If we live long enough we will all lose a parent – and though it is inevitable it doesn’t take the sting out. I recently lost my father and though he was sick for a while I always knew he was there sitting in his easy chair or tinkering in the basement on his latest invention.
The loneliness and heartache of it all is truly breathtaking – and I have had to step back from my business a bit because honestly, it puts everything into perspective. All the success in the world will not replace my dad – and so it goes, he was proud of me and through his struggles of alcoholism (he had been sober for the last 25 yrs) and life’s great challenges he was always “my daddy”.
I am so glad I did take the time to visit him and help him with his projects – but I was always in a hurry to get back to my business and that is one thing I regret. The saddest thing of all is he basically could not get the nutrition he needed so we saw our dad becoming a physical shadow of him self. Amazingly, strong until the end – his grip could rival any mans.
The one message I would like to share is – if your parents are still around take the time with them, in the end it is the relationships of those we love that hold the most value. If I could but have one more hug from my father, one more time hearing how much he loved me. If I could hear his voice on the other side of the phone – How are you dad? I would ask “If I were any better I would have to be twins” was always his reply.
At his funeral I decided to honor him and his memory by reading a personal journal entry that I had written, because I wanted the essence of my dad to be known.
I hope you will indulge me in introducing you to my father…
My dad is dying – there is no easy way to write this. He has been sick but I really thought we would be able to beat it at least for a while. He is without a doubt one of the most unusual and quirky men I know. I love him so much – he is, however politically incorrect and totally irreverent.
He is many different things to many different people – difficult, stubborn, sarcastic and witty. My aunt talks about him as her protector and antagonist – he was a handsome young man with beautiful blue/green eyes and an engaging smile. Always trying to out smart the other guy – and invent the latest “million dollar gadget”.
Perhaps the fact that he was such an important figure in my young life – and that he was the one person I didn’t want to disappoint above all others make this especially bitter sweet. Seeing him curiously content with the idea of death – watching as he fades in and out of this earthly realm – worried about those still here but greeting my sister, his brother and others that have gone before him with a sort of reverence and look of joy on his face – how are you Wendy baby – he would say looking beyond the veil of this earthly life. Then back with us here, fully engaged and cracking his quirky jokes.
Just to hold his hand in mine and feel the love of a young girl and her father is something that I will never forget. Telling me how beautiful I am and how much he loves me. Tender and loving – it is so funny how some people don’t see that side of my father – but that is how he has always been to a daddy’s little girl.
He always tells me the story, of how I his first born made him come back to Utah and start life – because of me all his other kids came to be. He would tell me over and over again about Halloween when I was a small child, he would take me door to door and I would say “twick or tweet” he would mimic my high squeaky voice. He would always say things like thank you for calling – and come spend some time with your old dad, so I can pick your brain.
I remember but a few short years ago when I went to pick him up for a birthday brunch – he who usually didn’t care what he wore or how he dressed had on a suit and was all dressed up. How touched I was – how honored I felt. People love my dad – he would engage them with a wise crack or a funny joke – outlooks on life that were so unusual one would have to laugh (read his blog not for the faint of heart).
I recently told him how very much I love him, holding his face in my hands to emphasis the point – but I just couldn’t tell him how much I would miss him, that would be admitting he would be going soon. I don’t want to believe the truth – and to say those words would make it so final – he needs to know – but I know he does because our bond is deeper than the physical.
I cannot picture life without him, his early morning phone calls – his strong clear voice. I have an idea I need your help, can you spare some time? He is so proud of me, I am like he, an entrepreneur and free thinker. Together we were going to make a million bucks – and he would be thinking about all the ways to make it happen.
He would tell me have you ever noticed that old people are invisible – people don’t look at them or acknowledge?
He often talks about an Indian tribe that would send their elderly up into the mountains to starve. I hated that thought – that idea…
How ironic …
Owner of Artista Design