God Bless You

Hey everyone! I’ve missed all of you more than you can imagine, but I can definitely say my blog hiatus has been well worth it. So what brings me back today? Over the last year or so my dad’s health has slowly deteriorated and he finally ran out of fight early in the morning, January 22nd. We held the funeral services this past Monday and I have to say it was wonderful ceremony. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law both stood up to share some beautiful words of remembrance, and I offered a few thoughts myself. I wanted to share them with you here today so you might help me in honoring what was both a wonderful man…and father. I hope to be back amongst you soon. Until then, be safe and secure. 


I want to start off by thanking everyone for coming out today.  I know that Dad…as modest as he was…would be surprised to see this kind of turn out. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m one the quiet one in the family - but somehow I keep finding myself up here.  After our mom passed dad came to me and asked if I wouldn’t mind saying a few words for her at the funeral.  As strong as he was, I guess he knew he wouldn’t be able to remain composed enough to do it, but somehow he thought I could.  So here we are again, but this time he’s not around to ask me…but it seems right.  Hopefully I won’t disappoint him too much.
What’s been great over the last several days, especially last night, was hearing all of the stories about dad and how much he genuinely affected the people he came in contact with.  As I listened to everyone, two distinct themes kept recurring over and over.  One was CARS…and the other was how people’s impression of him changed once they got to know him better.  Dad could be quite an imposing figure…downright scary when it comes down to it…but all it took was just a little time with him to discover the teddy bear just below the surface.  Don’t get me wrong…dad could be dominating force when he needed to be.  As one of three boys growing up…believe me…I can attest to that.  But once you got by that gruff exterior you couldn’t ask for a better brother, father, son, and friend.    

I think it was fifteen years ago…Mom and Dad were living in Georgia at the time…I wrote them both a letter.  I sent it for no other reason than to thank them for being such wonderful parents.  I couldn’t say it to them in person because I knew I would choke and mess up half of what I was trying to say.  You know what it was?  Have you ever had one of those moments when you figure something out that’s been right there in front of your face the whole time, but for whatever reason it’s alluded you until it finally crystalizes in your mind?  Something that makes you go…HUH.  I had one of those when I realized that you can’t really understand your parents until you have children of your own.  You get part way there when you get married, but you don’t really fully appreciate them until you’ve experienced parenthood for yourself.  My wife Kim was expecting our third child at the time and I was seeing my parents in a whole new light, so I needed to tell them thank you.  At the same time I was beginning to understand something else about Dad.  He had a way of teaching, influencing, giving direction without you knowing that’s what he was doing.  He was the master of subtlety and making you believe you’ve figured something out for yourself.        
Let me give you an example.  We’ve already mentioned cars, so let’s use that.  I can remember vividly being with dad underneath one his cars parked in front of our house in cherry Point.  It was cold outside, a light rain was falling, there were pea-sized gravel boring holes into the back of my head and I wanted to be anywhere but there.  We were trying to remove a starter or alternator and there was this one obstinate bolt that was impossible to get to and we couldn’t get a ratchet on it.  We worked for hours and hours trying to get that bolt off…me getting angrier and angrier as time went on…when suddenly it came loose and the part was free.  I learned two things that day, the first, there was NO WAY I wanted to have anything to do with repairing cars when I grew up.  But the second thing I learned about…without dad saying a word…was determination.  Tenacity.  Sticking with things to the end.  HUH 

I also learned from him that sometimes it’s what you DON’T say that really matters.  I can’t ever recall dad voicing derogatory remarks about anyone.  I’m sure he had some…don’t we all…but he mostly kept them to himself.  Sometimes I would even try to bait him…ask him a leading question about someone I knew was ripe for ridicule, but he’d just ignore me or change the subject.  HUH  
He showed me that commitment wasn’t just a goal or something to strive for.  It was a duty.  Twenty-four years in the military.  Twenty years at AT&T.  Married for Fifty years.  The man was a constant…for everybody, but he never once bragged about it or hinted that was what a successful career was all about.  HUH.

