May 01

Heaviness

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My dad passed away early Saturday morning, April 28, 2012. For several years, he battled Alzheimer’s disease while physically remaining relatively healthy. But even though it made for a long good-bye, we’re grateful to have had that opportunity. My grief sneaks up on me and I haven’t fully given it to it yet. Most of the time, it’s a heaviness. But as I go through some of his things that I’ve had for years, I uncover little mysteries. He didn’t really keep anything from us — he was just incredibly quiet. When he retired from the military in his early 40’s, he went back to school. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Trade and Industrial Education when he was 52 years old. I came across his transcript last night while looking for something else and it told a story of a lot of dedication. Sure, I knew he was taking college classes all that time — even while he was teaching. He went in the evenings, on the weekends — and full time during the summer. But I didn’t realize what a long commitment it was. Yet he did it. He finished. And I think he would have gotten a chuckle out of my having waited almost as long as he did to go back to school.

One of the last things I remember him saying to me . . . when I was knitting these socks, “Is there anything you can’t do?” If I had known what I know now, I would have told him that I get that from him.

I miss my dad.

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33 comments

33 comments!!!

  1. Gail says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Janet. It’s always hard, no matter how much time you have to prepare. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  2. I am so sorry for your loss but I am so glad you had such a great father to love and love you back. I hope time brings you peace.

  3. Samantha says:

    I am so sorry for the loss of your father. I lost my dad when I was very young. Almost 29 years later, I still miss my dad but I am grateful that I have such happy memories of him. May the memories of your dad and the love of your family help give you strength to get through this difficult time.

  4. Janet, I’m so sorry for your loss! You will be in my thoughts.

  5. lori says:

    oh, i am so sorry that you lost your father, one of those great old-fashioned men who just did what had to be done, it sounds like. you’re lucky to share that trait with him, which i’m sure he knew. i know the characteristics my kids got from me, and even if they don’t ever tell me, i know they have them, and i cherish that. i hope you find all the comfort you need. sending a hug.

  6. SoKnitpicky says:

    You’ve written a wonderful tribute to your dad, and *you* are a wonderful tribute to your dad. Hugs.

  7. Mary says:

    Janet, I’m so sorry for your loss, but love that you loved him, and he loved you, and you have memories (to share). Thoughts of strength, and peace, and love. – Mary

  8. Sarah says:

    I am so terribly sorry for your loss.
    Thinking of you with prayers.

  9. carol says:

    Thinking of you…. you have indeed written a wonderful tribute to your dad.
    love to you,
    carol

  10. Andi says:

    Beautiful and well deserved tribute to a wonderful man. We all indeed now know where you get “it” from.
    My grandmother also had Alzheimers and it was so painful for us all to experience that with her. Although she has been gone for over a decade, the sneaking grief never goes away, but along with them comes the funny and loving memories.
    Sending you love and strength to help you with this tremendous loss. Love to you Janet.

  11. RoseRed says:

    What a lovely last thing for him to say to you,.

    I’m so sorry for your loss. My own dad died 6 years ago and every so often it hits me and I shed a few tears. Not as much as it used to, but I suspect it will always be so. What a great man he sounded. Hope you and all your family are doing ok.

  12. athena says:

    janet, i’m very sorry for your loss. your dad seems like he was a wonderful father and man.

  13. erin says:

    I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. This is a wonderful and inspirational memory of him, so glad you shared.

  14. Jill L says:

    I am so sorry……

  15. O-CHICA says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Nothing will fill the emptiness you have, but time will soften the edges. Thank you for sharing your precious memory of him. Great man.

  16. Brenda says:

    Janet, I am so so sorry. I can’t imagine what you’re going through, but know that I – and others – am thinking about you this week. Big hug, Brenda

  17. cauchy09 says:

    My thoughts are with you during this tough time.

  18. Stacey says:

    I’m so sorry Janet. ((hugs))

  19. Sallie says:

    Heaviness describes it very well. I, too, have that after my Mom’s passing. It does help to think of the good times and the positive things. Much love to you, Janet, in this time of mourning.

  20. Jerri says:

    But on a lighter note, *is* there anything you can’t do?

    As sad as I am about Dad leaving us, Janet, I treasure that this is one of the last things he said to you. I’m also extremely grateful both family’s histories are in your hands.

    My heart is still too heavy to share anything myself and your words here and on Facebook have been pulling me through…

    Jerri

  21. Diane says:

    me too. I miss my Dad, 17 years later. so sorry for your loss.

  22. Maryse says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Take care and my thoughts are with you. xx

  23. Kristen says:

    Wow, he sounds like such a great man. I’m very sorry for your loss. I love your last paragraph and what he said to you. My father died 6 years ago and I knit by his bedside when he was dying. He would wake up and look at me and say, “Sweetheart, you are so talented.” Gosh, dads are great, aren’t they? I miss my dad too. I think we will always miss our dads.

  24. Brenda says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Janet. Although you will always miss your dad, may you find peace.

  25. Siga says:

    My thoughts are with you.

  26. Avice says:

    Just seeing this. Somehow, having tangible objects that illuminate the life of a person we love brings them back in unpredictable ways. They don’t lessen the loss, but carry new meaning – like the transcript. We found similar things after the death of my father more than a decade ago and they still carry incredible power.

  27. So sorry for your loss. I lost my Dad last summer, some days it still feels like last week. Follow your heart… go into your grief not away, talk about your Dad, he can hear you. Find love in your memories. And keep knitting it really is good for your soul.

  28. GerryART says:

    My Heart-felt Sympathy.
    hugs

  29. Janet, how wonderfully written it was… We can feel your emotions starting from your 心 , flowing out your fingertips and onto the keyboard. It is OK to grieve, Janet… He was an American patriot and father and did his best at both. He was successful.

    My condolences.

  30. Lorette says:

    Janet, I’m sorry for your loss. I’m just getting caught up on blogs and missed this. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  31. Kim says:

    Janet, I’m so sorry about the loss of your dad. Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease. My grandmother had Dementia and it wasn’t much better. It was like she died before she died, ya know? A very painful thing to watch.

    Btw, sorry to pile on more grief, but you do know Deann passed away yesterday, right? I’m not on Facebook, so I had no idea of her illness until Brenda emailed me recently. Then Susan at Motivated Moms (not the one we all used to hang out with) let me know when she passed away after I asked her about it. There is supposed to be some kind of fund for Eric, I believe. Sometimes I miss those happy chat sessions we all used to have. But we’ve all gone our separate ways, though, haven’t we?

    God bless you! Your weaving is lovely, btw. I’m now into hand embroidery, something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.

  32. Laura says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. This is a lovely tribute to your dad. It made me think of my own father, who died in July 2006. One of the last things my dad said to me (on what I thought was just a regular visit) was, “I’ve got $5.00 here somewhere. Go buy your mother some ice cream.”

  33. Noeleen says:

    I love the layout of your blog. I clicked on you through Masaki’s blog – she has you on her blog roll. Thought I’d not depart without comment!

    Just, re your father, I am truly sorry. I have not a good relationship with my father at all, and when I hear of good dads, I just am glad to hear it.

    I didn’t think, ever, what it would be like to be PHYSICALLY HEALTHY, yet mentally affected with Alzheimer’s. You gave me cause for thought, there.

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