On June 17, 2013, the day after Father's Day, my Dad was lost to earth to join Jesus in heaven.
At 91, in the hours before his death, he was humble, brave, grateful and teaching his children a lesson; how to die with dignity.
Please and thank yous were uttered to his caregivers at the nursing home and apologies for being human to those who cleaned him.
He prayed with us as he did when he taught us as children, only he listened mostly, as he was out of breath. Saying I love you in those last days often and more than most times, teaching us we don't say it often enough. That is why we are here, after all, to love; to love God and Jesus Christ and to show it through our love for each other.
The hand-holding and patting and comfort measures were all we could do, God was at work. Each of his children in their own world of thought.
I was remembering childhood times (I am sure my siblings were, too) and recent times just before Mom's death and after. His care and love for her in her last years of life with Alzheimer's Disease was admirable for any man, but, Dad had Macular Degeneration making him primarily blind. A loving, caring husband for better or worse -- he lived those words at the end of her life and he didn't mind.
I will always be a hockey fan because of him. But I will never know who went from one team to another or how much they weigh and how tall they are as he did. The Bruins lost a very knowledgeable lifelong fan.
On the whole he was a quiet, truly a good man with few words. He loved completely and quietly. Love is one of the freebies of life. What we do with this freebie of love in between our birth and death dates, is up to us. Dad was generous with his and I am grateful.
Thank you, Dad, for all your life lessons and your examples at your death! God worked slower than I was praying for that last day, teaching me it is in His time and on His terms, not mine.
Thank you, God, for my Dad.