INTO THE MAELSTOM
My father died yesterday.
It was unexpected, and I've done nothing but cry. I don't know what to do. He told me last week, before his operation, if anything were to happen I was to take care of things. And now, my sisters Kathy & Marge are in Florida dealing with all the arrangements, my mom, the dogs, and I'm stuck until I can get down there, without anything to do, without any way to make things right. Because nothing is right. My father is dead.
Dad was the strongest man I have ever known. Not just physically, which he was, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. He could do anything. Seriously. And if he couldn't he'd not only find out how to, but how to improve upon it.
I gained my love of learning, research, debate and tact, as well at tactic, from him.
He taught me to always question, always try harder, and always look for more.
He taught me to never follow the crowd, and always be a leader, even if its only for yourself.
He taught me to believe in God, and know that we are but a small part of this world.
He taught me the value of romance by always doing that little extra special, unexpected thing for my mom...whether it was just a note to say I love you, a diamond ring, or as she has become weaker, doing her makeup, it was always about showing her that she was the love of his life.
He taught me the value of conditional love.
My father is dead. I'm passed the crying. I'm passed the first step of anger. Now I'm in a daze. I can't believe it. When ever I've ever felt confused, or frightened, or sad, I'd call Dad. He'd either give me sound advice (whether I wanted it or not) or a huge hug.
"Make me proud of you kid," he'd say. "Make yourself proud of you."
Tail-end Charlie...that was his nickname for me...the eighth child...the baby...the one he said was more like him than any other. I'm proud to be like him. He was a wonderful, smart man. A loving father. A devoted husband. I can't believe he's not here...though I'm sure he's in Heaven, playing with the dogs, playing golf or fishing with Jesus...in his underwear.
Te Amo. Ich libe dich. Auf Wiedersehen.