About 10 years ago I wrote something to my Dad for Father's Day. I happen to find it last week not knowing how much it would mean to me later in the week.
It's easy to remember good times when there are so many.
As a little girl I remember looking up at the tall, strong man holding my hand tightly as we walked. I remember how much I loved him and thought nobody was as lucky as me to have this love. I remember the patience it took to teach me so many things - how to canoe and drive the car. I know how easy it would have been to shoo that little girl out of the workshop but somehow, each time I came into the shop or stuck my head under the hood of the car with you, I was met with a smiling face that made me feel welcomed. All the questions were answered, and there were a lot.
Of course, I also remember being disciplined and not getting my way every time I wanted something. Now I know discipline is part of love, that we all need to learn lessons of life - happy and sad. I also know that love does not mean spoiling the child.
As I grew up, that tall, strong man was not as tall as I once thought but was strong in ways I'll never fully understand. I know I gave you more than a fair share of traumas; but because of you and Mom, I grew to become an adult who could love others and accept love. An adult who could look at the world and not be afraid to try. The best gifts anyone can give another are love, knowledge and a sense of self worth. Thank you for giving me these gifts and so many more. I love you now and forever!
Last Sunday I got a call from the hospital that Dad was in ER with an apparent heart attack. Later that day he was moved to their hospice care and on Thursday morning while I was with him he very peacefully and quietly breathed his last breathe on earth and went on to hold hands with Mom again. They were a couple that needed each other and I'm so glad they are back together again.