A Tribute to My Father

He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it. – Clarence Budington Kellend

Today I come face to face with what I have thought I had been aware of most of my life….no one lives forever; it is appointed to us that every man must die. I know this is not something that we regularly speak of; it’s unpleasant and no one wants to dwell there. Of course, I have always known death as a fact of life…a detail tucked away along with thousands of other little pieces of information swimming around in my upstairs compartment, but that knowledge never hit home for me as much as it has today.

A Tribute to My Father :: Pure Grace Farms I received a call from my sister last evening that my father was in the hospital once again; this time for double pneumonia. This scene has been played out numerous times over the past few years in varying degrees and so I was not too overly concerned about it. My father being in the hospital was not new. It has happened before and everything would turn out fine this time too. He will get antibiotics, some much needed rest, and be up and about again in no time. The practical, detail oriented nurse in me quelled any worry; no need to panic. That was yesterday.

Today, in the light of day, the daughter of my father aches. Time here, is not a healer, and in my heart I begin to understand what all this means. The day is coming when my father will no longer be with me here on this earth. God will call him home, and while that will be a special moment for my father, the ones he leaves behind will mourn his passing. I am preparing my heart to let go and this is no easy task.

A Tribute to My Father :: Pure Grace Farms At this time the difficult moments trickle away like sand and all that comes to mind are those special moments we shared together. One of my favorite moments with my father, that helped to shape my love of adventure, was spent in a car barely large enough to fit our family of six. A few times a year, my father would have a hankering to see the brothers and sisters he left behind in Michigan when he settled down in California. A few days strung together, usually around the holiday’s, would find our car packed to the brim with my mother, father, and four kids, off on a road trip. The journey usually consisted of a 3 day non-stop drive, a few days visiting relatives, and a return 3 day drive home.

A Tribute to My Father :: Pure Grace Farms Being the youngest and smallest in the family I was usually relegated to the rear deck in the back of the car (the little area above the back seat of the car and below the window), or on a small pillow on top of the hard center console in the front seat. Seat belts, if you could even find them in the car, were just a suggestion, and in our family, at the time, never seriously considered.

A Tribute to My Father :: Pure Grace Farms As strange as this seating arrangement may seem to most of you, I viewed them as the best seats in the car. For one, I was able to stretch out and lay down in the back seat compartment window and no one else had such a luxury! Driving 3 days straight in a cramped car didn’t give much opportunity for a comfortable night’s sleep. Secondly, most of the time spent on the center console up front with my dad was in the middle of the night when everyone else was attempting to sleep; a peaceful and quiet time. I was the keeper of the thermos of hot coffee and it was my important job to help my father stay awake. Those moments of one on one time with him were precious to me and very rare. I treasured them immensely and still do. To this very day, 40 something years later, I think of those special moments when I am driving and the sun peaks up over the horizon.

A Tribute to My Father :: Pure Grace Farms Thanks dad for the way you worked hard to provide for your family as we were growing up. I never heard you complain about the work load; I just watched you go about doing what needed to be done. I understand now why you were absent so often. You were busy providing for our needs. 

A Tribute to My Father :: Pure Grace Farms I can appreciate now the fierce loyalty you showed to your wife and our mother. The example you set for me to follow is an excellent one that I didn’t always understand. You lived out allegiance and left its path for me to follow. I am grateful.

I remember your kindness today….the ready and willing heart to help anyone who was in trouble or had a need. Your word was your bond and could always be depended on. I never had to worry when you made a commitment if you would keep it. The thing was always as good as done; a great testament to who you are.

A Tribute to My Father :: Pure Grace Farms I say all these things to you now dad, because I don’t want to waste another minute of this life in fear that you do not know how much I love, appreciate and respect you as a man and as my father. I have already waited far too long to tell you these important things.

You did good dad, you did good.

 

 

A Tribute to my Father shared with:

My life Abundant: Fabulous Fathers Day Favorites Party

Oh My Heartsie Girl: Monday Reflections

Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyholic: Finish the Sentence Friday

Comments

  1. says

    Shari,

    What a BEAUTIFUL tribute to your father! I truly loved reading it. I will be hitting the big 50 in a couple of months and dreading it everyday. Life just flew by. My dad raised me, my two brothers, and my sister. He too was a great dad, but I did not get to tell him that. He passed away at age 58. I was 24 years old and lived several hours from him. I was in denial that he was that sick. I loved seeing your old pictures. I treasure the ones I have of my dad.

