In 2014, his wife passed away, and soon after, he suffered a debilitating stroke. He could no longer live alone and had to go into a nursing home. I visited him in Dublin. Then he got moved to Metter. Mom and I went to seem him there, for what turned out to be the last time, about a year ago. He recently was moved to Wrightsville and closer to home. I was excited and planning to visit him next month. But I didn't get the chance. Due to distance and other variables, I was unable to attend his funeral. My heart has another crack.
Wesley, I am sorry I wasn't there enough the last 5 years. I am sorry I wasn't there at all the last year. I'm terribly sorry I wasn't there to tell you goodbye. I hope you know my heart and know that I loved you, respected you, enjoyed my time with you, and I look forward to seeing you again and hearing just one more family story.
You are reunited with your beloved Diane, your parents, Wesley and Kathryn, and your grandparents, who I am sure doted on you. You can speak, walk, or even jog if you wish. You are no longer sitting bored and lonely in a nursing home. You feel warmth and light all the time. I so want to believe you are happy. I can see your smile in my mind's eye, and I hope you're wearing a big and magical one.
|Wesley Jr and Bennett Olin Tapley, circa 1954|