Tuesday, December 01, 2009

At Peace

He left quietly this morning, before sunrise. Peacefully, and alone, he came to the end of his eighty-four years.

I won’t remember his nursing home years, nor will I remember how difficult it was for me to smile and say, “Hi Dad! How are ya?”, when my heart was breaking so hard for this man who once really knew me. I won’t remember his decline of over a decade, his palsied body, and his loss of all dignity and quality of life in recent years.

I’ll remember when we sang together and danced.

I’ll remember him behind his guitar and piano.

I’ll remember him as my cheerleader – the man who encouraged me to take that driving test once again and promised me the third time would be a charm. And it was. Beyond the outdoor driving course, behind a tall chain link fence, he stood atop a red brick wall to watch me drive his big, white Impala. I can see him right now as if it were yesterday, a young father, proud of his little girl making her own way. If the driving instructor said anything to me at all, I don’t remember, but I did hear my Dad, loudly and clearly, clapping, hooting, and hollering with delight, across the way, atop that red brick wall.


DSCF2352

When I was small and he was young.

When I was Daddy’s little girl.

He could turn my frown upside down, even when I resisted.

That’s who I’ll keep loving.

66 comments:

Susan Gets Native said...

Oh, Mary....
I love you.

Beth in NYC said...

Mary, I'm so sorry for your loss! I know how awful it is to lose your beloved father. My thoughts are with you. {hugs}

NatureWoman said...

Oh Mary, I am so sad for you, really, really sad. I am so sorry for you. You know I'm here for you. {{{HUGS}}}.

T.R. said...

Big hugs Mary to get you through this transition. And now he is free of those earthly shackles. Much love.

Bill of the Birds said...

So sorry for you, Mary.

Your tribute to your dad describes so beautifully what all fathers aspire to be in their childrens' eyes.

nina at Nature Remains. said...

Mary, sweet Mary,
Even when we know the time is soon, even when we know the time is right, we wish there were some other way.

May you recall those happy memories often.

xoxo

Susan said...

Dads define us. In ways large and small. Your wedding photo says it all..and it's a very loving, caring definition of a Dad. I'm sorry for your loss Mary.

RuthieJ said...

Oh Sweet Mary, I'm so, so sorry. I know the last few years have been difficult for you, but he'll always be your daddy and you have such wonderful memories to treasure forever. Love and hugs from Minnesota!

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I'm so sorry sweet May. You are in my prayers tonight.

Julie Zickefoose said...

I lost my dad in sort of the same way...a long goodbye. And fifteen years later, I remember him as he was, as he would want to be remembered, and he speaks to me every day. I wish that for you.
Love you very much. Such a beautiful image, such beautiful writing.

Julie

Laurie said...

I am sorry, Mary. I know how hard it is to lose a beloved parent. I am glad that my daddy was there to welcome your daddy home.

I love you,
Laurie

LauraHinNJ said...

Yes Mary... you'll keep loving.

Thinking of you tonight and sending sad hugs from a million miles away.

Ruth said...

A beautiful, beautiful tribute. I hope somewhere he sees it... I am not sad for your dad, but mourn your loss.

dAwN said...

What a wonderful tribute Mary! Hugs to you!

Murr Brewster said...

I think he did everything right. You're his very proof. I can't always tell the difference between love and pain. You've put a stone in my throat, and my thoughts are with you.

Pete said...

ever so sorry Mary.

I think you have it right remember them as they were and always will be in your heart.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Oh Mary, this makes me so sad for you. Glad that your Dad is finally at Peace. ((Hugs))

Jayne said...

Oh ((((Mary)))). We know he is finally at peace. May light perpetual shine upon him and may God's peace and love surround you my friend...

A New England Life said...

I've been thinking about your dad Mary, wondering how he was doing, yet I didn't send that email to ask. I apologize. Sometimes we always think there is more time, and there isn't.

Glad he is no longer struggling with the loss of dignity, memory, and a fulfilled life. It has to be an awful feeling to watch your parent go through the final years not even knowing who they are.

Sending you a big hug and warm thoughts. May this moment bring both of you some peace.

Wonderful photo of you and your father on your wedding day.

Sharon

avalon said...

Hope you do not mind me commenting on this sad time. Came through petes blog!
So sorry for your loss. He seemed a wonderful person. I know what you are going through as i lost my mother this year . Sending my thoughts to you and your family.

Beth said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you, dear friend. Much love and hugs as you deal with your grief. I know your Dad is watching you from above, bragging to all the other angels about you.

