Even though we think we are prepared for the death of a loved one, I am not sure that we ever really can be.
You may have noticed that I was absent last week. At 1:30 on Tuesday morning my phone rang. A call from an unknown local number at that time can never be a good thing.
It was the nursing home where my sister's husband was a patient. They called me to let me know that he had unexpectedly passed away in his sleep. It was up to me to get dressed and go to my sister's home to break the news.
My brother-in-law Don was a good man. He was highly intelligent, a prolific writer, and most of all he loved kids.
He spent many hours teaching chess to underprivileged children and he entertained his nieces and nephews with an unlimited repertoire of stories. He loved to make up scary stories to tell to my daughter Katy for when we were travelling around the state of Kentucky.
He had an amazing knowledge of the state of Kentucky, which he shared through his newspaper column and in a book he wrote.
You can read a wonderful tribute to him, which appeared at the top of the front page of our paper here.
Don will be missed by many, but he will be especially missed by those of us who called him family.
Rip in peace Don. We are happy that for you there is no more pain.