Lou Anne Bastian – In Memoriam

Starting today I will be traveling and working away from home and will also be away from my computer for a while. That is one reason why I made a number of new posts in the last several days, because it will be some time until I am able to resume my posting of new topics here. It is also why I am making this post today, rather than next Wednesday, the date I would have chosen for this post.

I realize this post is unusual, and that it is a departure from my normal range of topics. Nevertheless, I have been thinking of posting something here in remembrance of my beloved wife, Lou Anne, of nearly 34 years. She passed away five years ago on February 22, 2007, following a six month struggle with pancreatic cancer.

I could write many words about what a wonderful woman Lou Anne was; others that knew her were blessed, as I was. As a wife, Lou Anne was an example of what constitutes a very happy marriage, dang near to the point that a man can’t legitimately or reasonably expect more from any woman. All my friends used to tell me how lucky I was to have her. She was very supportive of my devotion to fly tying, fishing, and hunting. As a mother, she excelled with love, devotion, and fairness, as her two daughters, Kimberly and Lyneah, will surely attest. She has four grandsons, Michael Joseph or “MJ,” Gabriel, Benner, and Andrew.

I am about to make a strong statement, but it is how and what I feel on this matter. It is a shame she passed away prematurely, and it is a shame that many people in this world also die before their time. But more than that, her death was just plain wrong; and it is an unfairness of this life that Lou Anne was taken prematurely; being denied the opportunity to meet her grandsons, to know them, and to love them. She would have made a significant impact on their lives. Those of us in her family miss her very much.

Lou Anne enjoying a cup of black coffee during a boat ride in England, 1995. That smirk of a smile captures a tip-of-the-iceberg view into her great sense of humor.

Lou Anne and me at a Fly Fishing Show, back about 1997 when I used to sell materials and stuff. Also when I was a lot younger. Lou Anne was a great asset in the regard that she was so friendly to all our customers and visitors. Her charm was disarming and she made people feel comfortable. (I know, besides being younger, I was a few pounds lighter).

Lou Anne and our Cocker Spaniel, Abigail. She bought the dog for my 50th birthday, but she loved Abigail. And I was usually second choice for a lap companion whenever Lou Anne was around.

Happier times, 2004. Left to right: Lyneah, me, Abigail, Lou Anne, Kim at the Bastian cabin.

Lou Anne Bastian

July 17, 1954 – February 22, 2007.

“She loved the cabin and the singing of the wood thrush.

These words are on her memorial marker at the cabin, not far from the house and near the pond in the special garden spot we created for her, and where her ashes are scattered. Last weekend while there with my friends tying flies, on a few occasions when I stepped outside to just to get some fresh air, stretch my legs, listen to the wind whirring softly in the pine trees and woods that surround the house, or to gaze at the black night sky full of brilliant stars, or to listen for the barred owls, occasionally I could hear the wind chimes in her garden…..softly tinkling, faint, almost inaudible; yet reminding me still, of her love, charm, beauty, wonderful character, and companionship. I love you Lou Anne.

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16 comments on “Lou Anne Bastian – In Memoriam

  1. Jim Kennedy says:

    Your words are as beautiful as your flies, Don. As someone who has been married to a remarkable woman for 43 years, I have some understanding of your loss – I can’t imagine life without my Angel. I grieve for you and your loss, and I thank you for sharing these precious memories.
    Jim K

  2. Kelly L says:

    Don, this is such a beautiful memorial, and tribute to Lou Anne. It is so sad to lose your first love like that. You have two gorgeous daughters, and part of Lou Anne resides in them, and in your grandchildren! You have some great memories, and photos, and cancer can’t take those away. It was so touching to read this blog this morning. It pulls at your heartstrings for sure. You found true love, and not everyone had that, not in their whole lives. I am so sorry for your loss of this incredible woman.

  3. Hey Don

    Thanks for sharing your story. I knew parts of it and I’m sure it’s both tough and cathartic to put it down in writing. It’s a pretty touching story and the photos of a young Don Bastian are sort of amusing. You have such a youthful look that if I didn’t know you, I would have said you weren’t much older than your girls in that picture. I’m sure she would say she was a lucky woman as well, I think you two fit together like a Trout Fin wing. I feel for your loss.

  4. Jon Andrew says:

    Wonderful, touching post Don. I sure wish I had met her.

  5. Beautiful post. The pain of losing a loved one, especially one so dear, is something that will never be fully overcome. But every time you think of her and look into the eyes of your children and grandchildren you know that she is still with you and that should provide you with some comfort. Thank you for your story…it’s a reminder to all of us that life is to be appreciated and never taken for granted.

  6. Bob Vincent says:

    Hi Don,

    Wish I had known your lady. I know how special mine is to me after 46 years. Thinking of you as I write this.

    Thanks for sharing

    Bob V.

  7. Bob Dietz says:

    That was a beautiful tribute Don. I lost my wife to cancer in 1995, you have my complete sympathy.

  8. Dear Don, Thank you for sharing this with us. May we all be the better for it, holding our loved ones a little tighter as the result, and remembering that each day we have with them is a gift and must never be taken for granted. God bless you and grant you peace. Alec

  9. Doug Duvall says:

    Don,
    What a fitting and lovely tribute to such a beautiful spirit, Lou Anne. You were blessed indeed and my heart is touched with your loss. May His peace be yours always!
    Doug Duvall

  10. I want to extend a heartfelt thank you and expression of my profound gratitude to each of you that have read this post, and commented on it. It means a lot to have supportive friends who are willing to express their compassion and concern. Thank you very much, each of you, from me, and on behalf of my daughters, for expressing your kindness and sympathy.

  11. Darrell Howard says:

    Don,
    thank you for sharing your story, I too lost my Wife & Best Friend to Cancer nearly some 7 years ago and like other posters here, have my sympathy.

    Your wife sounds like she was truly an inspiration to you and as I was told, while you remember her, she is never really gone:)

    Darrell

    • Darrel, thank you for your comments and expression of sympathy, I also extend my sympathy to you for your loss. You are correct though, so much remains of one who has passed that indeed, your loved ones retains influence over many aspects of our lives. Thank you.

  12. Murray Buck says:

    Sounds to me like you were indeed a lucky man. Look for your wonderful wife in your children and grandchildren. Thank you for sharing….

    • Hi Murray; Indeed I was lucky, and I have the understanding of life and my future with family and friends to recognize that I still am – lucky. As is any day we draw breath and are healthy. Thank you very much for your comment, your kindness is much appreciated.

  13. Sharon Hiegel says:

    Don,
    Tom told me that he had made contact with you after all these years. It is with such fondness that I remember you and Lou Anne. I was so distressed to learn that she had passed away. Your pictures are wonderful, and seeing Lou Anne in the pictures brought back so many memories from such a long time ago. In your pictures she looks very much like I remember her. Your tribute is wonderful and touching. Please stay in touch. We would love to see you sometime.

    • Thank you Sharon, for your kind words of remembrance here. I do remember you and Lou Anne met while working as tellers at the bank in Newberry, and on Friday nights we’d get together. Tom and I became friends because of fly fishing and he joined the Trout Unlimited Chapter in Williamsport. Gee, that was in the ’70’s…a long time ago. How about that weekend water skiing trip in your dad’s boat on Lake Erie?
      So very nice to hear from you and Tom; I hope you are both doing well. We’ll have to get together – sometime…take care and thank you, very much.

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