June 3, 2009

A tribute to my Father - June 3rd, 2004

"If you want to keep your memories, you first have to live them." - Bob Dylan

It seems like only yesterday my Father and I were discussing current events or the neighbor’s dog. Then it happened. He told us he was going into the hospital for a minor bladder procedure. I think my Father wanted to believe that was all there was to it. Looking back, my entire family lived under this cloud of denial.

My Dad made it through the surgical procedure, and as the Urologist predicted, he came home within a week’s time. With some rest and my Mother’s loving care, he then brushed the dust from his boots, and continued living his retired lifestyle with my Mother. Everyday was another place for him to visit, whether it was the County Library where he so kindly brought the Librarians’ candy, or to the country club to hit a few rounds, and joke with his golf associates. It was obvious to us he was glad to have his family around him, and it was priceless to have him with us.

It wasn’t long before the tumors grew back, and this time with a vengeance. No one could deny the inevitable. My Father’s time was coming to a close. How do you deal with that ocean of truth staring at you?

One day, when I was driving my Father home from a hospital visit, he said to me “I love the quote on that car’s bumper-sticker…when words fail, music speaks.” At that moment, he was reading poetry. He did not have many words to say thereafter. The cancer was draining his body, and he was slowly slipping away. I held his hand whenever possible, and thanked him for being such a great Father, and for giving us a wonderful home life.

Early one morning on June 3, 2004 when he was ready,(his age was 81),he stepped out of his body, and moved onto his new path. I believe the warm light he must have seen and felt was the love of God, and that of his Mother and other loved ones already on the other side.

Although I miss my Father with words I can’t accurately describe, I also understand it was his time to die. There are times when I hear his voice or see his smile while in a sleepy dream, and I know he is “somewhere” around me. It soothes the ache in my heart.

I have come to the realization that our lives consist of many chapters. The sun may shine in some of the chapters, and hide behind clouds in other chapters. All in all, it is part of life’s journey. It is the love for my Father to keep his legacy alive by sharing his stories with others, and letting the world know that a very kind and wonderful man once lived here.


  1. Kathy what a beautiful tribute to your father. As the tears stream down it doesn't matter how old we are, we will always be daddy's little girl and life becomes different once they move on and the heart aches.... Thank you for sharing. Sending many hugs and a special prayer your way. xoxo

  2. ....beautiful tribute indeed! And the quote is so true. I know exactly how it feels to hold someones hand as often as you can before they have to go (My grandparents who raised me)......I too keep them alive by telling my kids and husband about them. And I know they are here with me, guiding me....Love never dies, the body does. What a tribute, what a great daughter you truly are!!! XXX, Carmie.

  3. Gorgeous, articulate tribute to a wonderful man. My dad died 11 years ago on June 1st. Hard to believe it has been that long.

  4. So this tender rememberance in your words brought tears to my eyes. To share your father's life on this earthe with us is so kind of you. Never stop talking about him and you; start telling all sorts of tales, every moment you feel like it; then he will live on and be always with you till you meet again. He looks so kind in the photo.
    Be well
    Godeliva from Ariadone.

  5. Wow. Such a loving tribute. I lost my dad to cancer in June 2005 and I'm not sure I'll ever be able to accurately describe the loss either. I only hope to some day be at peace with it.

    Thinking of you today...

  6. Lovely thoughts and words for your dad, Kathy. He sounds like a beautiful person who lived with grace and acceptance. My dad died almost fifteen years ago and although it still saddens me not to have him here, it's the happy, warm and funny moments that I try to recall everyday.
    Thank you for sharing this memory.


  7. Oh, I am sure I would have loved to hang out with your Dad... candy and poetry....what a romantic!

    I lost both my Mom and Dad but feel them around me all the time, in the garden, when I am surrounded by my family, in my niece's smile...and when I need them the most. Your father is looking down on you smiling. How cute is he in that hat?! Sending you love and big hugs..and candy.

  8. Thank you all for your beautiful thoughts and sentiments.

  9. Kathy~ I'm so sorry for your loss. Loosing a parent is a huge void. A day doesn't go by that I wish I could mention a little something to my Mom or Dad. The memories keep them close. Lovely post here. I'm keeping you in my thoughts.

  10. Debra - thank you for your sentiments. It's been five long years, and I can't believe how quickly they have went by.

  11. Kathy, you are keeping your father alive in your loving heart and are so precious to share your
    touching memories with those of us who look forward to reading your thoughts each day. Many blessings to you and your family.

  12. What a lovely tribute to your father. He sounds like a wonderful man.

  13. I wanted to leave a comment earlier, but I had to step away and have a good cry as well as reach for a tissue.
    Such a sweet wonderful man - who raised a sweet daughter. There is no other love like that of a parent.
    Thank-you. My Father is 82, and married for 60 years to my Mom. We stand in awe each day of all they do, and all they impart not only to us, the 7 lucky children, but to every one who knows them.

  14. He sounds like a lovely man. Mine is still here, but every time I see him, he looks a little older, and I think from time to time that someday I will not have him.


Thanks for visiting.
~ Kathleen ~