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Lissa [userpic]

and more

May 22nd, 2009 (08:28 am)

Dad Doritos & Diet Caffeine Free Coke

Dad at the office with his fingers just flying on the 10 key

Listening to Graceland with Dad during that tax season when he broke his wrist

The smell of creosote that lingers in the office and gets in everything and Dad there in it.

Lissa [userpic]

more things...

May 21st, 2009 (10:19 pm)

delivering Meals on Wheels with Dad

doing Relay For Life with Dad

cutting lumber and moldings and sheetrock with Dad

putting up lights on the roof with Dad

the sound of Dad blowing his nose

the sound of Dad wheezing with laughter, eyes squeezed shut, nearly tearing up from laughing so hard

Dad reading Star Trek novels

Dad cutting up bacon and eggs for Puggle in the morning

Lissa [userpic]

More things to remember...

May 20th, 2009 (09:16 pm)

The sound of Dad gently closing the front door.

Going to Gramma's apartment and sitting in the swivel rocking chairs.

Dad reconciling Gramma's bank.

Dad calling Madison "Mac".

Dad insisting that the hipposaurus makes a snortbarkmoo sound.

Dad reversing people's names.

Dad coming up right before the end of my shift in the winter and scraping my windshield.

Dad scraping my windshield in the morning on frosty days before I headed to work.

Dad's hair fuzzy and crazy after we cleared the driveway.

Dad in his flannel red pajama bottoms with his t-shirt top, ready to head to bed but lounging in the green lazy-boy.

Dad's reading glasses always falling out of his pocket when he leaned forward.

I love you Dad.

I miss you so much.

~L

Lissa [userpic]

Things

May 13th, 2009 (09:05 pm)

The sound of Dad blowing his nose.

The way he said "Braaaay-dy" to my wonderful nephew when he was palying with him.

The way he said "Now Mrb" to mom.

The way he teased the dogs... asking them if they wanted a "Buh". Asking them if they needed to go "Poppy-doodles".

Whenever we would walk at the track we would fudge about how many laps we had left, doing extravagant math, if we were on 2 and a half, we would say that was practically three, which was practically half, so we were almost half done...

Walking down the hall from Gramma's apartment at Hill-Ray.

The way we would always tell each other not to work too hard, but that we knew the other was going to work hard regardless.

Oh, I miss my Dad so much. So much, so much, so much.

I love you Dad.

~L

Lissa [userpic]

Dad's Service

May 11th, 2009 (09:09 am)

Just want to remember:

that uncle Jim got up & told story about Muff The Puff getting buried late at night by Dad--working so hard for my Bete.

that Josh got up and talked about Dad's generosity

that Hans got up and talked about how Dad helped him get through teen years and helped the church survive logistically because Pastor had difficulty with those kinds of details

Georgie talked about the time Dad stopped by and Heidi was sick and stuck on downstairs toilet and told Dad her bottom needed to be wiped, so Dad went upstairs and let Georgie know there was a "situation" needing tending downstairs, all very tender and funny

Cathy Blankenship spoke as well, about the love between Mandy and Phil.

the military honors were incredible and moving

Pastor Osbourne's eulogy talked about Dad being a lifter and a "good man" and also talked about Dad's and my endlessly losing Pictionary team and our endless laughter, and Dad's Christmas lights--and how he helped so many people render unto Caesar what was Caesar's, and not a penny more.

Raelene told me that losing a man like this--like her own wonderful, precious father--would take ten years to heal from.

Karen Lowe and Julie and Mr Heilsberg were all there. ANd Sean came too. And the Braunworts and even Ronnie Bell from Whidbey Island. And there were so many flowers--even from Emerson hardwoods. There were, I think, 19 counting the arrangement we ordered. It was beautiful.

It was beautiful.

For the world's most beautiful Dad.

Mandy keeps using the word "beautiful" to describe Dad. And that's right. It is his soul.

He is beautiful.

He made the world a better place.

~L

Lissa [userpic]

Dad

May 11th, 2009 (07:47 am)

I know a lot of people think they have the best Dad. I guess that's kind of normal for kids to idolize a parent.

But when other kids also think you have the best Dad, the notion becomes a bit more persuasive.

I know, without any doubt, that I have the best Dad in the world. I'm using present tense because I will see him again some wonderful day. He isn't gone. He's just moved to another place.

