Yesterday morning my dad passed away. He got up at 4:30 to excercise, have his coffee and watch the news before he headed to the office – just like he did every morning. He died quietly on the couch at some point before 7:00. If he could have picked how he would pass, this is what he would have picked.
My dad was a great dad, husband and grandfather. I know that when people pass we tend to romanticize their life – I am well aware of the reality of my dad’s life – his strengths and his weaknesses. Even with that knowledge I can say my dad was a great man.
He had a tremendous capacity to love and forgive. As a teenager and young adult I know I brought him alot a heart ache and yet he loved me through all of that and he forgave me for it. He wasn’t much of a talker when there was emotion involved and the time I tried to actually ask for forgiveness for all I had done, his response was “That doesn’t matter. What matters is that we’re all good now.” It wasn’t just me, my younger sister had the same experience. Wow! I hope I can do that with my adult children.
I watched the way he loved and cared for his wife, my stepmom. I saw how their love matured and deepened over the years and when the tough times came – as they do in all marriages- I saw them grow even closer together. Truly inspirational.
My dad was also generous. He found great joy in giving to others. It wasn’t uncommon for him to text my younger sister (he loved to text!) and say “Hey, come over after work I have something for you.” When she would get there he’d have something that he found at Sam’s or HEB that he thought she’d like. It was usually some form of yummy food that she would not have bought for herself. Sometimes it was little things like that and sometimes it was big things like a deep sea fishing trip for his son in law, grandsons, son and nephew. A trip my boys will tell their children about!
My dad was resiliant. Not all of his dreams turned out like he thought they would. And when he failed, he would pick himself back up, dust himself off and move on to the next dream. He was a man of fortitude.
My dad had an incredible work ethic and an incredible play ethic. When he worked, he worked long and hard – like getting up at 4:30am every morning – and when he played, he played hard – like 60 hour fishing trips. My dad never did anything half way – he was pretty extreme.
My dad was a dreamer who wasn’t afraid to follow his dreams. He lived as if there were no tomorrow, he lived in the now. Because of that, he saw and did more things in his lifetime than most people will see or do in a hundred lifetimes.
We are going to miss my dad tremendously. No more calls just to tell me what he’s seeing outside of his office window that overlooks the bay, or that he ate too much ice cream and drank too much wine – but, oh, it was a great weekend it was,- or to ask if I want a cutting from one of his special plants that he cultivated from seed, or to tell me that that they want to come visit tomorrow.
I wish I would have gotten to tell him goodbye and that I love him one last time. But I’m glad he passed the way he would have wanted.
I’m so glad that he was my dad!