Tuesday, May 08, 2007
On Wednesday May 2nd, 2007 the most amazing person I have ever known passed away. Some of you already know this, and I appreciate all the love and support you have given me through this terrible time. For those of you that don't know, in February my Father was diagnosed with colon cancer. We were given every reason to hope for the best and that he would have many more years with us. However this is not how things turned out. It seems my Dad had a very exotic and aggressive form of cancer and with 6 weeks of treatment he was gone. SO instead of listing the details on what all has transpired that ended with me losing my Father I will tell you more about the person he was.
My very earliest memories of my Dad are from when I was very young. Every night after dinner my brothers and I would all pile around his chair and he would read us stories. Sometimes we would bring the same book over and over and Dad always read them to us. Sometimes he would try to skip pages and we would always catch him and insist that he read the whole thing. It was always a special time and we all looked forward to this nightly ritual with Daddy. I don't know when this stopped but I am a little sad now when I think about it that we didn't make the time last longer. I know he must have been sad when we grew to old to have him read to us.
Dad worked a lot of hours and worked very hard. He loved his job and he was very good at it. A lot of men like this would get lost in their work and forget how important their family is. No my Dad. He would rush home and help coach my brothers football teams. He never missed a game. He made us feel good about ourselves even though there were always kids that were a lot better athletes. I guess I didn't realize at the time that this wasn't normal but now I know there were a lot of kids involved in our activities but very few parents. I am so lucky to have grown up with the kind of parents that were a part of our activities.
Of all the lessons that my Dad has ever taught me, the most valuable is love. Dad didn't grow up in the kind of family that said I love you. They didn't show their love very much and you were never quite sure how they felt about you. Dad made it a priority that his house would be different. Everyday he told us all how much he loved us. I never doubted my relationship with him even when I had been in the wrong. The worst possible punishment from this man came in sentences like this, "Karin I will always love you, but right now I am so disappointed in what you have done." With that my world would crash and I would do everything in my power to not ever hear those words again. I think though that more important than how he loved us his children was how he loved my Mom. You could always tell how much he cared and thought about her. She was the most brilliant, beautiful, and caring woman in the world to him and his eyes danced when she entered a room. The love between them was a force of nature and it made all around them thirst for a piece of their happiness. They taught us that you choose love everyday and that marriage is forever. I knew that I had met the man of my dreams when I saw in him what I had always seen in my Fathers eyes. A love like that is worth waiting for and I hope that in 42 years we will still have the same look that was still in my Father's eyes. In the last moments of Dad's life all others that were in the room melted away but he still watched her every move. He no longer heard any of the rest of us but Mom he hung onto. He fought with every fiber of his being to keep breathing for her sake and the moment she told him it was ok to leave he took two more gasps and then left this world. You knew in that moment he would have kept trying to stay if only for her sake. As painful as that was I knew I was watching something rare and beautiful. Thank you Dad for always showing me what love was.
Dad longed to be a grandparent and to see his children receive the blessings he felt that we had given him. While he had 4 adopted grandchildren he was excited to have one made from scratch. When Brad and I found out we were pregnant I could not wait to share the news with him. He was so happy and being able to make his dream come true was one of the happiest days of my life. Today we were told for sure that it is a boy, Elijah and the news was bittersweet. I am so happy to be having a healthy baby boy, but sad that Dad will not be here to hold his grandson. I am so glad though now that we didn't wait to get pregnant and that Dad did know that he had a grand baby on the way. For now that has to be enough. I know that Dad is watching over us and showing Elijah the ropes. He is making sure that he is cared for and gets here safely. I wish that this was enough for me, but the truth is I would rather have him here.
I love you Daddy, I miss you. Thank you for being more than I could ever hope for.