|My dad reading the label on his quilt|
I appreciate the care his wife provided as she was the motivating force for me being able to visit with him for a couple more years. His long term memory stayed sharp. I enjoyed our evening phone conversations between seven and eight.
My DH and I surprised him on Friday, December 23, showing up on his doorstep for coffee and a cookie. He said the visit was the best Christmas gift we could give him. We visited; then we headed home. We had planned to make the trip Christmas morning; but, the weather report was looking like chains required to get over the mountain pass with heavy snow fall so we decided to go earlier.
Christmas eve day about lunch time, we chatted again. I called earlier that day because I knew that my family would be celebrating with him and I knew he would be busy. During our conversation, he let me know that his quilt was still nice and warm. He told me that he was glad I had an activity that I enjoyed so much. He said he liked trap shooting that way; but, he didn't do it but on the weekends and over time he collected a number of guns that he didn't use all that often. He thought I was smart to pick an activity I could do every day as well as have enough machines to get the job done. He sort of understood the time it took to make a quilt when I involved him in the process of making him his quilt. Although, he would look at a block and ask how long it took me to quilt it, then shake his head at my answer. His response meant, he had a crazy daughter!
Christmas was one of his favorite times of the year. The season, for him, always began when decorating the fresh tree commenced. He liked tinsel on the tree, added one strand at a time and thick! Christmas morning, he was so excited to see what Santa had left everyone under the tree and delighted in package unwrapping because there were new toys and games to play. He didn't care if it was a top for the toddler, a train set for the first grader or a basketball for a middle schooler. All toys had to be "tested!" He remained the oldest "kid" when it came to Christmas joy.
His wife called us at 11:25PM Christmas eve to let us know that he had passed. I guess he decided that he had some deliveries to make himself and couldn't stick around to greet Santa after all.
I appreciated all of our visits, I left nothing unsaid. Monday, I wrote his obituary. It will appear in his local paper soon. Service arrangements and a celebration of his life are pending. I won't be surprised if both are held in March in conjunction with an event he established 15 years ago in the memory of a friend.
Today, I worked and shared his passing with one person. I didn't realize how difficult it was to say the words!
Love you, Dad!
Quilting will wait.