Thursday, April 11, 2013

Tell Me Thursday - Dad

This is the last picture I took of my Dad.  We were sitting outside in the courtyard of the hospice, enjoying the sun and warm breezes. There were many birds in the courtyard, and we talked about how much noise they made.  We mostly sat there quietly.  My Dad was always a thoughtful man -- thinking about many different things and contemplating things and figuring things out. He was so very intelligent, and the liver disease stole away pieces of his brain.

Today marks a month since his passing.  I miss him so much, and know that I always will.

His memorial service was very special.  My mom & brother gathered things that meant a lot to him and had them displayed in the chapel.  They brought in a large print of a photograph he took, a gargoyle (which he collected), a Tardis (for his love of sci-fi), and other items.  I compiled a number of pictures that the funeral home made into a slide show that played on a screen throughout the service.

My brother started things off, then Colin played Largo from Dvorak's New World Symphony on his viola.  Then I spoke, and my Dad's only brother, then his cousin, and finally my mom.  Nate wrapped it up playing the same piece, but on his string bass.  My Dad loved music, and I know he would have loved knowing the boys played for him one more time.

My mom had asked for donations to the AZ Humane Society, but some people still sent flowers.  I think there were 3 arrangements with tropical birds of paradise -- and I don't think I ever want to see another one.

Each eulogy given was special in its own way. This is what I shared about my Dad:

I want to thank you all for coming today.  My dad was a special person, and will be missed.  As the original daughter, I was his favorite . . .  well, until my sister, Jane, was born anyway. And, then Matt came along. Truthfully, my dad didn’t play favorites, but instead loved his children for their uniqueness and their own gifts.
 There are so many memories of my Dad that I cherish – waking up before dawn when I was very small and seeing him come in from work when he was driving a truck for Mobil, road trips to visit places across the U.S.,him leaving small gifts for me when we worked in the same office, his solo visit to Arizona soon after we moved here.  I cherish these memories in my heart. 
People often ask me how I ended up working with computers. I always tell them that I have my father to thank for that.  In high school, I wanted to take jewelry making.  Instead, he insisted that I take a BASIC programming class.  In high school, I also took the secretarial track by following his advice, and that knowledge helped me feel comfortable with computers when they were just taking off, and also helped me find higher paying jobs as I went through school.  Today, I love teaching others how to use software and simple programming – all in thanks to that push from my Dad.  In fact, I am so used to training that at this point I feel like I should pause and ask for questions. 
My father was a man devoted to his family.  His family always came first, and there was no doubt that he put us before anything else.  He loved talking about his children and his grandchildren to anyone who would listen. Especially during these last years, I was able to be with him when he would regale nurses and aides with stories of how proud he was of us.
He was especially devoted to my mom. Their love for each other was obvious to anyone, and that love was strong and passionate.  For as long as I can remember, they were always by each others’ side.   He doted on her, and did his best to make her feel special and loved every day.
 My Dad loved to learn. He would read about anything – just to learn more about it. He was curious and interested in how things worked, and especially loved new technologies.  The books in our home covered every topic imaginable, and provided many hours of enjoyable reading during my childhood. One thing that I strive to instill in my own children is that life-long love of learning. 
My Dad also loved music.  His CD collection was eclectic and far reaching.  He especially enjoyed Irish and Indian flute music, but that by no means limited what he enjoyed listening to. Not many of you may know this, but among my Dad’s love of music – he loved funny Christmas music.  He had quite the collection of humorous Christmas songs that he loved to play during the holidays.    
I’m going to miss my father fiercely.  He was a loving, compassionate, respectful man. Even though we may not have always agreed, he respected my intelligence and my choices.  He never insulted me for making the choices I did.  I know he loved me, and I will hold that in my heart for the rest of my life.

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful tribute to your father, Melanie. He sounds like an amazing man. He and your mother certainly did a great job raising their children! I'm glad you had the opportunity to be with him as he crossed the finish line here on earth.


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