Sunday, April 3, 2011
My Dad has died
The end came suddenly. Only five or so weeks ago, he went into a nursing home. Though his mind was clearly declining, his physical health was strong. What turned around so quickly we don't know. But we do know that he is gone. So soon, it's difficult to process. I can fill my mind with all manner of therapeutic insights, thinking of how he never wanted to live the way he did at the end, that he will be in peace, that we will not have to suffer along with him - all of these have their place. But there are moments when it hits me: He is gone. That's it. No more chances. No more looking for one last smile. That is done.
He was a wonderful Dad. Not perfect. But wonderful. A Depression era father, he exemplified that era. He didn't complain, he didn't expect handouts, he accepted things as they were. He worked hard for the pride in a job well done. And he put everyone else ahead of him. He helped build a strong marriage by thinking of his wife before himself. He helped build a strong family by putting his children above himself. And he built a strong sense of worth by thinking of others and helping others and being there for others, even at the expense of himself. And he lived according to a simple faith and a set of ethics that trumped his own whims and fancies. Traits that have long since been dismissed by our leading thinkers and intellectuals of the day. But in him, I can see how wrong we are, and how right they were. For by bucking the latest psychobabble about loving self above all things, Dad was everything I could ever have hoped a father would be. Again, not perfect. Nor did he feel the need to try to be perfect. He just did his best, and he did it for us. And for that, I'll miss him.
So thanks for all the memories, the love, the hard work, the sacrifices. Thanks, Dad, that you simply worked your life to make sure we would have a better life than you did. May you find peace and comfort in the arms of Our Lord. St. Francis, pray for him. And I ask that God bless you, keep you, and let His perpetual light shine upon you. I'll miss you Dad. I love you. Goodbye for now.