But my father, oh he was the best person I've known. When I wrote his picklesnoot biography, I wasn't exaggerating or kidding. He and my grandmother are the kindest, most moral, most gentle human beings I have known. And my Dad is also brilliant, just the smartest person who could figure out any math or science problem and remember how to speak Spanish decades after his last class. He didn't have an English degree, but his grammar and spelling were always impeccable.

I know, I know. Intellect isn't important.

But this is: he was and is a good person. He cared about others. He made sure they felt comfortable, welcome, happy if he possibly could. Like Pastor Osbourne said: he was a lifter--where most everyone else around him was a leaner.

And he was so very funny. Games with Dad--Balderdash and Pictionary--were the best times on this earth. You were guaranteed to laugh yourself sore and that Dad would laugh himself into asthma.

And hard working to a fault. Didn't matter if he felt like it or not, he mowed the lawn, cleared the driveway, picked up the dog messes, did the dishes. He kept working until there was no more work to be done.

But most of all, he was the best Dad anyone has ever had. He never judged or expected, he just supported and loved and gave and cheered us on to whatever goal we focused on. He lead by example. I told him more than once that he was so perfect it was hard to us to live up to that, but he just laughed that off.

He was warm. Physically, very warm. He always had very dry hands because of all the paperwork, but he was warm and very strong. And he had a pudgy tummy that was soft and comfy.

And his voice was soft and gentle and most of the time playful. He was always teasing. He teased mother, he teased his kids, he teased his grandkids. Sometimes he would make up wild words for animals. Often, he would just make up funny names for himself or us--

hence "Picklesnoot"--the name he invited Madison to call him.

Hence the "Snoots" because we're Dad's family.

I love him more than words can convey. In my bio I wrote that home and family are my heart. And that is true.

My heart is broken.

I know that it will heal over time. A former boss who worked with Dad and knows how special he is/was, also had one of the world's most amazing Dads and lost him suddenly. She said it takes ten years. And my uncle, who lost his Dad at 13, said there will never be a day you won't miss him.

I believe this things are true.

But I also owe it to the most wonderful man that ever lived in this world to make his influence positive, to take his example and follow it, to keep trying to make him proud, to take care of the people he loves. To the best of my ability, take that wonderful love that he gave us and hold it deep inside as the precious, golden treasure that it is. Don't use it as a means to pain because that isn't what love is for. Love is to uplift and heal.

So I'm going to try with all my might to feel all the good in that love and not to feel the pain of not having him here.

In some ways, this is just The Longest Tax Season Ever. It's going to be a huge chunk of months before I get to spend time with him again.

But I will get to spend time with him again. Dad got one of the lucky exits where he probably felt almost no pain, he didn't have to spend time worrying about himself or us, he just suddenly trotted off to join the rest of the family that moved on before us. He's with my Bete-Muff and Grandpa and Gramie and Richard and his dog Peppie and Princess and Boo. I'm sure my Grandpa gave him the biggest, longest hug when he saw him.

Oh I miss him.

It hurts so much. I know I owe it to him to turn that pain into joy at all the beautiful years we were lucky enough to bask in his love and gentle, funny presence. I will work on that.

He no doubt understands, though. He's Dad. He always forgives (even if he didn't always read my emotions correctly or know the absolute right words to say to make me feel better, he always tried his 100% best and always intended to soothe and uplift and cheer--I wish to my depths I had reacted better on the occasions when his words inadvertently hit raw nerves. Oh how I wish I could take back some of my sharp reactions. Dad, I'm so sorry.)

I wish I'd been a better daughter. I know that he knows I love him and that I know he's the greatest Dad, but I still wish I'd been a much better daughter. He deserved so much better. I could have done better. I'll try..

I'll try to be that better person. I'll try much harder to follow his example.

I hate that he only had 64 years. I hate that I had him less than 39. I hate that my siblings had him even fewer years.

But oh how I love, love, love every precious year we did have him. Every minute. He was a treasure.

I love him. I love him so much.

Oh Dad... my world was so much about you. I wanted you to be able to retire and enjoy your life. I wanted you to be so happy and so healthy. All my goals and dreams were to that end.

I know you would be disappointed to see me dreamless, so I'm working on finding new ones. My whole frame of reference is gone.

Home and family are my heart.

My heart--half of it anyway--is missing.

I'm going to try to make you proud. I know you would support any dream I focused on and help me to achieve it. I will keep on trying to figure out what God intends for me in this little life.

Like Grandma, I am more focused on my life's end--and wishing it comes soon--than I am on any other thing right now. I know that's not what you would want. I'll try to do better. I honestly will. I will find something to focus on.

