Shana, Scotti, and Adam, their kids and their loves, lost their father. Tina lost the love her her life.
On Monday, January 29th, 2018, (yes, that was also Shana’s 42nd birthday) at 3pm, Bill Ostwald died peacefully in his sleep.
After a 10+ year battle with Lewy Body Dementia, Bill said, “Goodbye, I leave you all in love.”
Apparently, some naps are not to be woken from, and when an old wise man tells you, “leave me be, I need this nap…” you let him be. No matter how hard that is for you to do. Even when it breaks your heart to pieces; in the end he still fills you with love.
This family, this extended family, will carry on his love, with broken, but full hearts, forever.
And here’s where we are, as a community of love and sisterhood:
We are sure, that when the time comes, you will say ALL the things you have to say, about your father, your husband, your father-law, your grandfather – about your relationships with him, about how he shaped you and how he loves you, and about your loss and what that means to you.
And we can’t wait to hear all of those stories, because the ones you’ve all shared so far bring the biggest smiles to our faces and warmth to our hearts. Even when they are the stories of the times he’s been tough to love and/or shown you tough love. In fact, those might be our favorites.
For now, when it’s so hard to accept, and so hard to speak, we have this to say to you:
We love you.
All of you.
In ways that can not be measured are the two of you Shana and Scotti, as humans, as mothers and wives, daughters and sisters, and friends, just two insanely, absolutely exceptional individuals; without whom, honestly, we’d all be a little more lost, a little less understood, and share fewer laughs and love on this journey called life.
And we know that you wouldn’t be you without Mike, Raines, Pax, Zack, Greenlea, your brother Adam, his wife Krysta, and your nephews Jake and Zach. And we know that we wouldn’t be us without the whole beautiful mess of you.
And it’s Tina and Bill that we have to thank for YOU. Ok fine, you’ve both built your own lives and your own paths, but THEY brought you to us.
And now, he’s left us. And you. And your families.
And for that, we are all heartbroken with you.
Tina, we are at an absolute loss of words for you beyond just that: YOU woman are THE MOM EDIT of all Mom Edits. You are perfection especially including your tiny imperfections. And your love of your partner and your family through the end is something we will all aspire to attain in our own mom lives. You have nailed it. The whole thing of it. Under such difficult circumstances. And we, as a community, both salute you, bow to you, and just wrap you in our hugs and love all at very same time.
None of us exist without a father. Biological fact. Interpreted differently for each of us, right? But never the less, it took them all to get us here, no matter how that happened.
For you, Shana and Scotti, that happened in the context of a loving marriage of two people: Tina and Bill. And how beautiful and impactful an experience is that? Tina’s smile is one that can warm the world; and it exists in part, from her love of Bill, and his of her. Watching Bill LOVE Tina…that kind of forever love that you can physically see in the way a man loves a woman, seriously, with a full heart, with playfulness, and a wink as much as with strength and determination over generations of time is just everything.
YOU are two STRONG BEAUTIFUL AMAZING women. It’s no doubt, coming from them that you are. Your father may have not been an ‘easy’ one. Ok fine, being the daughters of the local school Principal for goodness sake is NOT an easy role – for anyone. But we look at the ways in which that’s shaped you in your own adult lives, and we are in awe, and in love with you and all that your share with us.
We look at the life partners you’ve chosen, and who’ve chosen you, and we see how your father’s love of your mother, and her’s of him, and their relationship shaped those life choices for you, and for a few moments, ok fine, we know no one’s life is perfect, but we know that all is right in the world, more so, because your partners really are partners.
And we give THEM credit. You can have some too. But THEY, Tina and Bill created you.
We listen to the stories that you tell, but also the ones Mike and Zack tell of also being raised by your father, because good lord you midwesterners pair-off young. And our hearts melt. Because THIS is family. Where there’s no law/in-law/ etc. Where there’s just I love you and you are my family, born, or married, you are my family. For better AND worse. Always. What an amazing testament to a man to have Great men (that’s you guys Adam, Mike, and Zack) say, “he’s a huge part of why…I am the man I am.” We feel your loss too, and we love you.
Bill: Every man should be a father. And both fail and succeed in that as you did. Every man should be an example to ALL CHILDREN as you were in your profession as a Principal. The world is a better place for you being in it, for all of us. Every man should also be so handsome as you are and have that special wink and knowing nod that can make EVERYONE feel loved so seamlessly as you always do. THAT doesn’t end. We will ALL always feel that for having known you. To have known you was in fact to have loved you.
Rest in peace our friend. And know that your love lives on, your daughters and son and their loves have made sure of that for all of us. You did good. And we love and appreciate you for it. Thank you for the gifts you gave us in the people you created, and the love you gave.
We’re going to keep on, keeping on. Because you’ve have had it no other way. And in a small token of our love to you, with many more to come, we’ve decided to kick-off the reader challenges with the grey t-shirt. In almost All of the hundreds of photos we’ve seen of you…if not in a tux..you seem to always be in a grey t-shirt. Amen. We hope you approve. And if you don’t, we can’t wait for S and S to give you that special Daughter/Daddy smile…that says we’re gonna anyway. We love you.
In sisterhood, in community, with with all our love and respect-
We wish you peace. We are because you are. You are because he was.
And the beautiful story will go on. Forever.
G, L, C, J & J, and A Your TME and Forever Sisterhood Team