Monday, January 27, 2014

My Daddy

This post was really hard for me to write, but it was also very important for me to write. To my family who are reading this, it will probably make you cry, so I would recommend waiting until you are somewhere private and have Kleenex on hand. 

On Tuesday, December 10th, 2013, my Dad took his last breath and slipped away to heaven. He was surrounded by his family and we were all able to say our goodbyes, but it doesn't make it hurt any less.

Daddy and me (1990)
Dad's health had been declining for a while now and he was diagnosed with Lewy Body Disease a couple years back. It was hard on all of us to see his body failing him and to see him struggle with the changes this disease brought. But he was still very much my Dad. He was still thoughtful, hardworking, loving, caring and funny.

Thanksgiving 2012
He was admitted into the hospital with pneumonia on December 6th and we got the call the next day that he didn't want antibiotics and that we should come. While I knew that I would eventually get a call like that, nothing really actually prepares you for it. Dan and I were at a hockey game and I had left the arena to take the call, knowing deep down what my sister was going to say. Before I said goodbye, she held the phone up to Dad's ear and I got to tell him that I loved him. We were back home, packed and out the door in an hour flat. The seven hour drive to Quebec was a hard one but fortunately the roads were good and we made good time.

And so began the longest week of my life. Waiting for someone to die is a lot harder than I ever thought it would be. Watching someone die is even harder. And after they are gone is a whole other ball game.

1992 (maybe)
We were so lucky to be surrounded by family and friends. Cards, meals and phone calls poured in that week and we could feel the love and prayers of many, close and far. We spent hours and hours going through photo albums, finding pictures of Dad for a slideshow at the funeral. It was a hard week but it was a good week.

The best Dad ever (1990)
His funeral was the perfect celebration of his life, with songs he loved, poems he always quoted and memories from many people he had impacted. We even ended it with a maple syrup toast while listening to Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash. It was very much "him".

Licking maple syrup off a spoon (1980)
It's strange to think that he is gone. I find I keep referring to him like he's still here, thinking of when we'll see him next, imagining him sitting in his wheelchair, asking for something sweet like chocolate or pie, telling me he loves me and is proud of me, making some joke that all of us kids laugh at while mom has no idea what is so funny. He lived a good full life and we miss him so much, but we know he is in a better place. And he finally got to meet four more of his precious grandchildren.

I love you Daddy.

1929-2013

8 comments:

  1. A very touching post. Thank you for sharing this story about your Dad. :)

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  2. Lovely post Jenn. Hope those memories stay with you the rest of your life.

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  3. Thanks for sharing--a great tribute to your dad :)

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  4. Hold on to your memories. They are so precious.

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  5. Beautiful post Jennie. Everyone who was fortunate enough to have come in contact with your father was truly blessed. He had a wonderful habit of making everyone near him smile and laugh, even in the last few years when was sick. Love you, keeping you all in my prayers <3

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  6. Oh the Kleenex is so needed. So many memories. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. Oh, love--this is just a beautiful, beautiful tribute to your dad. What an honor and a privilege for me to get to "know" him a little through your words and through your celebration of his life.

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  8. Beautiful post, Jenn. What great pictures. Thank you for sharing.

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