Perhaps my nephew the Bun Frog will become part of my hopes/dreams. I don't know.

And perhaps I'll reconsider having a child. Maybe.

It's a tough call now that you're gone. Nearly unthinkable. I just don't know.

Oh you were so good, so blessedly endlessly good.

You are so good. I don't know if you're still watching us. I believe strongly that you were in the first several days. I hope you saw your service because there was a lot of love there.

I don't have the right to ask another single thing of you. You have amply earned your place in heaven. But if it pleases you, please peek in on us from time to time.

Oh Dad, I just don't know how to look at life anymore. I am so confused. I feel nearly blind. This world, it's so gorgeous right now, but all I can feel is the heaviness of your absence in it when I should be celebrating the return of spring. I know you would never want us to be burdened and hurt by your loss, you would want us to remember the good times and let them bring us peace and joy.

I'm going to try.

I swear that I will.

I'll also do what I can to be a better member of this family and to make mother happy and support my brother and sister.

And I'll keep trying to find a dream that nestles happily in my heart.

I'll probably also keep writing at you because I just can't help it.

Your whumpouses and picklesnoots and pugglethumpers--all your silly words, your backwards names. We used to do the jumble in the morning and your minds was always quick as a bear trap.

Oh how I'll miss decorating the yard for holidays with you.

How I'll miss the holidays themselves, with you.

Oh Dad, I love you. Please please be happy and laugh and be warm and safe and not sad for us while you're in heaven waiting for the rest of us to show up and join in the next round of Pictionary. Please please...

God, please help us to heal. Please. Please let us glow from the light of the love he gave us. Let it shine right out so others can see the influence, see that his love was so good and powerful that it made us better people. Please please please.

Oh Dad, I miss you so much. I'm ashamed of how much it hurts.

But Mandy said, and she's right, that it's right that it hurts this much. It would be a dishonor if it didn't.

But I don't want to focus on that.

I want to focus on the good. The love.

Forever, the love.
~L

Lissa [userpic]

what it's like

May 6th, 2009 (03:58 pm)

Today my sister said, if she could--if she didn't have obligations--she would just throw herself into a pot of fire and be done.

And I understood completely. I feel the same, mostly. I don't want this life anymore. I just want to be done, done, done. It hurts too much and there's no reason to be here--

Except that there is.

I have to take care of mom and gramma. They need us to be on top of things and to be well and okay and not to fall to pieces.

I want to fall to pieces. I want to be done and gone and lost into forever and found in beyond and be with all I've loved and lost.

But that cannot be.

I have to be here where people need us.

Even though.

~L

Lissa [userpic]

my heart hurts and won't stop

May 6th, 2009 (07:33 am)

it just won't

i don't know how my body can contain so many tears

Dad, I miss you so much. I just...

Like Mandy said yesterday, it's never going to be the same.

I don't blame you, don't think that. I just love you. And miss you. And wish so much so much so much that you were here.

Love,
~L

Lissa [userpic]

I keep waking up

May 5th, 2009 (06:06 am)

And it is still true.

And my heart stays broken, but it keeps beating and I keep breathing and so my seconds go forth.

I know that time will heal my heart. And know that time brings me ever closer to seeing my wonderful, beautiful father again. It feels like a long, long time right now, but no, it really isn't. This is a little life. A small drop in the bucket of forever.

I'd always believed I would have him forever. I was so wrong to take his presence for granted. So wrong. So wrong not to tell him every day with words and with loving actions that I love him so much, that he meant the world to me.

I want to believe that he knew it. That, by instinct and feel, he knew that every dream I dreamt and every scheme I hatched was generally for a goal that would please him and make his life better and happier and easier.

I don't know for certain if he can look down on us from heaven. I think that he can, at least sometimes. And I think he sent my sister that dream to let her know where the checkbook was. And I think he knocked that key holder off the wall to remind us--maybe especially remind me since I was the one who found it significant and puzzled the pieces back together...

Be thankful for every day... never enough thyme.

I hurt so much. So much.

But it's because I love so much, so I suppose that can't be a bad thing.

The last time I saw my father alive was so brief, just a passing interlude in the morning. I raced down to their bedroom, knocked and walked in around 7:45 to ask if he needed the minivan (Mandy's Tribute was right behind the Dosha, so I thought I'd just take the van). He said he didn't need the van, it was fine for me to take it.

I do remember that the night before--as always--I told him not to work too hard on Saturday. He told me the same. We always did that.

