My husband was always impatient with people who only had positive, glowing things to say about someone who had died. "What's up with that?" he would gripe, "Everyone knows that that person was probably a blankety-blank, yet because of death, s/he is suddenly the most wonderful person in the world! BS." Then he would roll his eyes and purse his lips in a characteristic look he had perfected. (impossible to describe, you just had to see it!) Thus, I'm going to honor him by talking about the REAL Mr. Stargazer too. :)
So, I have to say that, although he was a fantastic problem-solver and spontaneous(unlike me), he could also be arrogant. He often pretended to have had all the answers...and it was pointless to try to argue with him.There were things we could rarely discuss without anger, mainly politics, talk radio(he loved it/I hated it) and mistakes. He absolutely hated to admit that he'd made any and was very subtle about apologizing. That means that he would show me in some random way that he'd been wrong, versus just saying, "I'm sorry. I effed up."
He was also terrifically HARD to work for, as our nephew Brian would attest to. As a perfectionist, my husband was demanding and critical, both of himself and others. Many years ago though(before the cancer), Brian said at a family gathering, "Everything I've learned about work and a work ethic was from my Uncle Patt." That was with his own chronically unemployed and jerky dad sitting right there! Even Ashley came home from helping her dad on the job with these words: "It's scary! Dad is so different at work than he is at home!"
This is that same nephew at my husband's interment--the only member of his family who showed up. Patt was impatient with people at times, but never gave up on those he believed in and Brian was one of those. When I was ready to throw in the towel over frustrations with situations, he would make me step away from the emotional cliff and THINK instead of just feel. Part of what I'm grieving is that I'll now have to do that for myself and I'm not sure how!
I'm also pondering the mysteries of 2008. During that year, our younger daughter did graduate from high school and our older one from the University of Washington. He was feeling healthy, yet in 2008 he insisted on a new will, as well as a community property agreement and secretly bought a life insurance policy(received the check today); could he have sensed cancer coming two years later? Lung cancer is a silent and fast killer, so I don't believe that's the answer. Looking back, I'm sure I can pinpoint September 2010 as when the cancer started to manifest itself, although we didn't know until he got pneumonia in early December 2010. He could be stubborn, irascible and opinionated, but oh, how I miss him, even the arguments. It would have been wonderful for him to be able to rejoice about the latest successes of the Seahawks because he kept saying near the end, "They're in the hunt!" (for the playoffs) I crave one more hug, one more "I love you." Like me, he was flawed, yet loved.