My sister-in-law, Shelby Ferguson, died recently while walking in her garden. Shelby was my wife Cindy's older sister, and I have known her for more than half of my life.
I married into the Ferguson clan, who made me a part of their family, and indeed, at home. Shelby was kind and gracious and loving to me, and made me feel welcome, and when I think of Shelby I will always remember that. Love you, Shelby.
My wife Cindy, for as long as I have known her, has gladly shared her artistic temperament. Â She is an accomplished singer, painter, and decorator, and has adorned our lives with the beauty of her creations, some evanescent, many more corporeal.
Shortly after my father-in-law Burt died, Christopher Hitchens, the contrarian and atheist, announced that he had been diagnosed with an incurable disease. There was a good deal of response in the media , much of it around the idea that Hitchens subscribed to no hopeful or immortal view of his afterlife. Many asked: should one pray for him, given that he did not believe in any religion? Should he go against his life-long atheism and embrace the "life-enhancing illusion" of the soul's immortality before he dies?
My father-in-law Burt died recently, and before he died, we, Cindy, Scot and I, had some conversations with him about his passions.Â Cindy and Scot sat up through the night during Burt's last days, and reminisced about their Dad's many pastimes and loves.Â Aside from words and reading, Burt had many otherÂ passions.Â When he became interested in a pastime, he became â€śobsessedâ€ť with it. His greatest sporting passions were probably tennis, chess, and bicycling.
My father-in-law Burt died recently, and before he died, Burt and I spent many hours talking about language, history and philosophy, his great passions. Burt spent more time reading than any other of his pastimes.Â He was a serious reader, meaning both that he read carefully, and that he read very little fiction or humor, but focused on more sober subjects.Â One of the most powerful and recurring memories that his children have of him is Burt sitting in his den, reading and taking notes.Â This habit continued into his last days; Burt spent much of his retirement hours in his den engrossed in reading about his favorite subjects.
My father-in-law Burt died recently, and before he died, we, Cindy, Scot and I, had some conversations with him about his early life. William Burton Ferguson was born on January 12, 1925, in Portland, Oregon. His father and mother, Mel and Stella Wood Ferguson . . .