I am Judy Dykeman, Art’s wife and this is my observation.
We should all be so blessed to have the emotional strength that Art has. This remarkable man has had so much loss in his short life. A lesser person would have crumbled. Not Art. His philosophy in this life is “move ahead smartly”. As abnormal as I think this is, (maybe cuz I’m a woman) it somehow works for him. I envy his ability to do that.
Art is one of those guys that sees the glass as half full. He’s truly grateful for what he has and doesn’t dwell on what is gone. Instead of being over-come with grief & sorrow as I expected he would be, he’s not. He’s just simply proud of the man that Phil was. He gets strength from that. I asked him a lot early on “are you bitter or angry”? He had several standard answers. My favorite one is “this is not my first rodeo” as he says with a half-smile and tear just about to roll down his chubby cheek.
As the days go by I can’t say it’s gotten any easier to except Phil’s passing. But from this unfortunate event, Phil has unknowingly created a stronger bond. A bond appropriately named “Teamdykeman”. Funny how life works.
So what I’ve observed in these last months is that Art is right. (I hate it when that happens) It is to our advantage to “move ahead smartly”.
I’m proud to be the wife of Art Dykeman and even more honored to be a part of his amazing family.