Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Aftermath...And Thoughts On Dad #3

People keep sending me messages telling me they like these random memories and observations. No writer can turn down a compliment so bear with me a little bit longer! And, please keep sending your remembrances of Dad. I forward each one to the rest of the family. I may be needing a bigger notebook before long!

When I was little, Dad would hide notes for me around the house on my birthday. The first thing I did when I woke up was to search for them. That was my favorite present...and it cost nothing.Dad engendered unbelievable loyalty in his friends, as much as anyone I have know.
The most crushing blow to Dad this past ten months was not the loss of his health or even his independence. It was his inability to still take care of Mom. He was going to protect her until death....and he did, even though he had to cede the responsibility. I don't anyone who loved another more than Dad loved Mom.
In family crises, heroes emerge. In our family, it was Karis, who stayed with Dad when the rest of us could not. She sacrificed herself for her grandpa, although I doubt she saw it as a hardship. I think she perceived it as an honor.
The hardest thing for to me to replace will be the fifteen minutes I spent on the phone with Dad (and Mom up until the end) each night. Our conversations were not out of the ordinary. We just talked. The second hardest thing to replace will be the six weeks I spent in St. Louis each year. I almost felt like a Missourian.
I never saw Dad as a carpenter but he made a tile-inlaid table that he showed at the Nebraska State Fair...and I got to go with him! I was sure I would be arrested because I missed kindergarten!
Dad wrote down every purchase of gas in a tiny spiral notebook he kept in the glove compartment of his car.
Dad, ever the optimist, composted until the end. The new owner will have some great soil to work with.Karen has become a celebrity due to the poll questions. People wanted to meet her at the funeral! No autograph seekers, please!We left the Twirl-A-Squirrel for the new owners!I am going to try to come with some little memorial for myself using that little blue therapy ball that I pulled out of Dad's suit at the funeral. It is a great lesson for me to never quit...NEVER!Dad was a teacher until the end. After the ventilator was removed on Saturday afternoon, each of us went through telling Dad our feelings and he did the same. Shaun reminded Dad that he took a bride last Fall. Dad's final admonition: "STAY MARRIED!" I bet those two words are burned on Shaun's heart. Dad never passed up a chance to preach the sanctity of marriage!
God bless,
Luke 18:1E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

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