completely loved and adored by him and I will cherish every special, precious memory.  One special memory, during one of his last days was, when Rich felt my breath near him, he reached for me to hold him and he puckered his lips to kiss me. What true love that was for me and I will never forget it. Another sweet memory was when our youngest son played Rich's favorite song "You Don't Have to Call Me Darlin'", by David Allen Coe, and we all held hands and sang along with it, while the boys lifted him up to sit.

Rich and I always held hands when walking or going anywhere together.  Our hands were committed together in raising our family and being loyal and faithful to each other.

The best gift of the last few days was realizing what phenomenal grown children we raised.  They all became nurses, caring and loving the man that taught them their life lessons. I wrote the following words to express my gratitude to them, our daughters-in-love and other family members and friends:


Loving Hands

When a baby is born into this world, a family is gathered to hold, caress and embrace them.

So too, when dying, a family is there to soothe, love, honor, and respect their loved one.

Through his guidance and actions as a son, husband, father, papa, brother and friend, we learned lessons in loyalty and commitment.

Our family's hands joined together to comfort this wonderful man and to release him to eternal peace.

While we had the privilege to care for Rich, so many others reached out their hands to nourish, protect, and love us, for which we are so grateful.

Rich will be forever missed, but his memory will live on in all the lives that he touched.

Rest in peace, Rich Penrod.

We love you!

Kitty and Family

Thank you to all of my friends,  for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers,  during this difficult time.  Please continue to pray for our family. 


I am sharing this with:

Seasonal Sundays

               Thank you for your visit!  xo



87 comments:

  1. Kitty,

    I'm so sorry for your loss. This is a wonderful and loving tribute to the man in your life and how your family cared for him in his final days.

    Praying for you and your family.

    Jan ♥

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  2. I am so glad you all got to be together at the end. I'm so very sorry for your loss and will continue to keep you in my prayers. What a precious family you have...loving hands. I know it will be hard for all of you. He was my age. Sending you hugs, your friend, Diane

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  3. Kitty, what a loving tribute to Rich. Of course, it made me weep for you and for your story - my husband and I have been together, since I was a freshman in high school, too. Many hugs and prayers go out to you and your wonderful family. Your blogging friends are definitely here for you!!

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  4. Kitty, what a beautiful tribute to your wonderful husband! It is truly a gift to have such a special and dedicated man as a husband!
    I'll be praying for your family and for you!
    Much love, Yvonne

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  5. Oh Kitty, I'm so impressed that you wrote this at such a difficult time for you. It has made me cry. To lose a wonderful man like Rich has to be so difficult, but I know that you feel you are a better person for having had him in your life all these years. The two of you have indeed raised a wonderful family -- I'm so glad they could all be there for their father and mother when it mattered the most. They will help you through the coming months, I just know it.

    I'm glad you shared this with us; it's a wonderful tribute to your beloved husband. You are in my prayers every day, dear friend.

    Hugs,

    Denise at Forest Manor

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  6. Kitty, your tribute to Rich is beautiful. The marriage you shared is such an incredible example. I'm sending hugs and prayers your way.

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  7. Kitty:
    You have been in my thoughts and prayers and will continue to. The involvement of your children to this degree was phenomenal. Your family relationship is very special.

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  8. I am so very sorry to read of your loss, Kitty. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  9. I am so very sorry to read of your loss, Kitty. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  10. Dearest Kitty,
    Your tribute to Rich is so moving and deeply felt. Leonard and I are so blessed that we were able to see and get to know you as a couple, his love for you and your love for him was such an example for so many. God Bless you and your family as you move forward and begin to heal from this great loss. We will all be here to walk with you, encourage you and hold you up along the way. God has His loving arms around you as we continue to hold you up in prayer.
    Love and Hugs,
    Miz Helen

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  11. Oh Kitty, your words have caused tears to flow from my eyes! What a beautiful tribute to your precious husband! I just emailed you this verse, but I will write it again, "Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted." -Matthew 5:4 May the Lord wrap His loving arms around you and may you feel His comforting presence and strength. Whatever you need, sweet friend, I am here for you.

