Waldlaw Blog

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Passing of Ben Anderson

A lovely man died Sunday night. As many of you know, my partner and I have been together for almost 25 years, and in that time we've gotten to know each other's families well. As with all families, hers has many colorful characters -- but one of the most colorful was her Uncle Ben. Ben was one of the warmest, most sweet men I have known -- someone I always could count on for love and laughter. He made me feel cherished all the time, even if I only saw him once every few years. My most recent exchanges with Ben were about jewelry. He needed (not wanted, but NEEDED) aquamarine jewelry -- a deeply felt need in his illness, which my younger son and I went to Chinatown to fill one blustery Sunday afternoon after Little League. Ben would call me at all hours to discuss the aquamarines -- as blue as possible, but no dyes, all natural -- and to make sure I remembered his ring size -- a funny thing that my most acute memory now is of his ring size, something I never actually needed to know since we settled on a pendant. But every conversation was quirky and funny and sweet in the way Ben always was -- and every conversation ended with him making sure that I knew that he loved me, and with me assuring him that I loved him too. How wonderful to know that "I love you" was probably the last thing he ever heard from me.... Ben was diagnosed with kidney cancer just over a year ago. He fought long and hard, against long odds, and for a while we thought he actually had it beat. But in the end it got him, as cancer often does, and he died in a nursing home Sunday night at 9:30 p.m. Mountain Time with his brother and sister-in-law and dear friend Misty at his side. (Here is more on the wonderful Misty, if you're interested.) The world feels a little less colorful today than it did with Ben walking this earth -- and in these chaotic times, I will forever miss his loving presence on the outskirts of my life. He was a much more central player to his siblings and their children -- one of whom, his beloved niece Richmond, wrote a lovely tribute to him on her own blog. My hearfelt condolences to the entire, extended Anderson family on the loss of this wonderful man.


  • Beautiful post, Deb. We will all miss him very much.

    (And the pendant you found for him was lovely too... He was so pleased to wear it.)

    By Blogger Richmond, at 1:00 PM  

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