We received devastating and unprepared news last evening. One of our sweetest and most gentlest friends passed away yesterday at 1:00 p.m. He was in the hospital having a heart stent put in on Thursday and yesterday was doing well and asked his wife to get him the newspaper so he could read the sports section (Arnold loved his sports). Just as she walked out, he had a massive heart attack and died.
Arnold Honey, your kind, gentle, caring and compassionate manner always gave me hope in humanity. I always told Jerry if people could be more like Arnold and his family, our world would be so much better off! Arnold was a wonderful man who took life and enjoyed it as it came.
Arnold was in his 70's and still working everyday to support his family. His wife Shirley has diabetes and I know he worked for the insurance to give her the best doctors he could. He always had a smile on his face and I can't remember him ever saying no to coming to the kids birthday parties and he always reminded me of their upcoming parties.
If Arnold was coming in from work, he would always stop his car and get out and give the kids hugs before pulling into his driveway. He enjoyed having them over for dinner and helping feed the little ones and laughed so hard at the messes they made. He wasn't much of a cake eater, but if the kids made something special, he always took a bite to make them feel good!
Arnold was there for his kids all the time! If they wrecked a car, Arnold went to get them and the car and if they needed a new one, he took care of it.
You would never know from looking at him the tragedy in his life over the last few years. He himself battle with cancer, but always went to work. His wife battled with many surgeries and he was always there for her. Once I remember his family had things to do, so I was asked to go sit with Shirley while she rested. I was an honor to give back to the family that had given so much to us!
Arnold lost his son, not once, but twice over the past few years. The first time was when he was placed in a nursing facility with dementia (he wasn't even 60 yet) and then a few weeks after they buried Arnold's grandson Michael who died from childhood cancer, his son died. Arnold continued on as usual.
These are the people that when we moved in helped us carry things, these are the people that became our second family in Arizona. My own family wasn't there to help out when I broke my leg, but they were. Arnold came by everyday to check in on me for a few minutes. His son and daughter-in-law helped me cook, clean, took the little ones to the doctor, drove me all over town, picked up the oldest and took her to the school bus!
This family babysat for us and many times refused to be paid! When I spent 5 days in the hospital and broke my leg, they took care of the grandchildren and when a friend dropped off groceries, they were insulted!
At a NASCAR race, Arnold's daughter Kelly and husband Ed came out to go to one of the races, Ed fixed SMORES for Shyann and oh my, they had so much fun. Shyann wound up with marshmallow in her hair and Kelly spent over 30 minutes working to wash it out. Since then, Ed and Shyann have affectionately called each other: Marshmallow Head and Candy Bar Face.
We had great times with this family in the summers, the kids swam in their pool, we danced in the driveway at birthday parties and when I was still working nights, it was not unusual for someone from that family to come and get the grandchildren so I could rest a few hours.
Never, in my life, have I met a family so dedicated to each other, their friends and family. To know Arnold was an honor and a joy. I know when we moved to Washington, we broke his and Shirley's heart and I had always hoped they would come to visit and see how happy the kids were. Now, I know Arnold sees and knows!
We told the kids last night, it was so hard for me to get the words out and all they wanted to know was is grandpa Arnold in heaven? Oh, to be young again.
Arnold Honey is no doubt in heaven. I only pray that I can live my life the way Arnold lived his, full of love and compassion for anyone who crossed his path.
Arnold Honey, you will never be forgotten in this family, we loved you, we love you and we know you are in a place where finally, after all these long years, you can rest!