    Love and hugs to you!

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  12. I am all teary reading your tribute to Rich...it is beautiful. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, Kitty.
    Many hugs,

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  13. I'm so sorry for your loss! My God give you the peace that passes all understanding!

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  14. So very sorry for your loss Kitty. What a beautiful post.. such a luvly tribute to a special man.
    My thoughts and prayers go out to you and yours at this difficult time.
    Hugs, Gee

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  15. A beautiful tribute, Kitty. I started to cry as I was reading. He was a fighter. Praying for you and your family. (((hugs))) xo

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  16. Oh dear Kitty,
    I am so so sorry to hear about your sadness. What a handsome man he was! He will forever be in your hearts. I will pray for you and your family. Take care,
    Karen

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  17. I'm so sorry. What a lovely tribute you wrote. Love to you and your family!

    Bobi

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  18. Dear Kitty,
    I wish you and your family a lot of strength. It will be very hard to miss a person as wonderful as Rich.
    You have given him a beautiful tribute !!
    Hugs

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  19. You are one of the sweetest ladies in blog land and I have been thinking of you and my heart and prayers was always with you dear Kitty in this sad moments, of your dearest passing still so young. My condolences go out for you and your family as well. May God help you be strong in this trying times.
    Big hugs,
    FABBY

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  20. Oh, Kitty. I am so sorry to read of Rich's passing. Condolences to you and your family. I know how difficult all of this was and is. It has been 2 years since my Dick passed into the stars. We held hands all the time, too. Sweet memories for you and for me. Wishing you well.

    oxox

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  21. I have just read this post Kitty, in a loving tribute to your dear husband. I am so very sorry to hear of your loss.....you will be in my thoughts and prayers....your family sounds amazing...many blessings

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  22. Kitty, I am so sorry for your loss. This is a loving tribute both to Rich and to the rest of your family. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Hugs, Beth

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  23. Kitty, words fail at times like these for me. What a wonderful tribute to your dear one you have done and a lovely tribute to your family and friends too. Kia kaha.

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  24. Kitty, your tribute to Rich and the obvious love, respect, and devotion that your children had for their dad, touches my heart. You know that I ache for you and this tremendous loss. Keeping you close in my heart and prayers, dear friend. Love ! Sarah

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  25. Kitty sorry for your loss the tribute was lovely.

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  26. Such a nice tribute to your husband Kitty and comforting words to your family I'm sure. My thoughts are with you, please take care.

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  27. You've all been in my prayers since you advised what was going on. This is a beautiful tribute to Rich and an example of your love and your family. I'm so happy the kids were there ~ that means the world!

    I'm always here if you need anything or want to chat. This grief process is different for everyone but I know how loss feels.

    You are so loved!
    Pat

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  28. I am so sorry for your loss. Love the sweet words that you spoke of you, your husband and family. I don't know you but find myself getting teared up for your loss.

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  29. Kitty, I will hold your hand through this difficult time and always. You and your family are very blessed to have a person as wonderful as Rich. Such a beautiful tribute of love and dedication. xo

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  30. Hello Dear Kitty, This was a lovely tribute you shared about the love of your life. Rich sounded like a wonderful husband, father, son, papa, brother and friend. He will be forever missed. My heart cannot help but think of you my dear friend, and your loss. I continue to hold you and your family up in prayer. May the Lord bless you all.

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  31. Oh my, what a loving and caring tribute. My eyes are so filled with tears, you and your entire family are in my prayers. God Bless. Hugs, Marty

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  32. I reach my hand, in this virtual world, to you and your family in the hopes that more hands will give you all the strength you need in the coming days. I am so sorry for your loss and will continue to send prayers your way....

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  33. What a beautiful tribute to your loving husband. Your words brought tears to my eyes! Sending you strength and hugs. You'll be in my thoughts.

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  34. My very deepest sympathy is extended to you. May God be with you all and comfort you in your time of sorrow.

    Beth

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  35. I am so sorry to hear of your husband's passing. You have a loving family and God's promise that you will be reunited for all of eternity. You are in my prayers.
    Hugs,
    Patti

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  36. I am so sorry to hear of your husband's passing. My deepest sympathies.