Beth

The Riverbum said...

So sad for your loss, but what a beautiful blog posting.

jason said...

Beautiful tribute, Mary. I'm so sorry... But it sounds to me like perhaps the suffering has ended, and that seems more important than the sense of loss.

My thoughts are with you. Please don't hesitate to reach out.

Toni said...

Mary, I'm so sorry for your loss. Will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. sending mega hugs and love.

Anonymous said...

Aren't Dad's wonderful. Even after almost two years I still want to pick up the phone to tell mine about a book or TV show I know would interest him. Or call to tease him about the weather getting colder and the snow falling when he wasn't going to Florida for another week. His health also suffered during the last year of his life. I can't forget that year but the memories that shine through are the times before that.
Hold dear to your memories of your Dad. They will bring you comfort and make you smile throught the tears.
You are in my thougts and prayers Mary.
Your Michigan friend from facebook. Lynda

possumlady said...

Mary, I'm SO sorry for you but so happy for your dad. As TR said, he is now free of those earthly shackles and is now reunited with your mom.

It's such a hard transition no matter how much it is anticipated. I lost my father when I was 24 and my mom when I was 45. I truly felt like a little orphan for a while.

You have your husband and daughter and all of us in blogland to lean on during these hard times. We are all here for you...

MObugs said...

Mary let me say I am so very sorry for your loss. It must be hard to say good-bye to a father who obviously was cherished and loved very much. I envy you...that you had such a close bond with your father, cherish the memories, it is far worse to have none.

Laurie and company said...

I'm sorry for your loss, Mary. Whatta dad you had!

God Bless you.

Laurie

Kerri said...

Oh Mary...I am very sorry! You are in my thoughts and prayers. I am so glad you have wonderful memories of your daddy! ((Hugs))

KGMom said...

Oh sweet sweet Mary--this is a blessing and a deep sorrow, all rolled up in one emotion.
It is hard thing to have a parent pass from this earth--most of us go through it. We grieve, we remember, we celebrate.
May it be so for you--grieve, remember, celebrate.

Heather said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, Mary, but it sounds like you have some wonderful memories of your dad that will live on and on in your heart and mind. I am sending you big, comforting hugs to you and your family across the miles.

Peg Silloway said...

Mary, as always, you have found a way to quietly, eloquently, express the emotions we all have or will have at the passing of a parent. Love and hugs to you and yours.

Susan said...

Mary, I'm so sorry for your loss.

Lori said...

Mary, I stumbled on your blog by accident, although nothing is really an accident with God. I am praying for you and for peace to envelope you at this time. I still have my Dad (he is 81) but time is short so I am calling him right now....

Caroline said...

May he rest in peace, and may you find peace in your memories.

Beth said...

What a beautiful, honest and heart-felt post. You do such honor to your father.

Prayers going out for you today. I am so sorry for your loss.

Hugs to you, dear one.

gretchen said...

Sending lots of love and prayers to you, Mary. The heart remembers most what it has loved best. Your dad will forever be in your heart.
hugs,
gretchen

nikkipolani said...

Mary, thank you for sharing this bittersweet moment with such honesty. I hope I will have as much grace when it's my turn to lose my parents.

Rose said...

I am so sorry for your loss, Mary. This is such a loving tribute to your father--these are the memories you want to hold on to.
Thinking of you,
Rose

Cindie U. said...

A lovely tribute.
You'll be in my thoughts.

jane augenstein said...

Oh, Mary, what a beautiful picture! I read your post with tears in my eyes. I am so very sorry for your loss.

jemkagily said...

Dear Mary, I am so sad for you. May the pain pass quickly but the happy memories stay forever. {{{Hugs}}} to you, my tender-hearted friend.

Wendi

Wendy said...

Aww, Mary, what a beautiful man, both inside and out. That is a dear picture of him.

So sorry his last years were awful. I remember finding "you" (your blog) after one of your trips to his nursing home. You had taken such beautiful pics of a sunset.

May your dear Dad rest in peace. Holding you both in my heart.
Love and Light

merrilymarylee said...

I know this has been such a hard, gut-wrenching period--to visit the man who raised you, yet no longer recognized you.

The loss of someone who loved you for all of your life is so hard.

Hugs. I'm thinking of you with a lump in my throat.

merrilymarylee said...

PS. That picture. . . oh my goodness.

dugfresh said...

i'm so sorry for your loss. words escape me. just know my thoughts are with you.

you did him great justice with your words and that beautiful photo. he had to have been so proud to have a daughter like you.

jalynn01 said...

