Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Saying Goodbye

It is with a heavy heart and great sadness
that I tell you my dear father suddenly passed away yesterday.
I can't even begin to form the words to describe my devastation
over losing a parent and suddenly feeling so lost in the world.
I can't describe the sadness I feel for my mother
in having to survive the pain of losing her lifelong mate.
There is nothing I can say or do to help her...
they would have been married 45 years next month.
I take great pride in the longevity of my parent's marriage.

My father was the voice of tough love for me
and often got me through difficult times by telling me
to stop feeling sorry for myself,
count my blessings,
and embrace the idea of "this too shall pass."
He was a tough man on the outside
and full of love and mush on the inside.

He was a man of great humor and love
who enjoyed joking around with his children
and his grandchildren.
Nothing brought him more joy than his family...
he was so proud of my brother and I and
all six of his grandchildren.

Many of my fondest memories of my dad
are from my childhood:
 when he would  calm me when I had a nightmare in the middle of the night;
when he would patiently look under all the beds and closest for burglars
every night...without complaint;
when he would rock me and read Little Golden Books
when I was just a tot;
when he would wake my friends and I up in the morning after a sleepover
playing reveille on his trumpet as loudly as he could;
when he would patiently teach me a new skill like 
riding a bike, catching a ball, driving a car, or quizzing me on multiplication tables.
There are just too many experiences and examples of
his fatherly love to mention here
but will never be forgotten in my heart.
My father was the hardest worker I knew.
He was never scared of hard work 
and taught me through example the importance of work ethic, 
loving what you do, and always (ALWAYS) doing your best.
Those three ideals still serve me well today.
When I had to recently make a change in career due to some health issues,
I called my dad for a dose of his tough love.
I had started feeling sorry for myself and I knew 
he would be the one to yank me out of my self pity.
I told my dad I was afraid he 
would be disappointed in me for having to quit my job.
He laughed and told me
he could never ever be disappointed in me.
That was one of the last conversations I ever had with him
and I am so thankful for that talk.

My father was not an easy guy to get along with
and since I am just as stubborn as he was,
we often would butt heads and disagree with each other.
As I got older, I began to realize that my father
actually enjoyed these confrontations with me
and would snicker because he would get my feathers ruffled.
Although our philosophies often were polar opposite,
our fierce dedication to our positions were identical.
He taught me to stick to my guns and stand by my beliefs...
even if he didn't like it if my beliefs were different from his.

This was the last picture taken of my father.
It was taken this past Friday.
It is important not only because it was the last one, 
but because it shows what kind of people BOTH my parents are.
They are pictured here with the daughter of a waitress 
from a restaurant they frequently went to in their town.
My parents were invited to go to her preschool graduation
because they were so kind to her, the little girl viewed my parents as grandparents.
Yes, my mother and my father 
spread their love no matter where they are...especially to children.

So long, dad, pop-a-roooni, daddy.
I will miss you sorely every day.
Thank you for all your lessons and love.
You will be with me always and I can't wait to see you on the other side.

Your Little Girl


  1. I'm crying with you. And for you. And for your family. My heart just aches for you. I loved the sleepover wake up story. And children know the heart of a man. No greater tribute than the testimony of that sweet little girl. Sending prayers and hugs.

  2. Tears for you. So sorry to hear this. What a kind couple they look.

  3. Beautiful tribute...keep the happy memories in your heart forever.


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