I told a story at mom’s funeral about how I came home from college one day…heartbroken from a breakup with a girl…and poured my eyes out to mom who just calmly stroked my head and told me everything would be alright, then after a while she said she needed to go to the grocery store and she drove to the nearest gas station and poured her eyes out over the phone to dad.  What I didn’t say then was that there’s a part two to that story.  It wasn’t much longer after mom returned that dad showed up at the house.  I asked him what he was doing home so early and he told me that he had this van he had been tinkering around with and since he heard I was home he’d like to take advantage of that and get me to help him with it.  I said sure…still kind of numb…so he changed his clothes and we set about tearing into the engine.  After a while mom brought us sandwiches and drinks and we ate in silence. When it turned dark and he brought out the flood lamps so we could keep going even longer.  We must have worked on that car until past midnight…and you know what…to this day I have no idea what we did to it.  But during that time dad never said a word about my break up, or asked me probing questions like “so, how’s everything going?”  It wasn’t until years later that I discovered mom had told him, but that night when I finally climbed into bed, I fell right asleep and rested peacefully.  HUH. 
The last few weeks of dad’s life you could tell he was doing his best to put on a brave face, though he was struggling and deeply discouraged.  We all were doing our best to encourage him …convince him that all he needed was to have just a couple good days in a row, that’s all it would take for him to turn the corner and he would eventually be on his way to coming home again.  But we were wrong…and once again dad found a way to show me what was right.  I was with him that last night.  He was having a relatively peaceful evening.  His nurse and I were reconnecting some leads he had pulled loose in his sleep when suddenly he sat up in his bed and sneezed hard, four times.  Instinctively three words popped into my head and before I could say them out loud he was gone.  Later on I was trying to make sense out of what had happened…that he could be gone…experiencing a variety of emotions all at once.  Then I thought of how weird it was he sneezed like that…four times…once for my older brother, once for my younger brother, once for my little sister, and once for me.  And those words that were on the tip of my tongue that I never got to say…God Bless You.  HUH. 

Sometimes we tend to associate meaning to things for reasons that make no sense, and I may be guilty of that here, but in my mind dad found a way to put my mind at ease with a little bit of help. 
I love you dad…we all do…and we’ll miss you terribly. Give mom a hug for us.

176 comments

  1. Commitment is a duty - definitely sounds like he embodied that.
    That is a wonderful tribute, DL. So very sorry you lost your father. Prayers with you and your family.
    Sounds like your mother was a very wise woman as well.

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  2. Don, I am so sorry. Your words spoke of much love for your father and honored him in the most wonderful way possible.

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  3. I'm sincerely sorry for the loss of your father. He may have left you way too soon but I know you were all left with some wonderful and beautiful memories of him and your mother, who made you into the man you are today. May he rest in peace.

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  4. So sorry for your loss of your father. It sounds like you have some wonderful memories of him. And my prayers are with you and your family.

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  5. Don, it's clear from your words that you had a couple of remarkable parents, both wise and loving people. They will live on through the love, compassion, and kindness that you share with everyone. So sorry for your loss.

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  6. He sounds like a great person. I'm sorry for you Don and wish you the best.

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  7. Such a loving tribute to your father. He sounds like a wonderful, wise man and I know that you will miss him so very much. However, I am sure that he is very happily enjoying a reunion with your mom. Death is always most difficult for those left behind. I am so sorry for your loss.

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  8. So sorry for your loss. You can always tell what kind of person someone is by their children. You are a wonderful tribute to your father.

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  9. So sorry for your loss, your tribute is wonderful and straight from your heart.

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  10. Wow, touching story. It's nice to know you had a father who was present in your life. He has given you many memories and thus he will be remembered. HUGS.

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  11. So sorry about your dad- sending you hugs.

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  12. What a beautiful tribute to an honorable man. I feel like we have stopped appreciating the true heroes in this world. We look up to athletes who talk like thugs and movie stars who are cheaters and drunks, yet men like your dad keep this nation going, but are given little thought outside their family. But you, for a moment, shined that light and reminded us of the real people we should admire. It's the people who devote themselves quietly to a cause, like your dad and his dedication to country, work, and family, who make this nation what it is. Thanks for sharing. We miss you too.