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  37. Kitty,
    May my prayers for God's comfort and peace for you and your family
    combined with others help to guide you in the difficult days that lie ahead.
    May you ever hold to the truth that we will all be reunited, once again.
    Fondly,
    Pat

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  38. Kitty,
    Although, I am fairly new here-I follow your blog-my thoughts and prayers are with you. What a lovely tribute to a very special man. May our Heavenly Father comfort you and your dear family.
    Jemma

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  39. Kitty- I just found you through bj over at Sweet Nothings. I am so so very sorry for your loss. My husband had surgery for prostate cancer, too, and they think they got it all. It is a scary time-turns your life topsy-turvy. I am so glad that you have children that rallied round and embraced you in life and their Dad in death. God bless you. You will be in my prayers and I am your newest follower- xo Diana

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  40. Oh Sweet Friend Kitty - what a beautiful heartfelt tribute to your beloved husband...and to your precious family. Know you are cared for, and prayed for, much. Thank you for sharing this. Thankful to know you have a deep faith and a loving family. We are here for you to share your heart with any time. I love you Dear. XO

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  41. Sitting here trying to think of something that I haven't said and exactly what I want to say. Sometimes, I just lack the right words. I loved every syllable you wrote here and can hear your heart so loudly and clearly. What a wonderful, handsome (very!) husband, father, and MAN Rich was. I'm so glad the family was together. I know it doesn't dilute the pain, but it adds a comfort that makes it bearable, I think. I have prayed and prayed for both him and you and will continue to lift you for that peace that passes understanding to guard your heart and mind right now.

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  42. I am so very, very sorry for your loss. My heart and prayers go out to you.

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

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  43. I am so sorry for you and your family's loss, you and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers This tribute of a loving father and husband touched me so much.. Your loving hands is priceless as was the photo of your hands together.
    May the Lord bless and keep you in His loving hands.
    Sue

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  44. Dear Kitty,
    What a loving tribute to your hubby and family! Our lives are blessed and enriched by those we love and you have shared those thoughts so beautifully. You and your family have been in my thoughts and prayers and will continue to be. Sending you big hugs.

    Love & blessings,
    Sandi

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  45. Hello Dear Kitty, such a lovely tribute - cherishing the best of the moments with your husband and with your children - so marvelous to read how you were all able to come together - you were/are so blessed. My thoughts and prayers are with you all - I know these next few days and months will be very different - having such a marvelous, loving family is the best -
    God Bless,
    Kathy

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  46. I'm sorry to hear of your loss, but clearly, you are in good hands. You are so blessed to have such a beautiful loving family. They will continue to support and love you. I will remember you in my prayers.

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  47. My dear, sweet friend...my heart aches for you and the family. Bobby and I feel privileged to have known you and Rich as a couple. You are a shining example of what a marriage and family should be. Two perfectly matched souls..full of love, kindness, generosity,and integrity. May God hold you in the palm of his hand, and comfort you. I love you very much.
    Patsy

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  48. Kitty, what a beautiful tribute to your husband and what a wonderful testimony of the loving children you have raised! Thank you for inviting us in on this precious time with your family. I know there are really no words that can ease your pain. But, know this, we (your blog friends) love you! I know I feel so blessed to know you! Please take care of yourself in these weeks and months when your heart is raw and aching. We'll be here whenever you are ready. I will be praying for you! Love, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

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  49. Kitty, I know your husband is looking down from Heaven, smiling at your loving tribute. Sending up more prayers for you and your family. xxoo

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  50. Kitty - I'm so sorry to hear of the passing of your lovely husband. What a beautiful tribute to him - you can be so proud of your wonderful children - you sound like SUCH a loving family. Sending you lots of love and prayers -
    Mary xox

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  51. Im so very sorry for your loss.Sending prayers your way today.

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  52. I am so sorry for the loss of your wonderful loving husband. Your tribute to him is so very beautiful ...prayers for all of you .

