It’s been a year

A year ago I lost my dad. And when I heard the news that he has passed I was devastated. He died on the morning of my 50th birthday.

My plans instantly changed and I made several trips to Fort Dodge and back. Working out the details of his obituary and planning a wake with the rest of my family in the area.

We had a great time at the wake. A lot of friends and family turned out for it. Stories circled around the room about many things dad had done in his 80+ years of life on this globe.

Dad would have loved the venue for his wake. The entire place was decorated with taxidermy mounts of all shapes and kinds. Taxidermy was one of the careers and hobbies dad had over the years of his life.

Dad was loved by many, and it showed. Siblings, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, friends, and others. He had touched their heart with his own.

He had his quirks, but then who doesn’t. Some came from his generation of course. He grew up in a very different time and place from today. But overall he was a good man. He loved his wife Kathy as if they were two teenagers. He had a great sense of humor. He knew how to show love and forgiveness.

Now we are at the one year anniversary since dad passed. We have the heart-felt loss tugging at us from time to time. We have the memories of our times together. We have the shared memories from friends and family.

He is missed. But he is also just around the corner from us. Just a moment of time is all that separates us from him. Talk to him like you always did, use your familiar name for him.

Carry his memory with a smile.

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Rest in Peace Dad

Yesterday was my 50th birthday. I was going to write a post reflecting on my half-century life. But I got a phone call yesterday morning telling me that my 83 year old dad had passed away.

My parents were divorced from one another by the time I was 2 years old. I never had much interaction with my dad while I was growing up. And a number of family members were always speaking ill of him. For a long time I believed those stories.

Somewhere along the line I learned that I actually looked like my dad the older I got. I thought that was interesting but never did much about it. Genetics after all will always play a part in your life.

When my grandfather passed away, my dad didn’t come to the funeral. I was upset by that and thought it was rather rude. At the time I didn’t know there was an unhealed rift between father and son which caused my dad to stay away from that family gathering.

Many years later, his older brother died suddenly and without any warning. I felt a call to reach out to my dad and heal that rift. Much like my own son did with his birth father. So I did reach out. I thought I had nothing to lose, if he didn’t want to talk to me then I wouldn’t have lost anything except a bit of time and a stamp.

My dad rejoiced at the re-connection of his youngest child. I learned a great number of things that I didn’t know about my family and my dad as well. It made sense out of a good number of events in life. I learned that I had a lot in common with my dad. It was a wonderful re-connection. One that I should have done a lot sooner but hindsight is always 20/20.

The last few years of being reconnected with my dad have been the best years of my life. I will treasure every moment I’ve spent with him and writing back and forth between those visits. I will also continue to reach out to his widow, Kathy, she is a sweetheart and one of the best things to have ever happened to my dad.

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Happy Father’s Day

Father’s Day. This day is set aside to honor Dad’s across the nation. So today I’ll give my blessing to all the Dads out there. Even the single mom’s who are doing double duty.

Being a Dad is a great honor and with it is a responsibility too. Raising children and being there for them is the most important job out there.

I myself am not a biological Dad., but I have helped, in part, to raise and be a Dad to 4 children who are all now young adults. With 2 of them, I didn’t have much influence during there younger years but I am here as they continue as adults. Able to give fatherly advise and council with love. With the other 2, I was there during the teenage years. I had the privilege of teaching one of them how to drive and I eagerly awaited a chance to teach the other as well. But his life was cut short in this world and I miss him dearly.

Growing up, I was mainly raised by a single mom who had to preform double duty. Circumstance beyond my control had my parents divorced while I was just a toddler. I too had a step-dad. He wasn’t the best, but he also wasn’t the worst either as they come.

Within the last couple of years I’ve reconnected with my own Dad. It has been a blessing. As an adult, having been married, been through a divorce, a death of a child, and being remarried and also being a Dad myself. I can understand the trails that took place in his life. We have a lot in common, my Dad and me. It amazes me all the time on those similarities. And I love my Dad and I am so happy that I can reach out to him.

So Happy Father’s Day to my own Dad, Ray. I am honored to have you in my life. And Happy Father’s Day to every other Dad out there doing their best every day for their children as well. It’s a tough road but well worth it.

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