    Blessings and thanks for sharing!
    Diane Roark

    • says

      Thanks Kristi, that is one of my favorite lines in the tribute too! I can barely read through the tribute without tearing up. I can’t imagine the day when he is no longer with me. I appreciate you coming by and taking a moment to share a comment.
      Blessings,
      Shari

    • says

      Thank you Kelly! I am glad you enjoyed it. Those of a certain age (not saying old or anything) remember what it was like to take long trips cross country, no seat belts…it’s a wonder we survived :) I appreciate you stopping in for a visit and taking a moment to leave a comment.
      Blessings,
      Shari

  2. says

    Sahri, I had tears in my eyes by the end and the photos really were a treat for me, too. I know truly how you feel and everyday I thank god for giving me more time to enjoy with my dad before the inevitable has to take place. Thank you so much for sharing this letter and your thoughts with us today. And Happy Father’s Day this weekend to your dad!
    Janine Huldie recently posted…Dear Dad…My Profile

    • says

      Thanks Janine. Time does go by so quickly and you never know whats around the corner. I am glad I have been able to tell my father how I felt while I was still able to. Have a wonderful weekend friend!

  3. says

    What a beautiful tribute! Thank you for the reminder that life is like a mist, we need to hold those we love close and tell them often how much they mean to us.
    Your road trips sound like they were great fun, travel and lots of time with family always does the heart good. :-)
    Rebekah recently posted…Daddy’s Favorite: Lemon Raspberry PieMy Profile

    • says

      What a beautiful way of putting it, “life is like a mist”…and wise to recognize that truth. Time goes by so swiftly. I am working hard at living in the moment. Thanks for stopping by.
      Blessings,
      Shari

  4. says

    Hi Shari, Your story is lovely to about your dad, as Kimberly mentioned, the pictures do tell the story. Such a lovely family!

    It does brings back memories of when I did the same, sleeping up in the window, I had the luxury of the whole back seat.

    I hope that your dad stays well for a very long time!!!
    Thank you for stopping by and sharing your post.
    Karren Haller recently posted…Marathon Monday Is New On Oh My Heartsie GirlMy Profile

    • says

      I hate to say it (cause I sound like my mom) but the younger generations don’t understand the sleeping in back seats and driving all-nighters. I miss those simpler days (now I really sound like my mom!) I appreciate you stopping in and taking a few moments to connect. It is always a pleasure! Blessings…Shari

    • says

      Thank you, Tammy. I am grateful for the time I have to spend with my father and the opportunity to tell him how I feel. I don’t think we can ever fully prepare for the day, but I am doing my best to not miss the moments! Blessings, Shari

  5. says

    Thank you for sharing your childhood memories and your Dad’s story. I’m very close to my father too so I can imagine the pain in your heart when faced the inevitable nature of our lives. I hope he’s better now.

    • says

      He is doing better Tarana, and I am grateful to have a little more time to spend with him. I appreciate you stopping in and taking a few moments to write a note. Blessings to you.

    • says

      Thanks Joanne. Glad you could stop in for a visit. So many fun stories, recipes and projects at Lewis Lane Design Party. I have enjoyed the opportunity to connect and meet new friends.

  6. says

    Those are beautiful words to your father Shari. You can see what a strong family bond you all had. It makes me reflect on all those kooky memories of my past with my dad, in our little Dodge Dart, with 4 girls in the back seat, on a long drive, with AM radio and dad smoking a stogie! It was normal times back then. Kind of makes you laugh. I am going to call him now! Thanks for sharing your wonderful memories. Hope he stays around much longer!

    • says

      Thanks Peggi. Hindsight is always wonderful. The things I thought so important growing up really weren’t important at all. My siblings and I turned out so different, but one undeniable thing we have in common is a loyalty, commitment, and love for our father. I hope to take advantage of the moments I have left with him, and leave no regrets on the table when he heads on home.

  7. says

    Oh, I know just how you feel! My dad went through a year of chemotherapy for lymphoma and beat it! Just when I thought I could let my guard down, he got lung cancer and died within 2 weeks of his diagnosis! I was so glad I got to spend some quality time with him, telling him how much he meant to me, before he passed!

    • says

      Yes Vickie, it is kind of bittersweet. Each time I look at the tribute I well up and emotions flood over me…I feel as if I am doing my grieving now. Maybe it won’t be so hard when the time actually comes; I’ll be better prepared. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

  8. says

    Awww…sitting here tearing up! What a beautiful tribute to your Dad. You write it well!

    Thanks for sharing something so personal!

    • says

      Thanks Bobbi. I love it when something that means so much to me is able to be conveyed and understood. Thanks for taking the time to visit and share. You made my day.

  9. says

    Beautiful tribute, Shari. Love the photo progression. Has been over 3 years since my Dad passed and I still miss him terribly. Look forward to that great reunion in heaven.

    • says

      Thanks Linda. I know it is going to be difficult; trying to prepare myself for when it comes. Hopefully, I can make good use of the times we have left. Blessings.

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