Ron 1959 to 2013
Ron, born in Illinois, raised in Florida, moved to Knoxville Tennessee, before I ever knew him. I know very little about his life until he was 45 years old, and that’s a lot to leave out of his space.
He had an abusive cruel father that he never really managed to completely forgive, though I know that deep under the anger he still loved, even if he didn’t want to. His mother, whom he loved more than life itself, he lost to cancer when he was in his early 30’s. He never really got over the loss. His brother and three sisters, and their families, who all still live in Florida, he didn’t see for years at a time, but he loved and worried about them always. He was devastated when he lost his older sister to cancer a few years back.
His life was by no means saintly; he did 8 years for drugs, in the 80's, after he got out of the army.
He had several failed relationships, two failed marriages, and an alcohol addiction that revisited him on odd occasions even after he had gotten it under control.
When I met him, he had just moved to Knoxville with nothing but a few hundred dollars in his pocket, homeless, jobless, and though he would never admit it, he had to be scared. He found a job and an apartment within a few days and then began to build a new life for himself. I was blessed to be part of that new life. We met almost one year to the day he arrived here, online, amazingly enough.
He was without a doubt the kindest, gentlest man anyone ever met. He took on my teenage daughter, and helped me finish raising her. He loved her when she wasn’t particularly loveable; worried about her as much as I did, and protected her like she was his own.
He was great with his hands. We bought an old rundown house which he single handedly had half remodeled before he passed. He held down a full time job and still did computer repair, which he taught himself, on the side.
In February of 2012, he had a perforated ulcer in his stomach. His Dr. said he would probably not survive the surgery. He was a tough old bird, he survived, and he survived again when they had to go back in and repair it a few days later. When he was finally released from the hospital, he fell, and we thought he had injured his back, but the Dr. diagnosed arthritis.
A year later, he began to have chest pain, and went to the Dr. They said it wasn’t his heart, but pneumonia. After two weeks of treatment he wasn’t getting better, he was getting worse. I took him back to the hospital, where they did a biopsy of his lung, and he was diagnosed with lung cancer on the 18th. After more tests it was determined that he also had cancer in his liver, brain, and bones, including his spine.
He was working with cancer of the spine for almost a year. The strength and determination this must have taken boggles the mind. He was the most amazing man and he loved us so much that he just wouldn’t quit.
He left behind a wife who loves him more than life itself, a step daughter, step son, and daughter in law who miss him and a two month old granddaughter who will never know how much he loved her.