Alfa Romeo Forums banner

1 - 20 of 53 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,306 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Unfortunately there is a profoundly sad element to this story in that my wife and soul mate of the past 40 years passed on recently. I had spent every minute of the past six months with her and it was the reason I haven't been heard of much around here lately. Although I do feel like a part of this community it is an Alfa forum after all so I didn't see my personal life as being an appropriate topic. A few members were aware of my situation through PM's though.

Anyway, details are not necessary other than to say my wife Minda was an Alfista going back at least 35 years when we bought the Spider in 1980. She actually learned how to drive and took her driving test in a 1971 Fiat 124 Sport Coupe. So a couple of tribute photos before I get to the main topic:









When I returned to work after Minda's first encounter and treatment for cancer, when we thought we had it beat, I wanted a decent commute car. That was back in September of 2013 when I picked up the two 164S's. The saga of resurrecting Blackie was told in the thread I opened at that time. I used both Blackie and Red on regular daily driver duties up until October of 2014 when Minda started getting sick again and we found out the cancer had returned and spread. There was really nothing that could have been done and she decided she was not going to endure any more of the brutal treatments so we just stayed home and let fate run it's course with the aid of the hospice program which I must add is full of wonderful people who know how to help you through this sort of ordeal.

Anyway, we never got to do any decent road trip in either of the 164's and after Minda was gone I just got up around 4am one morning last week and decided to drive up to Yosemite, hike around a bit and clear my head, and come back home. The whole trip was a little over 400 miles. Blackie was stunningly awesome as a road trip car, as most of you here already know. Smooth, comfortable, powerful (even in the mountains) and always emitting a glorious sound.

So here are a few appropriate pictures and a couple of short videos.





The tripod was used to hold my Nikon for the time lapse videos







Videos:





Tomorrow I am embarking on another road trip north to visit relatives in Oregon and up into Washington. I've never driven around the Olympic Peninsula so will probably do that. I'm not taking the Alfa though, I'll be going in the Land Rover because I want to do a lot of exploring up in the mountains and might hit some snow (if there's any left). Also might sleep in the truck for a night if need be. Hopefully some of the roads might be opening up after the first of April - like the one to Mt St Helens overlook at Johnston's Ridge. I know a lot of them are still closed.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,868 Posts
Sorry to hear of this. Our condolences.

If you come through Seattle, send pm, would like to meet you, maybe share a pizza. Also, if you have a chance, stop by Alfa of Tacoma. Great Italian super car (including Alfas, lol) repair shop. Carlo and Lino are the best.

Your taking the Land Rover reminds me of my father returning to North Dakota after many decades of not visiting. Took the Jeepster because he remembered the dirt roads he had traveled on when he was young. Turns out everywhere he went had paved roads, lol.

Personally, I wouldn't bother with the Land Rover, but that's your choice.

BTW, as R2 knows, we do have a guest bedroom for alfa owners if you need it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,485 Posts
I'm so sorry Paul. We will be praying for you and if there is anything else I or my family can do for you please ask. You are always welcome to visit here in San Diego if you need a respite. Bob
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,007 Posts
That's a sad story Paul. You have my sympathy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,306 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I want to thank everyone for the sympathies and condolences and although I am immersed in deep sorrow I can tell you some of the things that I am also deeply grateful for. We had a wonderful life together and if you have a relationship such as this, unless you both die in a car crash or a house fire, one is going to go before the other. Myself being who I am have always been the more likely to go suddenly of a heart attack or maybe just flying off in my little airplane one Saturday morning and not coming back.

So in that sense, if Minda was going to get sick and die at some point either now or in the future, I'm glad that I was here to take care of her. Because we spent all of our time together over the past six months. We talked and held hands and remembered everything that we had done in our lives, both good and not so good and we had no regrets.

So my deep sorrow is tempered by my acknowledgement that we were blessed to have had this life together. Yes I'm lonely. Despite having an immense amount of love and support from family and friends there is a giant hole in my universe right now that no one can fill. But she wanted me to go on, not to curl up and die so that's what I'm going to do. Until my time comes as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,782 Posts
We've thought of you often, Paul over the past several months. It's so nice to have you back on the BB. Looks like you and Minda had some great times together sharing common interests. She looks like a wonderful person. Sorry we never had a chance to meet her.

We love to camp in our Alfas and usually get a couple of trips in every year in one of them. A few years ago we loaded up the 1973 Berlina and did one of the runs Andrew sponsors. We came back all along the coast from San Fran, never went on an interstate once, all the way to Bellingham, WA including the Olympic Peninsula. Very nice drive. The section from Mt Vernon north...Chuckanut Drive is really nice.

We have a room with you name on it if you get this far north. Give us a shout:)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
27,001 Posts
Paul,

Been there done that but never got a T-shirt. When my first wife got colon cancer and was dying from it and we too had a wonderful experience with hospice care. She had a wonderful team consisting of hospice team leader, home health care nurse, massage therapist and lady from our church. The masseuse helped me afterwards unknot my body. She hurt like crazy unknotting my back after the 23 months my first wife hung on but it helped me very much. My church support and my Alfa bud Jim and many others were a blessing, too. Jim was with me during the 23 months and now very close friend with my second wife, too.

