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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Fathers and Sons

I wasn't sure where to begin with my post today, but I had an idea what it would be about.  Here at home, our thoughts are with brother-in-law Dave as his father passed away and he prepares for the funeral this week. The obituary that Dave wrote tells of a man who loved his family, treasured his grandchildren and (unsurprisingly my favorite passage) talks about him being a "connoisseur of fine cuisine, smorgasbords and truck-stop diners".  I was poring through old photos and found the above pic of Dave and his own son Tanner during our Disney World trip in 2009. There it was: Fathers and Sons.

My father passed away a couple of years ago.  He was failing for some time when the day came.  In the days following his death, I robotically went through the motions and the service preparations and made sure Mom was comforted in every way conceivable considering she just lost her husband of more than 60 years.  The passing really didn't hit me until the hour before the viewing when I had a few moments alone with the casket.  While bringing me to my knees at first look, these moments became precious, as the true weight of it settled into my soul, I gained solace that he was at peace; that it wasn't really him lying there in front of me.  My father was gone but he was in a better place.

Losing my father brought myriad reflections of our life together since. Truck rides, cookouts, silliness, laughter, tears.  I've spent a lot of time in this reflective state since he's been gone.  My Dad was the quintessential gravy-on-the-tie guy and I've now convinced myself that every time I drop food down the front of me, Dad's checking up on me.  I've said more than a few times after a spill, "hey Dad, how are ya?"  A tear rolls down my cheek during a sad scene in a movie and I remember looking over at him during scenes we watched together and seeing his lower lip quiver during sad scenes like this and I know I'm like him in so many ways .  I spent so much of my lunk-headed youth fearing that I grow up to be like him only to grow up and realize not only how grateful I was to have him in my life, but would be blessed beyond measure to even be remotely like him.

Some days, I drive down the road and see his face in a cloud or a sunset.   Dad is never far from my thoughts and I miss him every day.

We are thinking of Dave during these difficult days.  Embrace every day with your loved ones.  Near and far.




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