Posted by: Lori Schmidt Lutze | January 25, 2011

The Great Escape Meets Chariots of Fire and Weekend at Bernie’s

W-O-W!!  It’s been a loooooong time–where in the world have you been?  Whatcha been up to?  I hope it’s been a very Joyce few months for you.  Me?  Hell, it’s been scary Joyce.  I know you’re tinkling in your panties at the thought of a brief update, so here goes…..

It breaks my heart to report that The Bobster made his Great Escape on June 14, 2010.  Joyce and I didn’t think he’d sneak out so quickly, but sneak out quickly he did.  On the evening of June 12 we told The Bobster we needed help managing his pain and he replied without hesitation, “Let’s go!”  When the hospice workers arrived and were loading The Bobster onto a stretcher he asked, “Can you tell me where the ripcord is in case I need to parachute off this thing?” 

 And then as they strapped him on he teased, “Keep your eyes on these guys, Lori, watch ’em, watch ’em, ‘cuz I don’t trust ’em for a minute.”   Ahhh, The Bobster, always with a joke at the ready, even as his days were coming to an end. 

On the evening of June 14 my brother, Bobby, picked up his twin, Wild Wylo at the airport and the two of them raced to the hospice Steve McQueen style.  And as The Bobster was breathing his last, Bobby and Wylo came running in like the opening scene in Chariots of Fire.  Can you picture it?  I think the music adds a nice touch, don’t you?   

The Bobster’s Great Escape came so quickly that night that we were all sort of in a state of shock.  But that’s how it is, isn’t it?  Even when you think you are prepared for someone’s Great Escape, you never really think it’s going to happen until it happens.  And then, poof, their soul breaks free and off it goes like a beautiful helium balloon and you’re left behind . . . sitting there next to Joyce . . .  who was wearing Crocs.  Thank God for Crocs which added a little levity to the end of life moment.  I recall that Joyce was wearing a blue pair.  It’s funny the kind of things you remember when a soul is making its Great Escape . . . .

Anyway, you know The Bobster loved movies, right?  Well, of course Bobby and Wild Wylo thought it would only be fair to take our dear dad out for one last ride Weekend at Bernie’s style . . .

The Bobster loved Weekend at Bernie’s.  Well, I have to be honest with you and admit that a Bernie style ride didn’t really happen.  But again, I impress upon you, oh lovers of Joyceland, the importance of levity.  Even in the saddest of moments.  Especially in the saddest of moments.  The Bobster’s hospice room was filled with tears and laughter, tears and laughter, laughter and tears.  And, oh those hospice workers are angels, did you know that?  Real live angels.  If you want to see a real live angel, stop in at your local hospice.  They even let you pet ’em if you want.

Golly, it’s tough to get used to a favorite person having made the Great Escape.  It’s real weird.  I know some of you know what I’m talking about.  One minute a favorite person is alive and the next minute—boom—-Hasta la vista, baby.  And they don’t send a postcard to let you know how it’s going.  And they leave all their stuff behind for you to clean up.  And then you miss ’em a lot even though you’ve got to figure out what to do with all their stuff.  It’s a real problem.

Well, the summer progressed and with The Bobster now in the company of the heavenly host and all, Joyce decided it best to move to a smaller place.  Do you think it’s a great time moving Joyce?  I’ll admit it had its moments, but that woman hadn’t thrown anything away in years.  Decades.  She’s always at a party–who has time to organize and declutter?  Certainly not Joyce.  So, it was truly a damn job and A HALF.  I emphasize the damn and the half to gain your sympathy and support.  Do you see now why I couldn’t write Joyceland while I was having to declutter Joyce and help her move?  I almost called 911 fourteen times in August alone.  And every time I called they were kind of snotty and said they weren’t coming and that I should just escape to Joyceland.  Hmmmm.       

So, fast forward to January 2011 when I suddenly thought, “Holy Joyceland!  What’s going on in the old blogeroo?”  And I put on a blindfold and checked this blog’s behind the scenes statistics.  I’ve written 183 posts all total and Joyceland has been visited 18,277 times!  Honest to Bobster!  That’s pretty okay.

So, that’s my update.  What’s new with you?



  1. It’s good to have you back! Now when’s the next dinner group and who has it?

  2. So glad you’re back! Fabulous blog post – love JoyceLand! I laughed about the Crocks and cried about the rest. Great to have you back!

  3. This was both SO insightful and hilarious in its pure Joyciness. Welcome home.

  4. Glad you’re back…bless your heart for sharing your story. Thank you!

  5. Let’s hope that old Bobster’s soul will bring a 13th Championship to the Packer Nation! We all know Joycee’s F-Bombs don’t help!


  6. Great to hear from you! You were truely missed!!

  7. Being no stranger witnessing “the great escape myself” I have to laugh at the latest joyceland. Death is funny you know. Most people cringe at this topic of conversation. When brought up 9 times out of 10 the person will break eye contact with you immediately. Maybe death isn’t funny and it’s just me. When you see your loved one’s spirit leave their earth body to me there is no greater gift.
    Happniess, Sadness & Relief all at once. I agree with you about the post card or perhaps a quick text would be nice. Roaming charges apply! I have come to realize the post card is never coming but communication from the great beyond lies in plain sight. You just have to learn to recognize them in small everyday happenings. If that doesn’t work contact a spiritual advisor a/k/a Medium-Psychic.
    ahhhh wait that should be a whole Joyceland on its own!!!! Thanks Lori for making me laugh today because ironically enough just came from a funeral and I have a headache!!!

  8. I feel like the sun has just come out again! Shudder at the thought of Joyce in Crocs. Where were her new rhinestone sandals that I took right off my own (clean) feet and drove home barefoot, I ask you? Whenever Bobster’s name is mentioned it is usually followed by a smile or a wicked remembrance. As he would remind us, “It is what it is !” Welcome back!

  9. I happened upon your blog just today and am quite pleased that i did. My mom made her own “Great Escape” in early August 2010. And you’re exactly right – we knew it was coming but it came as quite a surprise……and no one, least of all me, was ready. But I love your analogy of a beautiful helium balloon. And she would have loved that too. She is a beautiful soul, full of laughter and love and I will give thanks to all the gods and goddesses for having had her in my life. Thanks for helping. =)

  10. […] Resto KosherEscape to Joyceland […]

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