Until We Meet Again

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alma and family

I usually write and schedule my blog entries days or even a week ahead, and schedule the time to be published.  But this is today.  Today we say goodbye to my second born son.  He died suddenly on Sunday morning.  I had no chance to give him a squeeze, say goodbye, or touch his face.  And so I am imposing on you, gentle reader, hoping you don’t mind meeting him, letting me put out into the universe this lasting memorial to my son.

Alma John was both a restless soul and a home body.  I remember him as a toddler, pulling on the bottom of his coat in the closet, crying Go! Go!  Fast forward five years, and that same boy could hardly be drug to a car to go to town for groceries. He graduated and thought he wanted to see the world; he drove an 18-wheeler for two years.  When he got tired of freeways and thoroughly homesick, he returned.  He built a home on our property, which is as close as you can get to being home. He loved nothing more than playing out in the fields as a child, and chugging along on a brush hog as an adult.  He was my home body son.

He was a redneck boy.  His first car was a porsche, which he and his dad hauled home in pieces on the back of a flatbed trailer.  He spent more than a year putting it back together, but never drove it.  When he saw the prohibitive cost of insurance for a 16-year-old driving a sports car, he sold it and bought a beat up old truck.  Very fitting.

He could fix or repair or build anything from wood or steel.  He built a 40 x 80 foot three story steel building and shop for their home, and the scope of the project never daunted him.  I can see it now as I type this, and I remember him high in the air, balanced on a beam, my heart in my throat.  No fear.

He was sarcastic and politically incorrect.  Always.  He was a country boy who loved all the old classics.  When he was in his shop, you could always hear the twang of a steel guitar.

He was a first-responder for ten or more years, and would give anyone the shirt off his back.  When he got tired of all the politics he went back to being a grease monkey, which was where he started.

He was a beloved son, a husband and father, a good man.  He was my son.

RIP Alma John Rhoads

alma first responder

3 thoughts on “Until We Meet Again

  1. That was an absolutely beautiful tribute to what sounds like a very loving, interesting man. Thank you so much for taking the time to help us know him better. Our love goes out to your family. I am so sorry for your loss.

  2. Patricia Sheehan

    What a beautiful testimony. I’m so saddened by this; perhaps because I am a mother. He will forever be in your backyard. xo

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