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  13. Oh dear. Crying here. That was absolutely beautiful. How lucky your father was to have a son able to write such a touching, insightful eulogy. So sorry to hear about your father – and your mom. I'm sure you're feeling very much like an orphan at this point and there'll be times when the loneliness will be overwhelming. Take comfort in the fact you had wonderful parents and you had them with you for a long time. Hugs and best wishes as you face the months ahead.

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  14. Thanks for sharing this wonderful tribute. I'm so sorry for your loss.

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  15. I am so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute. *hugs*

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  16. Beautifully said, DL. Cherish the wonderful memories you made together.

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  17. So sorry DL, your father sounded like a wonderful man. This was a beautiful tribute and I'm sure he is smiling down upon you now.

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  18. You brought tears to my eyes. I am flying to see my 87 year old father next week. Every time I see him he's a little more bent over, shuffles a little more, and moves a little slower, but his mind is quick. You're so right about not really understanding your parents until you're a parent yourself. As I've gotten older and experienced more in life I have a greater understanding of the challenges my parents faced. I'm glad my Dad has lived long enough for me to gain this perspective. We've had the opportunity to talk about a lot of things I didn't understand as a child. Sounds like you had that same opportunity with your Dad. I'm glad you took the time to write to him and tell him. Your tribute is a fitting way to send him on his journey. The "say hi to Mom" line was what got my tears going! I'm sure you made your Dad proud!

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  19. This is an extraordinary and very touching tribute, DL. You had amazing parents. Your dad was one of a kind and there is no doubt you were one lucky guy for having him in your life. So many good things he taught you. I'm sorry for your loss but as Suzanne says, I'm sure he's smiling down upon you, now and forever. Dragon hugs, friend.

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  20. Sending positive thoughts your way. Thank you for sharing this with all of us. Take care!

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  21. DL, I'm so sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. What a wonderful tribute this was by the way, very touching. Hugs.

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  22. What a beautiful tribute for a fantatic father. Made me very teary, DL- I'm sincerely so sorry for your loss. And all the things he taught you up until the end is just amazing. I can definitely identify with the 'HUH' moments, myself as time goes on. Good parents often beget good parents, I think (hope:) .God bless your family and friends during this time of grieving.

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  23. What a beautiful tribute to a well-loved man. It is wonderful to read this and see the love in your family through your words, and imagine the nods of agreement in the room as you read this to those who came to honor him. May you always find peace in your heart when you remember your parents, now and in the years to come. Hugs!

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  24. Sounds like your dad was a great father and husband who would most likely be proud of you for speaking these words as he journeys on to join your mother. This is such a heartfelt tribute and it is great that he was surrounded by a loving family throughout his life. Peace and blessings to you,, your siblings and all of the people whose lives were touched and influenced by your dad.

    ~Nicole

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  25. Sending love and hugs for you. It's always hard to cope with loss, but at least we have memories. You and your family are in my prayers.

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  26. This is a wonderful tribute and I'm so sorry for your loss. Your father was a great man and he gave you and others love, support, and important lessons while he was here.

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  27. I'm deeply sorry for your loss. It sounds like your father was an incredible man and that you were very close. It's no surprise that you are a very giving person since you had such a great role model. I'm sure your dad is proud and that he and your mom are smiling down on you now.

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  28. So sorry to hear your sad news, but your parents shared their wisdom with you. They taught you many important life lessons so that you could carry on without their physical presence. You will always cherish many memories they shared with you. The story you shared with us was precious. I know your parents are very proud of their family.

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  29. First, I want to say how sorry I am for your loss. No matter how old we are it's hard to lose our parents. Of course, I believe that death is just the next adventure, so for your father I'm excited.

    This was a wonderful tribute to what sounds like an absolutely amazing man, but I'm not at all surprised. Getting to know his son over the past few years, it only makes sense that he would be one of the 'good guys' also.

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  30. Thank you for sharing this with us, DL. My prayers to you and your family. Your parents were wonderful people and you are a reflection of that.

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  31. Thank you for sharing your dad with us, DL. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

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  32. We will always miss them. But what wonderful memories we get to keep.

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  33. A moving tribute DL. May your wonderful dad rest in peace.

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  34. DL, this was a beautiful way to lift up your dad's life! All those great memories and words of advice. Loved the story about the sneeze and of you writing that letter to your parents. That's the kind of stuff that stays with you. God bless.