Be glad you had the life you had with your wife together. I was into Fiats real heavy and when the 164 came out my first wife gave me permission to get a new 91 in 1990 but I could not do it hoping she would be well first and we would ride in it together. Alas, it was not to be in 90 but later on in 91 after my period of grieve and mourning seemed to be under control I met my current wife while I was driving a darn domestic product. I then broke bad and bought a new 164B and the rest is history. We are now married for 23 years have a 24 yo adopted daughter and still driving 25 yo 164s.

Stay with us we love you and hope to meet you up close and personal someday soon. The cars are what get us together but the people are what keep us together.

If you get a chance met up with Del and his wife and Dick2 and Sharon do it. I almost hooked up with Del in 05 near Lake Tahoe and have known Dick and Sharon since 1996/97 and got to see them again couple weeks ago at Neville and Lizette's in JAX.

The Alfa world is truly a Small Small World.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,840 Posts
Paul:

Doesn't sound like you will be road tripping to the Berkshires any time soon, but you have a place here if and when you do.

Keep moving forward and find little slivers of delight where you can. You will never get over it, but you will learn to live with it, as she clearly wanted you to do.

I lost my mother to cancer in 1980, and I still can't believe she is gone. But if you embrace life, it will embrace you back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,977 Posts
God bless. Sounds like a lot of happy years. I count every day as a blessing.

One foot in front of the other.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,868 Posts
My two brothers lost their wives within 4 months of each other, one suddenly on Christmas Eve. It was a sad year, and we were thankful for the words from others who cared. Take care with, as you say, one step at a time, and when you come up this way, send a pm and we hope we can arrange to get together. Much to see and do in the NW. Hopefully you will also be able to meet R2 further north, he and his wife are really nice, and Alfa people par excellence.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
963 Posts
Paul:

Thank you for sharing this. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Be sure to check out Hurricane Ridge if you get over to the Olympics. One of my family's best memories is hiking there with my wife's father before we lost him. A beautiful place and one that may bring you some good peace with some spectacular nature.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
304 Posts
Paul,

Very sorry to hear of your wife's passing. Sounds like you had a great life together. And she liked Alfas!

I recently rekindled my appreciation for the brand and really enjoy your helpful, intelligent posts.

Hang in there,

Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,306 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Del and Richard - yes I would like to meet up with both of you if I can make it happen. I'm actually on the roadtrip now, started this morning and drove about 400 miles on mountain roads to get to Chester California on the north end of Lake Almanor. I can't get through Lassen because the road is still closed so I'm going around the back side and into Oregon where I have a couple of family visits. Th last one is in Portland this weekend. After that I'm on an open plan but not scheduled to go back to work until the 22nd so I have plenty of time. I'll pm when I figure it out.

Here are a few pics from today posted from the my creepy motel room in Chester :whistling:

BTW - I did go down a couple of dirt trails but for the most part this route up 89 would be great in an Alfa, I'll probably do that later this year. The Disco is a fine traveling machine as well though, very comfortable.

I'll say one thing, at least down here in California, there is virtually NO snow left and it's only April 1st.













The driving seems to be doing me good but I have to admit my wife is still constantly on my mind and all of these places are spots where we have been to before together.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,868 Posts
We should be around. And, yes, there is no snow up here as well. The ski season was very short.

Take care, and have a safe drive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,782 Posts
This is a great trip. I love the pics. Beautiful country.
Like Del said, no snow here, but you can still see some on Mt Baker.
Let us know, we'll have the apartment ready for you:) It's a short trip to Canada if you brought your passport. We could take a run up to Whistler. I may even let you drive an Alfa so you don't get to rusty:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,306 Posts
Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Inlaws place has DSL so I can't upload many pics from today but here are a few:

I did about 30 miles of forest roads, the Alfa prob ably could have done most of them but I didn't want to put it through such things, the Disco is right at home here.



At the end of one of the roads in Lassen National Park was this cinder cone so I climbed to the top. It was pretty weird being the only person out there but I felt at peace.



At the top was a great view of Mt Lassen



Edit: sorry I guess your not gonna see that one because alfabb thinks there's a cuss word in the file name.

Re-edit: fixed it - yay!!

In California though nothing tops Mount Shasta, it's just plain spectacular. In Oregon I'd say it's Mount Hood and in Washington Mount Rainier.



Again my wife was on my mind all day and I particularly recalled a camping trip along this same highway we did about 30 years ago in the Spider. I have a photo of it with Mount Shasta in the background. Now I don't know what everyone's personal spiritual beliefs are and I'm not trying to sell any here but just after I passed McCloud on Highway 89 a white 1972 Alfa Romeo Spider passed me going the opposite direction. I am not kidding you, exactly like ours.

That my friends is not just circumstance.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
27,001 Posts
The man upstairs has a way doesn't he!
 
1 - 20 of 53 Posts
Top