Wednesday, December 28, 2016

My Dad--April 9, 1935-December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve, my dad passed away. He was a rancher/farmer who lived a mountain pass and about 120 miles from my driveway. The drive would take about two and a half hours. . .depending on the weather and the traffic.
My dad reading the label on his quilt
In honor of my dad's 80th birthday in 2015, I stitched him Dad's Stars. Last August, medical staff determined that his bladder cancer had returned. His lung and heart conditions prevented him from having surgery, radiation or chemotherapy. He opted to go into hospice care at home. He was unable to walk or stand which bugged him because he led an active life. (His hobbies were hunting, fishing, trapshooting and playing cribbage.)

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.






16 comments:

  1. Oh Terry I'm so sorry for your loss! My prayers and condolences for your family.

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  2. Dear Terry, What a wonderful man he must have been (be..for I believe his soul is still alive). Hugs and prayers for you and all who loved him. Perhaps he'll meet my mom and dad there and they can talk about their daughters' quilts. Love, BJ

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    1. BJ, that would be a hoot for your parents to meet my dad. Although, they would be wondering about their daughter's friend!

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  3. Oh, I am sorry to read this, Terry. But it really does sound like events conspired to make sure you had that one great last visit and conversation. I know he will always be with you, and maybe give you a little help with your quilts now and then! Take care, and don't worry about the blog for a while.

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    1. Monica, I'm understanding that we all grieve in our own ways and my current project has so much repetition that it is good for the brain to be idle at times. Thanks!

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  4. Beautifully written. He is proud, once again, of his little girl!

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  5. I'm so sorry for your loss! It's always hard to lose a parent. I'm so glad that you got that extra time with him and were able to create more and more memories. You are in my thoughts and heart!

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    1. Nancy, thanks. The memories are in my heart and head. I am thankful for the time we had together.

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  6. so happy for you that you had that last visit with him and were able to share time to-gether x

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    1. It was a special last visit, Diane. I'm glad we were able to do it.

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  7. Terry,
    I am so sorry for your loss. How blessed you were to visit with him on the 23rd. He sounds as if he was quite a man. My dad passed when I was twenty-three, but his example and spirit still guide my life.

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    1. Janice, it was a blessing to have had our visit and our almost daily chat. He was so full of fun. His spirit will last me for the rest of my life. Thank you for your comment.

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  8. Papa sure liked that quilt and definitely liked playing...anything! Always after a good time and had time for any adventure. Something we can all learn from to make time for people and fun.

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    1. He did love that quilt and he could play anything. . .from cards to tractors. . .it didn't matter. He could make and did make a game out of everything. He truly played his way through life!

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