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  35. I can't add anything to what these wonderful folks have already said, but I want to echo all of it. It's scintillatingly clear that you are the child of truly fantastic, first-rate people, and I have to believe that they would have known that even if you hadn't written to tell them so. What a GREAT dad, and a terrific tribute.

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  36. Don, prayers of peace and comfort heading your way. I know the blitz isn't until tomorrow, but I never know when I'll have another chance to post. God's continued blessing rain down upon you and yours.

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  37. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss - but it seems as if your dad was an amazing guy! You were all fortunate to have him in your life and particularly you to have him as a father.

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  38. Sounds like you had two very loving, wonderful parents. They will surely be missed.

    .....dhole

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  39. Sounds like you were one of the very fortunate ones with regards to parents. My dad was a scoundrel, but it broke my heart to lose the old Devil in 2005. I wish you all a blanket of best wishes to comfort you through this time. You're so right. Memories are so precious. Sometimes the very simplest one are what bridge the gap between utter heartbreak and something like recovery. God bless you all. X

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  40. What a touching tribute. So sorry for your loss, but I am glad you take away so much love.

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  41. Sorry for your loss, this is a wonderful tribute. You have many wonderful memories of your family times and that is something to cherish.

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  42. That was a beautiful tribute. Think more parents today could follow his lead on parenting. Seems like we spend a lot of energy and words on our kids when all they need is our quiet presence. So sorry for your loss.

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  43. GOD BLESS YOU and your family! Thank you for sharing your story, and may the happy memories stay with you all.

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  44. That was a wonderful tribute. My sympathies to you and your family.

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  45. Lovely tribute to your father. Glad you have great memories to cherish and stories to tell to your kids. My father's life is in cars. He can give any date and association with year, make, model, etc. I think it's because way back - cars were distinctive.

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  46. Lovely memories of someone who must have been an awesome parent. This is a lovely memorial and gives all of us something to strive toward. Thoughts and prayers for your dad (although it would probably be better for him to be praying for me).

    Thanks for posting and sharing such insight and love with all of us.

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  47. Such a lovely tribute. Made me all teary, and I think you really did share what made him such a wonderful man. My prayers are with you and your family.

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  48. That was am amazing tribute to obviously and amazing man. Now he gets to live on in all our memories as well.

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  49. What an amazing tribute to your father. Thanks for sharing his life with us. God Bless you!

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  50. Absolutely beautiful words for your father and mother. Absolutely heartbreaking, inspired, peaceful and beautiful. You are a lucky man.
    Take care, thinking of you.
    Heather

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  51. I am so sorry for your loss. What a wonderful tribute for such a great man. I like that he knew how to comfort you without having to use words.

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  52. I really appreciated how you stood up in front of everyone and gave a wonderful picture of your dad. I'm keeping you in my thoughts during this difficult time of loss and grief for you, DL. I am so very sorry.

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  53. Your dad sounded like a great guy. This was a wonderful tribute to him! Sending hugs and prayers to you and your family!

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  54. I'm so sorry you had to say goodbye to him. You have a wonderful gift with words---that's another thing your dad told you without telling you when he asked you to speak at your mum's funeral. This was beautiful..And, I think it's time I sit down and write my parents a letter.

    God bless you.

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  55. What a wonderful tribute.
    I'm so sorry for your loss.

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  56. It's good for you to know that both your mom and dad knew they were loved. May peace be with you and your family.

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  57. You composed a beautiful eulogy for your father, and I'm sure it went a long way toward making everyone who heard it feel just a little better. Even thought it was one of the saddest days of my life, giving the eulogy at my mother's eulogy was strangely uplifting, so I have an inkling of how you're feeling. I'm so sorry for your loss.

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  58. Sorry to hear about your loss. The incidents narrated by you welled my eyes. Wishing that your parents find peace and hope your family finds strength. God bless!

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  59. I was so so sorry to hear about your dad, and I know your world is a little darker right now, but I also know he loved and was well loved, and that's really all any of us can hope for

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  60. D.L., It sounds like your Dad's quiet wisdom penetrated deep into your life in a powerful, beautiful way. I wish more people caught commitment as you obviously have from your Dad. I will contemplate your dad's wise quietude and consider how I might also better employ such counsel. Through your fine tribute, your dad continues to influence even those he will never know. Thank you and God bless! Maria Dunn

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  61. A wonderful eulogy, your dad sounds like a fantastic role model. Sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you.

