It’s 5:50 a.m. and I am writing the obituary of my husband of 44 years, after going to bed at 2 am. That is how it works when you go from being married to a widow in a short period of time; because time goes either very fast or slow and really who cares what time it is.
I waited for the words to describe my husband, our children’s father, our grandchildren’s grandpa. I waited because it should be about the real man we knew so when reading this, one could not say, ‘who is that person, not the Jack Rovensky we knew?’ or ‘yes he was a man just like that.’
John Andrew Rovensky was born Oct. 5, 1949 and grew from there. He wondered why his Mom, Doris never took him to town much and I replied hopefully very kindly but probably with a profound shocked look on my face ‘Jack, you weighed 45 lbs. at nine months, how could she take you and get groceries too.’
Jack loved to curl and at an early age he took five gallon pails of water to make his own curling rink on the farm just south of Coronation on Highway 12; and practice he did.
At age 11 his Dad took him out of school to curl in the farmers bonspiels.
Hunting would have been his passion, but that is hard to do when killing an animal and having a soft heart really do not go hand in hand.
It used to be coyotes and gophers, but in later years it was called plinking and time was spent with his friend Wayne Glasier shooting tin cans. Then into the house for coffee that Connie had made, along with her special butter tarts.
A strong friendship can change a person and give them strength by just being there and being accepting.
Jack and alcohol became close partners for many years, causing grief, hurt, guilt and pain; a burden that was shared with his children Kenny, Colleen, Dalana, Kara and Jaron.
Because of this, our marriage had to have a few breaks; not from lack of love, but from a lack of mental and physical strength; then we would regroup and try again.
For anyone who has not lived in an alcoholic family, this is often hard to understand. Jack did quit drinking with professional help; AA and the support of his family and friends.
We were so proud of him. There was a year that three of his close friends died within a few months; it was handled with strength and tears, but no alcohol; a proud time for me as there could have been a harder, easier way for the grief to have been handled.
Jack’s death was caused by an auto-immune disease that was diagnosed just three weeks prior to his death.
Wayne and Connie Glasier were in Jack’s life when I could not be and the strength of that friendship was apparent.
When Wayne and Connie walked into the Emergency Room, Jack’s blood pressure was very low, 60/40, and his blood pressure went up to 110/60. With a big smile he said to Wayne, ‘pull up a stump’ and they held hands. Then his blood pressure plummeted again.
Never underestimate the power of love.
Jack’s four siblings Gene, George, Sandra and Tim were able to have a visit and share memories, thoughts or just quiet time when he was in the palliative care room.
This is a room where for the last months, or weeks, family and friends can have quiet time and surround their loved ones with all the emotions one feels at that time.
Jack had only hours in that room but had years of knowledge and experience given to him by the most kind and caring people called nurses, and Dr. Chatel.
Our family thanks you so much for working around us and giving Jack the care that helped him remain pain free.
Jack was a perfectionist and was meticulous at his job, giving all his skills and knowledge that he had learned from age 17, when he went to work with Ed Osetsky as a heavy equipment operator, to later years working as a supervisor/foreman with large crews working under him.
We found a copy of a letter requesting Jack and his skills, as it would save the company so much time and money.
Jack also perfected the skill of working only when he felt the need. This was known to his employers, family and anyone who knew him well.
Jack had a big chair in the corner where he could look out to the Nose Hills. From there his friend, Keith Schneidmiller and he would discuss jobs they had been on, politics of the country and world, life and their love of guns.
Then every now and then, the chair had to be left to make a person to person visit to Sundre to visit Keith.
Donna Miller, who was my friend, became a friend of Jack’s. Many cups of coffee, banter and Donna’s famous cinnamon buns were shared. We became three close friends and Donna was to be one of the five friends to attend the graveside service with our family.
The United Church Minister, Alwin Maben, was the newest friend to come into our world and home; to share coffee, weiner roasts and music.
He would come to visit Jack and we would share our home and he would share his love, wisdom and friendship, but most of all his heart.
In a very short time, a bond was made and Jack would open up and share the heavy load he carried with him everyday. One that he thought was his burden to be and what he deserved.
My husband was a well read, soft spoken, complex, simple man. A thousand piece puzzle that was never finished as he kept the last piece where he and only he knew where it was.
I knew Jack was going to die five days before his death. Our little dog, Bobby Baker Brown was with us on the way to Castor for a doctor’s appointment.
Bobby got between the steering wheel and Jack, putting his paws on Jack’s chest and licked and licked his face.
That was Bobby’s goodbye, as he would not go near Jack after that – our little friend was making us know that time was coming to an end for our world as we knew it.
We will start our life without husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin and to many that knew and accepted him, as a man who was not perfect, but was ours.
Thank you, our dear friends and community.
In lieu of thank you cards, a transfer board will be purchased for the Castor hospital.
Rondi, Ken, Colleen & family, Dalana & Xavier, Kara, Jason & family, and Jaron