Today I attended a funeral. Forest R. Hill passed away a few days ago, and today Shao and I went to pay our respects. It was truly the end of an era. You would have had to know Forrie to fully understand. Forrie Hill was the husband of my mother's dearest friend. Mom and Jean are both almost 86 years old, and have been friends since grade school. Forrie and Jean were married 60 years. It is inconceivable to me that he is gone. There will never, ever be another person like him. I am sure there are some people who knew him who consider this a good thing. Not me. I loved Forrie, with all his idiosyncracies, foibles, and bigotry. The thing about Forrie was, you had no illusions about him. He was all upfront and honest. And you know, I find those to be qualities sadly lacking in many people today.
Forrie was a bigot. Oh, he would ALWAYS be polite to anyone. But he had his strong opinions, and no one was going to sway him from them. I never tried. I didn't agree with lots of things he believed, but at least I knew where he stood. He was one of the last of the true, old time Yankees. No, not the baseball team...Forrie lived in New England, and hearing him speak, there was never a doubt! He loved his country passionately, serving it in WWII, loved his family, and LOVED the outdoors. Forrie was a man's man. He hunted, he fished, he logged, you name it. And he passed that love on to not only the members of his immediate family, but to everyone with whom he came in contact. You couldn't know Forrie and not know his love for the woods, for nature, and for the land.
One of my favorite memories was as a little girl. I was spending the night at the Hill's. We watched old home movies, then all of us girls went to bed, in the same room. Forrie and Jean came in with a big tray of hot chocolates, and when we were done, they tucked us in and kissed each good night. I was safe there. Even though Forrie could be gruff and loud, I knew I was safe. I loved him.
Rest in peace, Forrie. You will be dearly missed this side of Heaven.
Where I Went!!
1 year ago