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  62. Goodness, DL, you have been through so much this past year. It is heartwarming to see how it's strengthened you. God bless.

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  63. Beautiful and heartwarming, DL. At least you had an amazing relationship with you Dad. He is free. Not suffering anymore and is moving on to a place where he can look after you and the rest of your family. His spirit is within you and will always be there for you to draw from in times of need.

    Take care. Hugs,

    Michael

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  64. DL, your beautiful tribute to your father, shows a father who knew how to show love in action. His impact lives on in his children and especially in you. The quiet way of showing love and concern lives on in you, with your wonderful blitzes. The teamwork demonstrated between your father and mother to show love and concern to an aching heart. God's love, comfort and peace is with you in tangible ways, during this difficult season. You are in my prayers for God's love to surround and comfort you. Your dad and mom are very proud of you!

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  65. Very sorry to hear about your loss and we'll be keeping you and your family in our thoughts and prayers.

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  66. It's never easy losing a parent, and my thoughts are with you and your family. You gave a truly touching tribute to your father, who was clearly a wonderful man. Thank you for sharing your beautiful words with us.

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  67. Your tribute brought tears to my eyes, but in a happy way. I'm glad you all had that time together and such good times. Hugs to you and your family.

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  68. So sorry, DL. I think the meaning you found in the last moments with your father were absolutely perfect and so was the tribute. Sending lots of healing thoughts and peace.

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  69. DL I am so touched and your dad reminds me of my own! He was bear like with a warm heart~ You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers! A lovely tribute to your father-he would be so touched!

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  70. I'm estranged from my father (for almost 25 years), so it always makes me so sad to hear when someone has lost a really loving and caring father. At least yours was a great one while you had him :) I'm so sorry for your loss!!!!

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  71. What a touching tribute, DL! Thank you for sharing it with us.

    I am so sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you.

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  72. My condolences to you and your family.
    Your father sounded like a wonderful man. May his legacy live on in you.

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  73. I'm so sorry for your loss. This is a really beautiful tribute.

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  74. DL, what a beautiful moving tribute to a wonderful father. I am so sorry for your loss.

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  75. So sorry for your loss, but what a wonderful tribute!

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  76. DL that was absolutely beautiful. Love to you during this time.

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  77. So sorry for your loss DL. I have lost both my parents as well as my only sibling, a brother. It is a very difficult thing to deal with sometimes. You have made a wonderful tribute to your father, i am sure he would be pleased.

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  78. Your dad was deeply loved. Sorry for your loss DL.

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  79. Condolences. I'd try to say more, but you've done a lovely job here . . . As an only child, I dread the day I'll have to deal with such a loss. I hope I can have such a wonderful perspective as you've shown. ~MPL

    PepperWords

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  80. This is a very lovely tribute to your father. I'm sorry for your lose.

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  81. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. But it's wonderful to read how blessed you were (and are) by having such a dear man for your father.

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  82. Your Dad sounds like a wonderful person. I'm very sorry for your loss and will keep you and yours in my prayers.

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  83. What a beautiful tribute to your father. He sounds a lot like my dad...a man of few words who's always tinkering (he used to restore old Mustangs and golf clubs). So sorry for your loss.

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  84. What a wonderful tribute to your father. I just recently lost my father, as well. It leaves a hole in your life, but soon the memories will fill it. Missing him will never go away. I don't think it's supposed to, but some of the longing and hurt will. At least I've found it to be so. I'm so very sorry for you loss.

    Warmest regards,
    Michelle Pickett

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  85. This was a beautiful tribute to your father! I'm sorry for your loss.

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  86. Sorry for your loss, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

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  87. Wow, your sincere voice came shining through. I think it's wonderful that you could voice to your parents how you felt while they were still around to hear it. I'm sorry you lost your dad.

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  88. I'm sorry about your dad. God's blessings and peace to you and your family.

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  89. I am sorry for your loss. I know it was hard for me when my grandmother, the woman who essentially raised me, shuffled off a few years back. Best wishes and all that. You gave a wonderfully heartfelt tribute in your post. Keep on keepin' on.