Your words were beautiful and I must admit brought a tear to my eye. I will soon go down this path with my dad...he is 84 and I am his care giver. Your memories and your wedding picture is just so tender and speaks volumes by themselves...I pray for God to give you comfort. While they pass into eternity we live on.

Iris said...

Mary, I'm so sorry about your dad. I hope you find comfort knowing that we're all out here thinking of you and hoping you're doing well.

NCmountainwoman said...

Oh, Mary. You know I will keep thinking about you. Your wonderful attitude will serve you well...remembering the wonderful times and the man he was for so long. Let yourself grieve and cry and smile. We all love you.

Balisha said...

From one daddie's little girl to another...I feel your pain. Hugs, Balisha

Q said...

Dear Mary,
As you and your family lay your Dad to rest know you are a wonderful daughter.
He loves you so very much. He never walked alone. Even when you were not holding his hand you were holding his heart.
May you remember his smile
May you remember his laugh
May you always know his love.
Namaste,
Sherry

Wren said...

I am so sorry, Mary. My thoughts are with you, and others in your family.

Angie said...

What a beautiful way to move from one life to another. Sending quilted hugs to wrap you in as you remember...

Gail said...

Mary, That was a beautiful post and I am so very sorry that you lost your father. gail

Appalachian Lady said...

A lovely post--very fitting for your father. He was a wonderful father.

Christina said...

When I think of my Father, it is how he was when he lived in a Nursing Facility until his death! He too died alone & I was the contact the Nursing Home called thinking I lived with my Mother which I did not! My Father died from pneumonia, complications from suffering Alzheimer's disease! Once a vibrant man whom no longer could dress or feed himself - my Mother & I spent most of our time with him during those almost 2 & 1/2 years!! But thankfully he remembered my Mother & told her 3 times he loved her & then when she helped the aids put him to bed for his nap, he never awoke!! My sympathy to you & your family

dguzman said...

Mary, I'm very late, but please know you're in my thoughts. I'm so sorry for your loss. Love you.

Mary C said...

Mary, my prayers are with you and your family. Like many of us who were "daddy's little girl" we will love and cherish more pleasant memories of years gone by.

Kathiesbirds said...

Mary, you made me smile and made me cry all at the same time. What a sweet post! I am so glad that you have such good memories of your father. I pray they carry you through the rest of your own life. Hugs from Arizona! I love that photo of you kissing him! He sounds like an amazing man and you are one amazing woman!

Jean said...

Oh, Mary, I'm so sorry. May Dad rest in peace and you lean on your loving memories of him.

Kim said...

Mary, I am so, so sorry for your loss. Take care ((Hugs))

Mel said...

Dearest Mary,
{{{hugs}}} {{{kisses}}}
This tribute shows the kind of person that you are, and I know he's in heaven smiling as he sees the awesome daughter that he raised, and feeling happy as he sees the love of the people that care about you.
{{{hugs}}} {{{kisses}}}
Mel

cmluvs2stamp said...

Such beautiful words to accompany that touching photo of you and your father. you don't know me, but I know your pain and am sorry for your loss.

Kathie said...

Oh Mary, I am so very sorry. Your post made me cry. It's just never, ever, easy.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Oh, Mary...I don't know how I missed this post of yours. I'm so sorry about your dad.

Having my mother-in-law in the end stages of Alzheimer's, I know it will be such a bittersweet time for us when her life ends. We don't want to see her suffer anymore, but the death of a loved one is always sad. As Julie said, it is a very long goodbye...

Cathy said...

Sweet Mary,

The snow is deep and soft around the house tonight.

I've remarked so often, this season, that Dickens' choice of winter for the Scrooge's hauntings was no accident.

It's a very inward time of year.

So I've turned to my neglected blogging friends for insight - for distraction.

But when I scrolled to your link - I'd admit a temerity.

I scrolled fast and furious to make sure I saw both the dog's names. Smiled, at their names and those unbelievable pictures.

Then I commented aloud to my husband as I scrolled past delight after delight . . . that your blog just makes me smile.

Then I found this post about your dad's death. I am so sorry.

Prior to dropping in on you - I'd just visited Journey to the Center wherein Bev talks about the pain of losing her husband.

Laura in New Jersey had left a comment there.

I followed her back to her blog and left two thoughts:

Life is filled with imponderable pain and beauty.

And don't don't don't visit my pathetic blog until I've earned the nod and the smile.

Sending love and hug,
Cathy