Yesterday, my friend, our dad, our mom’s loving husband of 50 years, passed away. He was the greatest man I have ever known.
As we have gathered as a family and reminisced on dad’s life, it bewilders me that I didn’t fully realize the full stature of the man until recently. His service to the country in the Korean war, and after, the quiet way he went to work at the car factory each morning for decades, getting up at O’dark 30. How he loved and cherished his wife and puppy dogs. The way he and mom protected us kids from the harsher realities of life. The way he managed to get the whole family to the campground, pond, river, or hunting area practically every weekend of our lives.
Dad inspired all of us kids to go after our dreams and to believe in ourselves. He continually sacrificed his personal desires and comforts for us, totally selfless. Dad never complained about life or bothered others for favors. He raised his family to be self-reliant, good citizens. He wasn’t rich except as it concerned the love of his family. There, he was richer than Solomon. And it was well deserved.
I don’t mean to make this post his obituary. That will come soon.
This is just the writings of a son who loves his dad.
If you are fortunate enough to still have one or both of your parents, take the advice of someone who just lost his dad; love them with all your heart. If you have the opportunity to spend some additional time with them, jump at it. The daily concerns and worries of life will always be with you, but not your Mom and Dad. You might be carrying around some old baggage. Throw it away. Those parenting mistakes he or she made. They did the best they could with what they had.
Dad fought a long illness over many years. While the end came all too soon, we were fortunate to have a chance to gather around him. Still, his passing has left a void that I didn’t expect. The lesson here, I guess, is that you might think you have come to terms with the inevitability of parent or sibling passing but the reality of the event, at least for me, is practically overwhelming.
I have got to say how blessed I feel to have Mom and my brothers and sister close as we go through this.
Be well Pop. You will never be forgotten. Not for a moment. I can almost hear his voice back at me, “Take care chum. And take care of your Mother for me.”