I just said goodbye to Bud and packed him off to the airport. He is on his way to Baltimore because his brother's wife's father died. No Dave Hoff does not qualify as immediate family for me or for Bud, but he certainly qualifies as extended family. Mike Masek and Andee Hoff were married in August of the same year Bud and I married in January. Bud and Mike didn't have much of a home life, so they considered each other to be the only family they had. Mike was thrilled to accept Dave and Leda Hoff as his in-laws. Over the years, when we would visit with Mike and Andee, those visits often included Dave and Leda. Bud and I grew to love them the same as if they had actually been our family. In August of 2009, we all visited Punta Cana, Dominican Republic for a "family" vacation, because Dave had been diagnosed with cancer and no one was sure exactly how much longer he would be with us. We are all thankful for the year and a half extra time we got with him. But yesterday it was time for Dave to move on.
Bud will be flying to Baltimore and I can't fly. We could drive up, but as I tend to suffer panic attacks when exposed to noise, confusion or emotional influences, it is probably best if I just stay here in North Carolina so I don't cause additional problems for everyone else. I'm sorry I won't be there, but Andee knows how I feel, and she knows I'm sending in my A-Team to support her. Bud's the perfect shoulder to cry on, and the perfect guy to hold you up when your knees are weak and your spirit's broken. And, I'll be there in spirit (though mine's a bit bent, spindled and mutilated too).
So today, I dedicate my blog to Dave Hoff: husband, father, friend. You will be missed by so many.