Friday, April 3, 2015

I Love you Dad

Those who loved Dad, know what a remarkable man that he was. He was kind, sweet, patient and forgiving. He lead his children and his grandchildren by his own example. For those of us left behind, it is a very sad time. His has been on a journey 12 years in the making. He had a horrible disease that robbed him of so much, even his ability to communicate with words. In spite of the challenges he never lost his sense of humor, his love of life and his love of God, Country family and friends. .

Once the words became few and far between, his smile and gestures got us by. There was never a time that his Grandchildren couldn't figure out how to entertain and to communicate with him. They snuggled up to watch a movie, and they used Papa as an excuse to get a little extra ice cream when he was in their company. The older kids would laugh happily as they watched one of his favorite shows, Last Man Standing while the littles could always be counted on to cuddle up with him to watch a western, Disney Movie or even a little Esther Williams.

Papa, loved our Lab, Gracie. And Gracie loved him. When he would come to visit, she would guard him attentively. When Luna, our Husky joined the family, right before Christmas, the 2 of them would make sure that he was never left alone. We could always make him laugh at the animal stories or the stories of the kids. We called him the dog whisperer. His humor and his good nature always showed through.

He lived by the golden rule. He treated everyone with fairness and dignity. It didn't matter to him, what his kids did in life, as long as they were happy. He and Mom made sure that we had all of the love and support that we needed to go out on our own. They also felt blessed to have Kim and Ralph join the family.

Through the years, I can recall numerous political conversations (our votes would cancel each other out, but whose counting). We invented those debates to get each other all worked up, but they always ended amicably. I can recall many times over the years, that I would come to Dad for advice, and he would always let me talk through it; and then would ask me to get a piece of paper, write down the pros and the cons, and that paper would always help me to decide. I still use that advice and give it to others even today.

Dad was a wise man. He balanced fun with a sense of responsibility. His smile could light up the room with those dimples. Emily, his middle granddaughter, shares those same dimples. We have always told Emily that she got those dimples when angels kissed her cheeks before she left heaven to become our daughter. I would like to believe that Papa was welcomed to heaven and kissed by those same angels that kissed Emily12 years ago.

Dad is our hero. And so is Mom. Without her selfless time, patience and love, our time with Dad would have been much shorter. Mom, you gave him a good life and he loved you to his last breath.

As a past teacher my father would have loved this quote that many of you may have already read.
“Life is the school. Love is the lesson.”
You taught us well Dad. You taught us very well.


Anonymous said...

An awesome tribute Jill. My heart is breaking, but I know he is in God's hands now and will suffer no more. May the Lord be with us and comfort us.


maggie k said...

JIll - what a lovely tribute to your Dad! Made me both cry and smile to read about him. Thanks for sharing. Maggie K