My father suddenly died of a massive heart attack in his sleep just over a month ago. The past month has seemed like a mighty big blurr and at times a nightmare. I am really trying to figure out what his passing means- why did it have to happen? how will I go on? what will I learn from this? ......all of this while I terribly miss him!
A friend of mine told me that the final lesson that your parents will teach you will be with their death and I think that there is some truth in this. In the past month, I have opened up a lot more to my friends and family. I view life in a different way. Right now, I'm not as ambitious and as busy as I used to be. I treasure the quiet moments even more now. I love to take long walks and to appreciate everything that I see along the way.
Some of the things that I see are children with their parents.....and that takes me back to my childhood memories of Dad. A Father who loved the snow and built skating rinks for us during the winter. A Father who loved to go to hockey games in the winter and baseball games in the summer....oh the smell of hot dogs and french fries and popcorn! A Father who was quiet and gentle and deeply cared about us! A Father who loved to go camping.....but not swimming-he used to always say that he swam like a rock! But this didn't stop him from coming to our favourite watering holes with us. A Father who took pride in our accomplishments. A Father who was never afraid to cry. A Father who watched us grow. A Father who helped me settle into university life and drove me to my first teaching interview. A Father who walked me down the aisle on my wedding day. A Father that one could depend on. We were not rich by any means but we always had enough and certainly rich in security and love! A Father who wanted life to be better for his children and worked timelessly for this goal. Thank you Dad! You did do all of this and now I'm only left with the memories.
At Dad's funeral, the minister was a close friend of his. They were skiing buddies. One of the things that he said in his eulogy was that Dad always seemed to have a small smile on his face no matter what was happening and a special twinkle in his eyes.......When I returned home after the funeral, I was mentioning this about my Dad to a friend of mine.......She said, "Oh,just like you!" I had never thought about this before, but I find it comforting to know that I have Dad's twinkle. He will always be with me because of this.
Dad died too early! He had been healthy and skiied all through the past winter. His last day on earth, he had skiied 25 km and had gone to one of his grandson's hockey games. He lived it fully and did not have to suffer and that I'm very grateful for.
....there's just one thing left to do.....I did not have a chance to say goodbye to him.......so, farewell, Father.....know that I love you and appreciate everything about you. Goodbye until we meet again.
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anniversary date 03-27-97
date of post 05-19-97