Well, where do I start? I'm writing this in honor of the most precious father in the world, my dad, Robert W. Heffernan. I am the youngest, Jennifer, age 24, of his five adoring children. My dad passed away about 3 months ago at the young age of 65 and nothing has been the same since.
Fortunately for my father it was a sudden death from an abdominal aneurysm, but unfortunately for the family left behind he was taken away unexpectedly and much too soon. I thank God that he did not suffer. He had a little discomfort for a few weeks but doctors believed it to be pulled muscles. One day, the day before my brother and he were leaving for Las Vegas, my father was suddenly not well at all. He lay in bed upstairs most of the day until my mother woke him while packing his suitcase. He was so excited for this trip and thought he could postpone going to the doctors until he got home.
He then got out of bed and the stomach pains had moved to his chest. He moved downstairs to lay on the couch, his favorite place to relax. This is where he was always found watching T.V., reading his books, listening to his music, and taking a nap ~ this was also where he rested his head forever. He left this world in his most comfortable place and without any suffering and I am so thankful for that.
I don't suppose we would ever be prepared to lose the center of our lives, our hero, our friend ~ our DAD. For me, the hardest thing is knowing that my children will never know what a wonderful man their PopPop was. I will tell them story after story but it will never do him justice. I am grateful for all the years spent with him and all the lessons he taught me and all the love he gave me, but I can't help but be selfish and wish he could see me get married, play with my kids, and ride on more rollercoasters with me. That was his favorite thing to do even at the age of 65 ~ ride the craziest, fastest rollercoasters. Every year, known to us as PopPop Day, we would spend the entire day/weekend at an amusement park and my dad would end up on the most amount of rides. We would watch him put his baseball hat on backwards and run to the long line. Throughout the entire ride his smile never left his face as his arms were raised in the air and the words "This is incredible" shouted out of his mouth. He was on top of the world doing what he enjoyed most with all he loved and all who loved him too.
My father was definitely a unique and wonderful man. When anyone thinks of my father the first words that come to mind are "BEST FRIEND". Whether he was our Dad, father-in-law, loving husband, caring PopPop, wonderful uncle, or supportive brother; the bottom line was he was a friend to all. He touched the lives of all who knew him. I can still see my father everywhere.
I close my eyes and I see him smiling down on us. I never want to forget his voice, and the way his eyes practically shut when he smiled. He had a joke for everything and could make anyone laugh. Even my 6-year old niece says "The reason God took PopPop was so he could hear his silly jokes".
Dad was like the glue that held our family together ~ the center of all our lives. I see so much of him in each one of us. His jokes, his smile, his laughter, his caring, and his life, will continue in each of us and we will hold him close at heart for the rest of our lives. One day we will meet again, but until that day, I will talk to him in my prayers and see him in my dreams. I take comfort in knowing that he is up in "Jazz Heaven" listening to his jazz music, riding the best rollercoasters over and over, and being reunited with the rest of his family.
We love you Dad and miss you so much. You will live in our hearts forever!