Shana and Scotti, We Love you. A letter to our friends on their loss.


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.

Seeing your own husbands love you in this same way, and your brother love his wife in this same way, gives us all hope. Watching you all love your loves gives us inspiration. In everything.

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 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


  1. Oh Annmarie..this is beautiful. We all share your sentiments. I could not have said it better….thank you…To the Otswald family…you are in our hearts and thoughts….xoxox

  2. What a beautiful and heartfelt tribute. My sincerest condolences to Tina, Shana, Scottie and their families on their loss. Losing a parent is one of the hardest things that a child, no matter their age, can go through, and my heart goes out to all of you.

  3. Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute. All of us readers are indeed blessed that Shana and Scotti’s parents raised such sparkling individuals. My deepest condolences to Shana, Scotti, and the entire extended family. Their father was clearly an extraordinary man. Sending strength and peace in this time of transition.

  4. What a wonderful letter from you all. I’m so sorry to hear this news. My heart is with you. My mother has been battling Alzheimer’s disease for the last five years and continues to fight every day. These are terrible diseases that take our loved ones from us while they are still here and slowly they just slip away. It is so very hard. All my love, light, prayers, and positive thoughts to you Shana, Scotti and your families at this most difficult time. <3

  5. So sorry for your loss. What a beautiful and strong tribute to your father — may his memory bring peace and love always. God bless.

  6. What a beautiful tribute to your friends and their father. Perfectly said. Losing your dad is really tough. Mine died about 18 months ago and there are still instances when my first instinct is “ooh! I have to call daddy and tell him that!” and then sadness hits again when I realize I can’t. There’s a whole learning curve to it that no one really tells you about. Or maybe even no one can because everyone’s experience is different. My best advice is to support each other and all of you support your mom. All of you have had your world turned upside down, but you all still have your biggest support there to help you through. Your mom just lost hers. She’ll need you. Best of luck to all of you in the coming days and weeks. I hope you are able to get through it with all of the peace and love you have for your father and each other.

  7. What a beautiful tribute. Beautiful. Deepest love and condolences to all of you. I see you. I feel your pain. I send you love.

    Those words were said to me by a homeless gentleman over three years ago. I was was sitting in a café, passing time as I waited for my son’s art class to end. As I sat there, I was overcome with a wave of grief for a recent loss in my life. I turned my head towards the window, closed my eyes, and felt the tears slipping down my cheeks. The sadness washed over me like a wave, and while I wanted to will the tears away, I was unable to stop them.

    Suddenly, I felt a touch on my shoulder. As I opened my eyes, I saw a gentleman with scraggly scruff on his face, wearing a long tattered coat, standing beside me. I recognized him as the man that was usually standing in front of the café, holding a can, and asking for change.

    With his hand placed gently on my shoulder, his eyes looked into mine as he said those words, “I see you. I feel your pain. I send you love.” And with that he walked away.

    His kindness, his compassion, his willingness to *see* me, to be *with* me, and his words, have stuck with me as I moved through those difficult times, and all these years later. So today, I say those words to you. I see your. I feel your pain. I send you love. So. Much. Love.

  8. There are no words when your daddy is gone. We are so sorry ladies. It’s OK not to be OK. Grief visits everyone and each person in its own way. Be so very kind to yourselves in this season.

  9. I’m so sad to hear this happen, I’m just a reader of this blog but I felt the punch in the stomach when I read the words. Anyone who knew your dad sounds very lucky to have.

  10. I’m so sorry for this deep loss. My father also died of complications from Lewy Body Dementia. It is a bizarre disease. I wish you all peace and healing and so many good memories.

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