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  53. Oh, may God give you strength to carry on in his absence. Your post was very touching and I am so sorry for the loss of your sweetheart!
    Hugs,
    JP

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  54. Such a perfect picture of love as your family gathered together and helped. So sorry for your loss. A lovely tribute.

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  55. What a beautiful tribute to your husband...I am so sorry for your loss...Sending you and your family prayers during your time of deep sorrow~ Lynn @ Turnips 2 Tangerines

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  56. My condolence to you and your family. My prayers go out to you all.

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  57. What a lovely tribute to your husband. I am so sorry for your loss.... take care and know he is smiling down on you from Heaven.

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  58. I'm so sorry for your loss. Your words of tribute are really so beautiful. It sounds as though you have a wonderful family. What a lovely legacy your husband leaves behind. I'm sending prayers of love and strength your way.

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  59. Oh, Dear Kitty, what a sweet tribute to your love. The words you've written are so beautiful and touching. You and your family will continue to be in my prayers.
    Blessings,
    Shelia

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  60. Truly one of the greatest love stories of all time. I am so glad that your family could all be present to love on Rich and lend you the support that you as his loving wife surely needed. I am truly, truly sorry, Kitty. I'll be sure to always say hi to Rich in my prayers.

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  61. Dearest Kitty,
    This is such a heartwarming post that reflects what a wonderful guy your sweet Rich really was. I know you must be missing him terribly & my heart aches for you, over that loss. I continue to pray for you & your family. I look forward to the day when you feel well enough to cook something yummy & share what you've made. I hope each day, you hurt just a wee bit less & the pain turns into heartwarming, good memories that will sustain you & help you get through the next step.
    Just take it one day at a time & know you are in the thoughts of many.
    Hugs,
    Rett

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  62. I waited to read this, I knew it would be beautiful and make me cry. It was, and it did.
    Cherish the memories of that wonderful man, and see him live on in your kids. I pray for you, that each day you have strength to find something to smile about.
    My mom, who was widowed at 49, said you never get over it, you just get used to it.
    It is something we, or our spouses will all face, some sooner than later, but inevitably.
    I know you cherished every minute with him, and he knew it too.
    God bless you , Kitty!

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  63. I'm so sad to read about your hubby's passing. May the God of all comfort wrap you in His loving arms like never before and may His strength be yours during this difficult time. What a beautiful memorial post.

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  64. Oh Kitty, I can't even get through this post without tears streaming down my face and I didn't even know him. He sounds like a most amazing individual. You were extremely lucky to have found such a loving a devoted mate, but it sounds like you know that.

    Hope you can feel the big hug I'm stretching through my computer screen to reach you.

    - Alma, The Tablescaper

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  65. My thoughts are with you in this time of great sorrow. My words are just to tell you I saw Sarah's comment about your family.
    I prayed your husband would receive wonderful care and that is exactly how you and your family cared for him. I hope you can rest and recover your strength. My prayers are with you and your family! God bless you and keep for you are a special person I have learned to know on line!

    Pam

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  66. Dear Kitty,
    Oh my gosh, I am so very deeply sorry for you. I feel so much the same about my husband. How strong you all were for him and made his last time here special and gave each other strength too.
    I wish it wasn't so for you and I pray for your strength and eventual peace.
    SIncerely, Ruthie Miller

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  67. Dear Kitty...I am so very sorry! Such beautiful words that you have shared here. You all are in our thoughts and prayers! Warmest Hugs Teri

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  68. Dear Kitty...I am so very sorry! Such beautiful words that you have shared here. You all are in our thoughts and prayers! Warmest Hugs Teri

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  69. Hello Kitty
    I have been sporadic on the computer all week and feel terrible I missed the loving tribute to your husband when it was posted. Nicely written, and still very sad that he was called at what I consider a young age yet. It's a blessing that your loving family could be together until the end and I continue to think of you daily in my prayers.
    Hugs,
    Judith

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  70. Kitty, such a touching post! I love the 'loving hands'. I am sure that he knew how much he was loved and cared for. He will be greatly missed, but at last he is without pain. My oldest brother passed away a few years ago from prostate cancer also. He too was a trooper and underwent clinical studies. He said, "I know it's too late for me, but if I can help someone else it's worth it". God bless you and your family Kitty! Thanks for sharing this sweet post with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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  71. Kitty, Such a beautifully written tribute for a beautiful man. My heartfelt condolences to you and your family. ((Hugs)), Pam

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  72. What a sweet tribute to your dear husband, Kitty. I am glad you are surrounding by wonderful family to help you through your loss.

