No matter how much you think you are prepared for it you never can be. On January 18th, my dad passed away. Three years ago he was diagnosed with lymphomatoid granulomatosis and we have cherished every extra day together as a family.
I have thought of many things that I could write here. One thing I do want to say is how grateful I am for the love and support of my friends. Your prayers held, and will hold me up as I discover what it means to grieve and process the loss of my dad.
I decided to ease back into blogging with something I have already written. Below this photo are the words which I shared at my dad’s funeral. I will have more thoughts to share soon, I am sure. But for now I will begin with these words of remembrance:
“As I look around the room, I see my dad in each person who knew him. He touched each of our lives in a different way. As we gather together we form a portrait of my dad like a mosaic made from many small pictures. I would like to offer you a few of my memories to add another tile to the picture of who my dad was to me.
As a child he taught us not only how to tie our shoes, but to my mom’s dismay, also how to play with our food and belch like champions. One of my fondest memories is ice fishing with my dad up at Lake Winnepesaukee. I would watch in awe as my dad chose various pieces of equipment that were a mix of old and new. I looked on as his hands seem to work on autopilot setting up hooks and lines that seemed an extension of himself. They were old friends that had been through the coldest of days with him. A flag would go up and we would all run with excitement to find out what was on the end of the line. He loved the anticipation of pulling the line through the icy water to reveal the illusive catch of the day. I will carry with me his feeling of joy and wonder out there on the ice. It was a joy to share in his joy. It was exciting to share in his excitement. Whether it was fishing, skiing or woodworking in the basement, his passion for these things was contagious.
As an adult, my understanding and love for my dad has been enriched and deepened. I grew up to know him as a man of courageous resolve who felt deeply about becoming the man that he wanted to be. He took on and accepted the challenges that life brought him, even the ones that he took on himself. Because of his willingness to take on those challenges, as well as look himself honestly in the mirror, he is one of the bravest men that I know.
Countless times I have told my dad how much I appreciate his and my mom’s tenacious commitment to their marriage and each other. As a married woman, I am so blessed to grow up with such an example of: for better or for worse, in sickness and in health. They taught me that marriage is work, but it is a work that produces vulnerability, closeness, healing and love. Like iron sharpens iron, my mom and dad are better because they have been together and shared a love that was honest and steadfast. I know that their example will continue to enrich my marriage.
As we share our memories of my dad, today and in the future, we add color to his portrait, but may we also allow his memory to add a tile to our lives as well.”