Tuesday, January 06, 2009

A light went out in the world today

Our family (and by this I mean my husband's family specifically, but they are truly my family as well) lost a beloved father, brother, uncle and grandpa today.

Marvin was the most unfailingly cheerful soul I have ever met. This was a man who always had a smile, who saw the positive side of things regardless of how dim things looked to the rest of the world.

He loved his family beyond reason. His kids and grandkids, and great-grandkids, too, his nieces and nephews; his wife, who died in 2005, his brothers and baby sister, now a grandma herself. He was proud of his heritage and sought out connections to his distant relatives all of his life. He was interested in people, he cared about them, he listened to them.

He had a great sense of humor and was always ready with a joke, always the guy in the picture with the impish grin, always up for an adventure or a challenge.

In the summer of 2007 we took a family trip to Ohio, to visit distant cousins and see where his ancestors (several generations of them) lived and died. I didn't really ever post here about the trip because of the whole DVT episode, but it was a wonderful trip with Marvin and his little sister JoAnn (Rob's mom) and the 5 of us. We cruised the highway in our minivan and stopped to stay with Teresa one night. We walked cemeteries, went to a family reunion, saw the houses and land that were owned by Marvin's great-great grandfather, and Marvin made friends everywhere he went.

We also went to Point Pleasant, West Virginia, and saw the statue of the Mothman. In a moment of pure hilarity, Marvin posed near the statue and I snapped a photo. We stopped at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, too, and he thoroughly enjoyed himself.

Of course, that's the kind of man he was -- he thoroughly enjoyed himself almost everywhere. He lived life well -- every minute. I never saw him angry, or bitter, or hopeless.

And now that I think about it, my title today is wrong. His light didn't go out today; he may not be here with us any more, but the way he lived his life will stay with me, and with his kids and grandkids, his friends and neighbors, the countless people he met in the years he worked, the people at church, the many community members who all have a story about "This one time Marvin ...".

It was a life well lived, and his light will shine on through the rest of us for generations to come. I know he would like that.

Please raise a glass sometime soon and drink (even if it's water or soda) to Marvin, and wish him Godspeed.


  1. I am so sorry. Please give yourselves a hug from me. But, I am so glad that you were able to go on a special trip with JoAnn and Marvin so recently, and that your boys got to spend some good time with him. I love the picture, he looks like he was a joy to be with!

  2. Very sorry to hear of your loss :(
    Big hugs to you and the family.

  3. So sorry for your loss.

  4. May we all live our lives so that someone will speak so lovingly of us at the end.

  5. I didn't check my blog at all yesterday and I cried when I read this post. I loved having you all here and Uncle Marvin was such a joy--so much fun and remember when he jumped right in to help with the trampoline? It is warm enough today and we will go play on it in his honor.

    May his sweet soul rest in peace.

  6. I second everything Cara said. Godspeed Marvin, my condolences to all of the H family.

    Travel safely when you head up for the services.

  7. He sounds like a great man. I'm sure you are glad to have known him, and a better person because of it. :-)

  8. Anonymous2:22 PM

    What wonderful memories Jennifer. Marvin's life definitely sounds like one worth emulating! :hug:

  9. Dear Lord,
    May there be a hedge of protection around the H family as they travel. We thank you for the time they where able to share with Marvin. We also thank you for letting Marvin leave his mark on this earth with all he has touched. Give peace to his loved ones and joy in the memories they will share. All this in your name. Amen

  10. Sorry for your loss.

    I stopped by to wish you a Happy New Year.

  11. What a tragic loss, but what wonderful memories he left for you and your entire family. I'm especially glad that your boys had the chance to spend so much time with him on your family trip. You're all in my thoughts and prayers.