Thursday, March 30, 2017

RIP Dad!

This was taken after my college graduation in 2012. 
I feel like I should have written "daddy" and not "dad," as I called him "daddy" until my mom died in 2008.

I mentioned the other day that some things have come up at home lately. Well, this is one of them.

On Monday, March 20, 2017, my dad passed away at the age of 82.  He's now where he has wanted to be for the last eight years:  with my mom.

I started back at work last Monday after being off for three weeks for my tummy tuck surgery. I left around 1:30 pm since I was starting to swell up quite a bit. I stopped at a clothing store to hunt for comfortable elastic waist or drawstring pants that I actually like, which was about as productive as a hunt for Sasquatch. I then hit the drug store. I got the call when I was on my way home. Although I wasn't expecting that call (who is??), I wasn't surprised, as he's been in and out of the hospital the last few months. The last couple weeks he had developed some unexplained health issues, and that's typically a sign that the end is near.  We had a small service in his town over the weekend and there will be a burial with military honors in May (ground is frozen still).

We are almost exactly 40 years apart (I was a surprise baby, although my siblings would say I was an accident or even adopted).  My birthday is November 6 and his was November 10, so we typically celebrated together. I think around my birthday is when I'm likely to feel the loss of him most intensely.

This is a picture of us on our 80th and 40th birthday, respectively, back in 2014. This was taken by my sister-in-law. We can always count on her for great pictures!

When I was a kid, it was my favorite thing to go somewhere with my father. There was even one time where I wanted to leave my birthday party so I could go with my dad.  Everyone in the family tells me how he would whisper to my mom that he was going to the store, or wherever, so I wouldn't hear him, but when he got outside, I'd be in the car already. Couldn't fool me!  For some reason, the dump was my all-time favorite. Yes, the dump.  I think it was because 1) I got to go somewhere with him, and 2) I got to help toss things into the giant pit. It was a giant compactor, really, but I saw it as a giant pit in the ground that magically swallowed up all the unwanted things. (To this day, I LOVE throwing things out...)

It's such a strange feeling to now be without either parent. Who will I call when I have good news or want to talk about something? Realistically, I know I have people I can call, but it's somehow different. Parents taking pride in their children is different from siblings, other family members and friends' pride.  Also, parents are usually the glue that keep everyone in touch somehow, some way. Even if it's just to say that Sally is starting a new job or Mary is having a tough time. Now that the glue is gone, will everyone keep in touch? There are members of the extended family that don't talk anymore now that their parents are gone; it's so sad to witness. Family get-togethers aren't the same, because some of them come and others don't. Anyway, I digress.

I'm glad I got to know my dad more after my mom passed away in 2008. He was never one to talk on the phone previously.  Every time I used to call, he would say hi and ask how I was doing, and then ask if I wanted to talk to my mother. And that was fine, because I always gravitated towards her for talking; men just don't usually have a lot to say like women do. After my mom died, we started talking each week, usually for a half hour. (I swear he timed it, because when I looked at the time it was always exactly 30 minutes from the time I called to the time we hung up.) It was awkward at first, but then we got into a rhythm of subjects to talk about. I could always tell when he was tired or not feeling well, versus when he was feeling good. When he was feeling good, he would joke around quite a bit and laugh a lot.

Although I'm sad my father is gone, I'm glad he's no longer suffering, as he was getting weary of being sick and tired all the time. And he's with my mom now. She had always said that when she died, she would be sitting on the prettiest cloud in the sky. Now that they're together again, I hope they'll be sitting on that same cloud together somewhere in June, celebrating 63 years of marriage.  I can only hope my marriage lasts that long; it's something I aspire to.

Married June 19, 1954. My mom was only 16 a the time and my dad was 20.

I'm not sure what year this was, but I'm guessing somewhere around 2006. 
This was taken on the Connecticut River in New Hampshire.
My sister-in-law took this picture, I believe.


  1. I'm so sorry for your loss. :(

  2. I'm so sorry to hear this! This post was a beautiful tribute to both of your parents. Sending you positive, healing thoughts!