    Thinking of you and your family.

    ((xo))

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  73. Oh dear Kitty! I am so very sorry about your husbands illness and passing! Your post here is an outpouring of love to your dear soulmate. Beautiful! My thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Hugs,
    Terri

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  74. Oh, Kitty. I just now read your tribute to your wonderful husband. I'm finding it hard to type but I didn't want to let it pass to tell you how I admire you and your family. I know what a hard thing it is to go through and you are all heroes. You will cherish and hold dear all your memories of that amazing man. I am afraid that I will be writing something similar about a family member shortly. Take care of yourself, Judy

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  75. Kitty,
    Your words about your husband and the tribute to him is so special and warm..and so full of love. I am glad you had all these years with a wonderful man...words just do not seem adequate because my method of comfort is hugging..so I am hugging you through the airwaves..
    Love, Mona

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  76. Kitty,
    I am so sorry to hear of your loss of your dear husband. Your tribute is beautiful and moving. Surely Rich is among the angels shining down on your family. My thoughts and prayers will be with you.
    Ann

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  77. Hi Kitty,
    I didn't know about your husband. I'm so sorry, and can't imagine what you are going through. This tribute to your husband is just precious. I would like to copy the poem you wrote, for future reference, for friends, etc,(not to publish on anything.)

    Nice to see your tablescape, using your creative gifts is good therapy for you. I hope you feel the prayers going up for you.

    My last tablescape was two weeks ago, none new since. We are busy preparing for my grandson's wedding (shower, rehearsal dinner centerpieces, etc.)

    Take care of yourself. All those books look like good reads.

    Katherine

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  78. What a beautiful tribute to your dear husband Rich. I loved your touching comments about the children being there at the end to help nurse him. What a fabulous legacy to leave. It was also a beautiful reminder to always hold hands and treasure our dear hubbies! Lots of love,
    Jacqueline

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  79. This is such a lovely tribute to your husband Kitty. I am so sorry to hear of your loss, but boy was he loved! Your family sounds amazing and for all of them to be there in the end is such a blessing. Hugs and prayers to all of you ♥

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  80. I am so sorry for your loss Kitty. May God bless you and be with you.
    Sherry

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  81. Kitty, I have been praying for you and your family, but I had no idea he had lost his battle. What a beautiful and loving tribute this post is. It brought tears to my eyes. I'm so terribly sorry for your loss. After all of those years with him, I know you are lost without him, and my heart is breaking for you. I will continue to keep you and your children in my prayers. God bless all of you. laurie

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  82. Oh, Kitty, what a handsome man your Rich was.
    If my husband goes before me, I so hope I can be as strong about it all as you have been. You are such a wonderful example for all of us, as well as for your children.
    Mr. Sweet had prostate cancer years ago but it was caught very early on...surgery removed it all and he didn't have to do meds and treatments. I thank the Lord for that every day. We never know from one minute to the next how our lives can change forever.
    I continue to pray for you and your children...for peace...understanding...courage.
    I can't even imagine what you are going thru but please know, if it helps any at all, that I love you and pray that, altho it will never go away, the pain will ease each and every day.
    Love, bj

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    1. That is what I was thinking.......... If my hubby goes before me --- I hope I can show as much grace as Kitty!

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  83. Oh Kitty, I am so very sorry. I had no idea. Sending big hugs & prayers your way.

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  84. You are such an inspiration of love and family! Our hearts and thoughts and prayers are with you........

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  85. Thank you for sharing this love with us... Rest in Peace Rich.

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  86. I am so sorry to learn of your husband's passing. Your husband was born the same year as my father, who passed away in 2005. I can only imagine how hard it's been for you and your children. Sending you a warm hug this evening.

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