In Loving Memory, Ron Flowers, 1936 – 2007
This morning, my dad passed away after a long battle with gall bladder disease, pancreatitiis, and the complications that arose from both. He was well cared for in the hospital, first for about a month in the Sturgeon and then for another month in the Royal Alexandra. The staff at both hospitals were professional and compassionate, and treated our father with the utmost respect, and my family is most grateful.
I need to write an obituary, but I’m struggling to keep it as an obituary and not a eulogy. I’m somewhat long-winded and there’s a lot that could be said about my dad. There’s a lot about his honesty, trustiness, steadiness, his hard work for the RCMP for 40 years, and his friends who all call each other by their surnames, a habit picked up in the force. There’s also the bum steer he got with his health, and the hard work he put in every day in staying fit and trim in order to keep himself alive. If it hadn’t been for his discipline, he would have died ten years ago, and never known any of his grandchildren.
The most compelling thing for me is that he was the kind of father that I aspire to be for my kids. When my kids have grown, if they think they had nearly as good a dad as I had, I will consider my life successful indeed. His highest priorities at all times were his family, my mother, my sister and me, and then later his grandchildren. He loved my kids so much, it was a delight to see him with them. Recently at Mack’s school, I read a little bit of his journal, that he writes in as an exercise in french writing class. He was asked by his teacher to write his favorite things to do. In addition to the expected “playing gameboy” and “playing waterpolo” it said “spending time with my grandfather”. To me, that says a lot about what’s important about my dad.
My sister is on her way from down east, and arrives tonight. She’s disappointed that she didn’t get to see dad one last time, but over the past weeks when I’ve visited him in the ICU, I often talked to him about all his family who wanted to be there with him. I think the thing that will really hurt later is that her daughter barely knew dad and is too young to remember it later, and her new baby, expected in the fall, will miss out on knowing a wonderful grandpa.
My mom’s sister got here last night, and her brother is on the way. My dad’s niece Terry and his sister-in-law, Aunt Dorlene have told me they’re coming for dad’s memorial.
Dad’s golf buddies were all shocked and saddened, and will miss his company on the fairway this summer. RCMP guys seem to have close ties, and stay lifelong buddies in a way that I can understand because it’s similar to the loose but close competitive swimming family I’ll always be a part of.
If any of our family or friends reads this and are considering sending flowers, we thank you for your kind wishes, but please reconsider, and instead redirect your much-appreciated well-wishes in a donation to the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation in memory of Ron Flowers instead. During dad’s many visits to doctors and hospitals in the past few years, he particularly sympathized with he sick children he saw, and was very moved by their suffering and that of their families. We thought it would be a fitting tribute to his love of his family and of children to support the Stollery, which does such important work for kids in our region.