“Mahkota” the Native Americans called the river. “Blue earth.” The name came from the fertile blue/black soil of the land along and beyond the river banks. It’s the land where he grew up, the land he farmed, the land that has fed so many of us since we first ventured into the territory that would become Minnesota.
It’s the land where he, just out of the Marines after serving in World War 2, brought his young bride from California to settle and raise seven children in a marriage that would celebrate sixty-six anniversaries.
It’s the land that gave him the fortitude and faith he needed to cope with the tragic illness and death of his firstborn son. This is how Tom and I came to know him. He never wavered in his love and acceptance of Steve, even though, like many parents of the 1980s, he learned that his son was gay and had AIDS in the same conversation. His pride in the man Steve was never faltered, and he would tell anyone the facts with his usual unflinching honesty.
I didn’t know the news when I wrote Sunday’s post. As Nan said in the card we received on Monday, you are with Steve and the angels now, Ron, no longer in the physical pain that was part of the last of your ninety-one years growing up on, living on, and working that rich blue earth. Thank you for being part of our lives. We will never forget you.