It’s been four years today since my dad died. Sometimes the only thing I can tell myself is that the reason the grief is so deep is because I was blessed to have such an amazing dad.
A dad who showed us the value of working hard. I hated every second of digging those weeds out of the sidewalk with a butter knife. And every morning at 5:30 for a few years of my life, he would wake up with me and we would walk my paper route together. Showing that hard work is hard work – so shut up and get it done.
A dad who showed grace and mercy. I failed a class my first year of college. I had never gotten an F in my life before. I was so afraid to show him, but when I did, he comforted me instead of lecturing and said, that’s okay, I got bad grades my first year too. It’s a time of adjustment. Now you know what’s going on, go get better grades.
A dad who – when I came up with my new obsessions – showed an interest and asked questions and truly wanted to know what we were interested in. Usually for the two of us, it involved music. He and I would discover a new song and we’d listen to it over and over again.
A dad who – after I got married – never ever stepped into our decisions or told us we were morons for our choices. He said, our relationship is different now and you’re his responsibility and I will treat you as a friend and I will not give you advice. I remember once laughing at him, saying, Dad, really…I won’t take it as you imposing on our marriage, just tell me – Maytag or Whirlpool?
A dad who taught us to have a sense of humor about it all.
A dad who put up with people of all sorts and showed extreme…read that – EXTREME patience and grace to those around him. Including me.
A dad who demonstrated his love with actions and words. He held our hands those last days in the hospital and told us he loved us. I remember standing beside him, seeing that his heart was giving out and telling him it was okay for him to go.
I’ve always wanted to take those words back.
Grandpa with a newborn SuperBoy
DEATH be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for, thou art not so,
For, those, whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and souls delivery.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy, or charms can make us sleep as well,
And better then thy stroke; why swell’st thou then;
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.