Thursday, December 20, 2018
I think my boys were 4 in this photo. I bought them bomber jackets and they wore camo pants for my Dad. After having 3 girls, my Dad’s first grandchildren were my twin boys.
My Dad passed away in the early morning hours Tuesday. Feel free to click away today – I will understand. But, I want to honor him in this space. This afternoon from 4-8 we will hold visitation and tomorrow we will have his service at 11 at my childhood church and the church where I was married. Afterwards, he will have a full military honors service at his burial plot in the veterans cemetary because he was a career military man. He was a fighter pilot in The Vietnam War and then continued on with the US Air Force until age 50 when he started a second career as a corporate pilot.
How old do you have to be to feel ready to live life without a Dad? Don’t get me wrong, I’m so grateful to have enjoyed him for 47 years and I know that some of us don’t get so lucky. But, I’m greedy and I wanted more. He has been such a powerful constant in my life. He was a great sounding board for problems and we often would just chat about recipes, bourbon, current events, and many other things. He loved running and getting up early. He loved coffee and tea. He loved doing his own house projects and doing yard work. He appreciated almost all food and always was the first to compliment you on your meals. He loved every gift we gave him for his birthdays, Christmas, or Father’s Day.
My Dad was the oldest of three boys and as the story goes, kind of unprepared to be a father to a baby girl. The joke was on him because he went on to have two more girls and no boys! He had to play with dolls and learn to fix our hair. My Dad loved to talk about how I mispronounced words and continued to imitate my words for 47 years. He loved to talk about how I loved his bean soup as a baby. I get my good memory from him and in his words we both have “a mind like a steel trap.”
When all the stuff about Title Nine came out I honestly didn’t get the fuss. My Dad was the reason for this. He always made me feel that I could do and be anything I wanted in life – gender not being a deterrent. He told me I was smart and funny and talented and I believed him. This never changed throughout my life. Some powerful statements he make have always stuck with me. When I was feeling that I was spread thin and not able to be the best teacher I could be, he told me that my average day was someone else’s best day. When I announced I was pregnant with twins he told me he didn’t know anyone else better equipped to handle twins.
My Dad led a good life and it was a long life of 76 years. I want him to feel peace that he leaves behind a legacy of his three daughters, three sons-in-law, and nine grandchildren. He had a marriage of 53 years. His career was his passion and he got to do things that others only dream about. But, he loved his family most of all and truly was a “family man”.
We love you Dad and we will do our best to let you live on through us. Until we meet again.