Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My Beautiful Dad

Sunday was my birthday, and I got to spend it holding the hand of my beautiful dad.  The following day, yesterday, he slipped peacefully away surrounded by people who love him.  He was larger than life, with a voice that was warm and rich and full of magic.  He lived 86 adventure-packed years, the last 58 of them married to my mom.  He was a pro ball player (a 'Roughie'), a ski racer, a coach of almost everything, but above all a family man.  He was always there for all of us; would quit a job if it created a conflict with some event we wanted him at, would drive across the country to pick us up at the drop of a hat if we needed him to (not theoretic, factual).   He loved his wife, his kids and his grandkids to a fault, and we loved him back with the same ferocity.

It's hard saying good-bye, but what I think makes it easier is the fact that he left nothing on the table.  There's no void he forgot to fill for us, no question about how he felt, no lingering need to resolve something or have him acknowledge or offer support.  He was there for us full stop.  He thought we could do anything, and he'd tell anyone who stopped long enough to listen.  He kept his dignity in his illness, and even on his very last day, after a panicked ambulance ride back to the hospital, he took the time to give a warm sympathetic smile to the nurse trying to take a blood sample from his failing veins.

He was a great man, and the best dad ever.

I did this sketch of him during the 'every day in may' challenge.  I thought many times of sketching him in this past month as he lay in his hospital bed (he was still beautiful even then), but that would have involved letting go of his hand, which I was not prepared to do.



Claire M said...

How special that you were able to be with your Dad at the end of his days - special for both of you. What a wonderful tribute you wrote about your father and your sketch is priceless. Blessings to you and your family as you remember your Dad.

Jeremy said...

I hope I can be a dad like him.

Paulo Duarte said...

Belos registos de momentos em "lugares".
Gostei muito.
Felecidades e continuação de bons momentos de inspiração.
Até Sempre.

Shirley said...

Such a beautiful tribute to your Dad. Your love is apparent in every word. May you carry with you these wonderful qualities and memories.

Pat O said...

A beautiful sharing and tribute to your Dad!

Jane said...

When It is Time

When it is time for your loved one to move on
It leaves a hole in that special part of your heart
Even though you knew it was happening
And it was time for them to depart

You conjure up all the memories
The laughter, the joy and the tears
Your mind replays those mutual moments
And you lose yourself in your fears

But to keep everything in perspective
And allow the Universe to prepare
Be assured that life truly goes on
The next step is just a move – not despair

There are new planes of existence to reach
New visions of life to unfold
The purpose of life as we know it
Is the story that so long has been told

We stay on this earth for a time
To learn what living is all about
Then we gather our memories and love
And carry them with us without doubt

When one lives in our wonderful world
They touch our soul our heart and our mind
And they never leave us completely
They are with us, forever intertwined.

Hugs from Jane

Capt Elaine Magliacane said...

My condolences to you and your family. It is hard to lose a parent... and girls and their Dads do have special connections I think. I lost my Dad quite a few years ago... reading about your Dad brought the memories and the tears flooding back. Thank you for sharing him with us.

Colleen Pope said...

So sorry for your loss. Thank you for acquainting us with your wonderful father. What an honor for him to be spoken of so lovingly by you. May God bless you all.

Donna Mulholland said...

I was looking up your blog to tell you that I received your book in the mail today and how thrilled I am with it ... but now that I'm here I see there are more important things to talk about.

What a lovely tribute to a wonderful Dad. Big, big hugs for you, Carol. XO


Tyanne said...

What a beautiful tribute to your day, a true example of love. My thoughts are with you and your family in this time of mourning and remembering

Carol C said...

I just found this post for your dad. I send you wishes for peaceful resolution--sounds like you are well on your way to that with a parent who left with no regrets, " There's no void he forgot to fill for us, no question about how he felt, no lingering need to resolve something or have him acknowledge or offer support. He was there for us full stop." What a wonderful eulogy for your dad and not one every parent can leave.

Carol C.

Sketchalina said...

Thank you all for your beautiful comments, and thanks Jane for the poem. Your love and support are greatly appreciated.

Sandy said...

Tears in my eyes, a life well lived.

Serena said...

I'm just catching up with blogs and I'm so sorry to read of your loss, Carol. Your Dad was obviously a very special and beautiful person and what a blessing that you were able to be with him in his last moments.

Anais said...

What a beautiful tribute to your fantastic Dad... and my condolences for you and your family.
I'm sure he is feeling your eternal love for him, Carol...
A big hug