Some may remember that I have written about my near neigbours Bertil (Bert) and Pauline (Polly) Johnson.
They have spent the winters here, and the summers in Fishers, IN (near Indianapolis).
I had grown to be very fond of them and, surprisingly enough, my dog Penne and their cat Daisy bonded in an unusual canine/feline way.
Each summer I wondered if Bert and Polly would be strong enough to take the return trip to SRQ for the winter months, so much so that a few years ago their son David and I shared 'phone numbers so that we could be in touch in the event of an emergency.
Despite the deep concerns of David and his sister, Bert and Polly came back to SRQ on Thanksgiving 2014.
Bert was increasingly frail (but always utterly gentle and cheerful). Polly's short term memory was all but gone, though she loved to share narratives from way back when.
Within a few weeks of their return to SRQ it became very clear that they were unable to sustain an unsupported life.
Their children wisked them (and Daisy) back to Indiana.
Last Tuesday Bert sustained a fall. His injuries were not life threatening, but whilst in the hospital his heart gave way, and he passed from this life.
There are times when Polly comprehends this, there are times when she does not understand,
Of course I knew that the time would come when I would no longer see Bert and Polly.
But Bert's death has made me sad. He was a "gentleman" in every way. He was appropriately proud of his Swedish heritage, deeply devoted to Polly, and utterly delighted with his son and his daughter.
His funeral will be on Saturday at a Lutheran Church in Indianapolis.