And I remember he came home for lunch Friday and watched a little TV and had a little Bun time. I didn't interact with him big bunches, sadly, but what there was was for the good. (For which I'm deeply thankful, because Thursday Mandy and I had been fighting and then I had an awful day at work and when he asked me how I was when I got home, I told him I was awful. And I know that hurt his feelings. I hate myself for that. Mandy did tell me that she took him aside and explained to him that I was mad at her, not him. And he must have understood because he and I were good on Friday. I'm pretty sure I told him about all the eggs I got farm-fresh, and about the sushi place in West Seattle.)

Mother and Dad went walking in Hill Ray Friday evening--Mother pushed Dad in the wheelchair! And I know I interacted a little with them after they got home.

It's not enough. Never enough. I could never never never have had my fill of time with the best man on this earth. Not ever. I would have greedily demanded more even if he'd lived to 158. But I'm just going to have to be content with what life granted me.

It was more than generous. Time with the world's most perfect Dad. It was pure gold.

I know that he loved me. Even when he got irritated by my grouchy rotten-ness, he still loved me. Even when I didn't deserve it, he still loved me.

That held true for everyone in the family. He loved them no matter how crabby and bad they were being, so if I know it's true for them, I do know it's true for me.

I'm so sorry my sister had to see that moment, but I'm also so thankful he saw her right before he left this world, saw her doing something warm and loving and maternal--cleaning the baby's bottles at the sink. I'm so thankful that her sister-in-law and husband were right there to try to bring my Dad's life back because we would never have known otherwise that there simply was no chance, none at all, to save him. I'm so thankful he was surrounded by people who loved him every second that he slipped away. I'm even thankful that he went so fast, no suffering, no worrying.

It is so hard. Oh it is so hard to lose him without being able to say goodbye and have his ears hear me. But if he's been watching us, he knows.

He knows. Everyone in my life knows how much I love my father.

My father was, among other things, the most brilliant man alive. Ergo: he knew.

Yes, I did tell him from time to time--even when we were arguing the week before about some stupid thing (probably food or some such or spending on food, my stupid need to try to keep the budget down and everyone's diet healthy) and my sister was assuring him he and Gramma are the best people around--I went out into the dining room and said that, yes, that was true. He and Gramma are the best and I knew that. And even though my voice may not have been cheery and warm, the words were there.

I did tell him regularly enough, I suppose, that he and Gramma were the world's most perfect people.

I guess that I did.

I suppose maybe no one ever feels completely secure and okay in this situation that they said it enough, that they did enough to be *sure* that other person knew how much they were loved and esteemed.

Dad: you are the best person I have known. You just are. I'm going to try with all my might to make this loss something that strengthens the family and brings good. I'm never again going to try to control other people's diets. I may give them the information, but I'm also going to give them a chocolate cherry milkshake if that's what they ask for. I'm going to try my best to afford it. I'll still be frugal, but there's a place for pleasure too.

Dad, I love you. I love you I love you I love you I love you I miss you so much.

I think you're here with us, hovering and watching. That's what mom thinks. She thinks in these fresh first days that the spirit stays a bit and watches. But I also know you've probably spent time with your Dad and Gramie and Peppie and my Bete and Princess and Gage. And Richard. And Mr Iredale. So many people and loved animals to hug and welcome you.

I wanted to be the first one there, selfishly, so I wouldn't have to walk through this pain. But that wouldn't have been fair to you. You deserved to leave in a swift moment.

Part of me wants to rage that you never got to retire and see Ireland and visit Alaska and enjoy the relaxed, sunny days of leisure that I so wanted to help give you in the coming years. Years with Mandy's kids and maybe even mine. I dreamed so happily of those things.

But oh what blissful happy times we *did* have. Playing Pictionary with you was always the best thing in this whole world. Decorating the house with Christmas lights and Halloween decor with you was a big job full of glee at the end for all the fun and beauty.

I love you.

Forever,
~Lissa

Lissa [userpic]

withering inside

May 3rd, 2009 (03:49 pm)

I did not realize how much of my life was tangled up in my father's life. Wasn't consciously aware that many of my hopes, dreams and actions were motivated primarily to make him happy and win his praise.

But now I do.

Now I feel motivated to do almost nothing. I feel gutted and my brain stings and it won't stop.

Oh, how I love him. And loving him doesn't bring him back for a single breath.

I do not know what to do with my life.

This would not make him proud. I must gather up some desire in myself to make the world a better place, to give, to contribute, to be as excellent a human being as he was.

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