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  90. So sorry for your loss. I dread the day one of my parents is no longer with us. It's great that you have so many good memories to hold on to, and life lessons to remember as well! Best wishes...

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  91. I'm so sorry for your loss. Praying for you and your family.

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  92. {{{{{hugs}}}}} for you and your family, DL. You're in my thoughts and prayers.

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  93. Sorry for your loss DL - this was a lovely tribute.

    Chippy

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  94. Don, it's so hard to lose them isn't it? We never really lose them though. They are so much a part of us. I see my dad (passed away many years ago) in the way I talk to my kids, or the uber-planning that has to go into every action, or the Arbys runs... They live on through us. Wishing you much comfort.

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  95. What a beautiful tribute. My thoughts are with you.

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  96. It's so hard to say good-bye . . . What a lovely tribute!

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  97. It's terribly hard to cope when someone really special passes. Here's hoping you and your family have the support you need during this time of loss.

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  98. So sorry for your loss, Don. This was a beautiful way to validate his life. ((hugs))

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  99. A beautiful tribute, DL. I lost my brother week and your words are a beautiful reminder to focus on how fortunate I was to have him rather than to dwell on his loss. Thank you.

    VR Barkowski

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  100. A moving and heartfelt tribute. I've recently lost my grandmother (at the age of 97) and this struck a few chords with me.

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  101. Beautiful sentiment of love. Sounds like your father was a true role model. My prayers are with you and your family.

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  102. I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm glad you have happy memories of your Dad to help you through this time.

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  103. What a beautiful tribute. Sounds like your father was a great man. So sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. *hugs*

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  104. It seems that you loved your Dad and have many wonderful memories to cherish. My prayers are with you and yours.

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  105. So sorry for your loss, DL. Thank you for sharing this tribute to your dad. He sounds like a wonderful parent and individual. I hope your family is doing well during this difficult time.

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  106. That was beautiful, DL. I teared up right at the point about working on the car. It's amazing how parents know what we need without us having to ask, and sometimes manual labor is the most theraputic.
    Sending you virtual hugs and good wishes. How blessed you are to have spent so much time with him and to have such an awesome dad. RIP

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  107. Tomorrow I am leaving for Florida with my brother to stay with my dad as we settle my mom into home hospice care. She has been a cancer patient for nearly 6 years. She was dxd with stage IIIC ovarian cancer and it has been persistent this whole time--chemo of varying types after surgery to remove 8 lbs of tumor. After bouts with bowel obstruction and fistula and now infetion and collapsed lung, she is done with cancer treatment. She is actually happy with this and my dad is so crushed it's a hard time... but we'll get through. The months or weeks of our time together as a family on earth will be drawing to a close but there are still great times ahead. Thank you for sharing your story. Our bodies fail us, but our spirits do not -- love moves us through. Faith at pentozen.com

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  108. I'm sorry for your loss. He sounds like he was such a wonderful man. My prayers and healing thoughts are with!

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  109. DL my heart breaks for your loss. what a gift you have to use your words for his tribute. Thank you for this touching moment. Praying for you and your family. God bless.

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  110. It's hard to sum up a person in one word, but tenacity is a good one. Sorry for your loss Man.

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  111. A beautiful tribute from the quiet one in the family . . . I bet you made him (and your mom) proud. Sorry for your loss . . . one day we'll all be reunited :-) Until then, may God richly bless you as you carry on your dad's legacy <3

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  112. Your dad is surely giving your mom the grandest, happiest hug ever. When I heard the news via Facebook, I searched for the longest time trying to find the right thing to say. I've come to the conclusion that it's not the words we say in times like these that is important. What matters is the sentiment behind them.

    Only six months ago, you made it possible for almost two-hundred people to speak to me in my darkest hour. That was one of the greatest blessings I've ever had. Although I'm saddened by what has happened, I pray you find that same blessing you made possible for me.

    Being parted from those we love isn't easy. Remembering them is. Finding peace and comfort isn't always easy either. But each time you look into the mirror, you'll see something your parents loved more than anything. Make sure you take care of what they treasured most.

