Most people don’t say good-bye to one parent on the anniversary of the exact same day that their other parent died. However…nothing could seem more fitting for us. For although our Dad was many things:
· a shy boy
· ornery young man
· loving son and brother
· brave marine
· skilled carpenter
· trusted realtor
· loyal friend
· humble, good man and an
· exceedingly proud father and granddad
He was first and foremost:
A head over heels,
And actively loving husband.
He was crazy about our mother!
Although Dad was a quiet man, we grew up hearing him often tell us that our mother had everything from the perfect nose to the perfect toes. His words and actions repeatedly told us that he believed she was the best thing that ever happened to him.
If Dad was in the Living Room watching TV and Mom was in the kitchen, he would call out, “Shirley Ann, where are you? I can’t see you! Come in here.” He always wanted her by his side.
Grieving our Mom, living life, and fighting terminal cancer all with Dad these past several years has been the most difficult gift we both NEVER wanted, BUT feel PRIVILEGED to have received.
Because Mom was gone, we got to experience a concentrated amount of time with Dad. Side by side, we got to do all the Dr’s visits, chemo treatments, scans, etc. We’ve shared more meals, tears, hugs and “I love you”s in these past 4 years with him than we had in our entire lives up to that point. And, every single day we were with Dad, he reminded us of that he truly, deeply loved our Mother and us.
This has been the silver lining in our cloud of cancer.
This has been our gift.
Our time together also reminded us of a truth that we are infinitely proud of,
Although our Dad was small in stature,
He was colossal in character.
We are blessed to have had a father who showed us how to live and how to die with integrity, dignity, loyalty and honor.
Because of all this, we genuinely want to thank you for honoring our Dad today. We know that many of you have known and loved our parents for decades. They treasured the memories you shared and spoke of you all. May your memories of their lives and their love continue to encourage and inspire you…as it does us.
With deepest gratitude for your love and support,
Vickey and Stacey
(Clem & Shirley’s girls)
This is the letter that was read at my Dad’s celebration service yesterday, April 15th. He died the same day as my mom and was buried on the same day as her.