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  113. Aloha Don,

    I'm sure it's been said 117 times ahead of me, but your father sounds like he was a wonderful Dad and he and your Mom obviously did a *great* job in raising you and your brothers.

    And, that's part of his legacy... think about it... one hundred years from now the grandson of your son could be working with his son on an engine/thing and his son can experience what it means to not quit until the job is done.

    You and your family have the thoughts and prayers of our family and may your Dad (and Mom) both rest in peace.

    God bless and best regards,

    Mark

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  114. this is such a great tribute to your father. I am very sorry for your loss.

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  115. Lovely to see your beautiful memories of your father shared. Take care of yourself in this time.

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  116. Sounds like he was a wonderful father and man. I know you will miss him (my father's been gone since 1979 and I still miss him). Thank you for sharing him with us. You have more support and "family" than you know.

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  117. your post was beautiful! It brought tears to my eyes. I lost my dad just over a year ago and I still miss him. thank you for sharing such sweet memories :)

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  118. A wise and caring man. A man of strength but with a large heart filled with love and caring. Now, I know where you get those qualities. :-)

    I know how hard it is to lose a father. My brother Rob and I spent the last night with dad. We laughed and told stories. Dad had pain but was really in a great frame of mind. Funny and humorous. It was good. there quiet times when dad snoozed and other times, in the last 24 hrs, when he'd sort of ramble and talk in his dozing times. Hearing snatches of conversations or bits of info. Like watching him walk through the past. Like he was making sense of life and saying his goodbyes or settling his mind. *shrugs. Not sure which but my dad was only 18 years older than me and most of his chatter was about place and people I knew. I knew where he was in the stream of time as I listened. It was special. I still miss his humor and just talking with him.

    Hugs to you. You were dear to your father. Sounds like he was proud of you and had a lot of confidence in your abilities. That's a blessing, my friend, a real blessing.

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

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  119. ((hugs)) my thoughts are with your family.

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  120. Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute to your daddy. My condolences to you and your family, Don. Wishing you peace and comfort in the wonderful memories of your dad. Blessings.

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  121. I'm so sorry for your loss. A touching tribute though.

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  122. Joy and peace to you and your family. It's a tough experience to lose a parent. I've also like to concur the fact that you don't truly understand your parents until you have kids of your own. All those nights my mom spent awake, terrified that something had happened to me while I casually disregarded my curfew...I got her pain when my daughter did the same. My oldest daughter is now pregnant with her first, so maybe I will finally be understood by at least one of my kids.

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  123. What a beautiful tribute for your dad. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

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  124. That was a beautiful tribute. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

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  125. DL, what a heartful tribute to you dad. I am so sorry to hear of your loss.

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  126. DL, I'm so sorry for your loss. That was a beautiful tribute to your dad.

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  127. My good sir,

    A poignant, powerful tribute to your beloved dad. Wishing you a peaceful time ahead as you reflect within your soul.

    In goodwill and respect,

    Gary

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  128. That was beautiful. Your dad sounds like a remarkable man. You are blessed to have been raised by him, and it's wonderful that you know it, too. God bless you.
    Tina @ Life is Good
    A to Z Team @ Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014
    @TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

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  129. Okay, crying now. Your dad sounds like an amazing man (your mom sounds pretty great, too). I'm sorry for your loss.

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  130. They're enjoying an amazing reunion right now. Remember that they'll always love you.

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  131. Such a beautiful tribute.
    So sorry for your loss

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  132. DL, that was beautiful. You're dad knew exactly what he was doing when he appointed you family spokesman. I'm sure both he and your mom are looking down proudly.

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  133. So sorry about your Dad. He sounds like an awesome man and I'm glad you were able to crystallize these thoughts for him. Hope you and your wife are doing well. *hugs*

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  134. I am so sorry for your loss. Both of my Parents are gone and I have an understanding of the emptiness and all

    Hugs

    Cricket

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  135. My sincere sympathies, DL. It must be hard for you, but the tribute was touching.

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  136. Dear DL, I learned so much about you and your parents from this post and certainly recognized many of your discoveries about parents in general. I lost my father before I had a chance to tell him of my appreciation for him but my mother got to hear it. You were lucky to be able to be present with your dad for so many years, even if few words were spoken. This will help you in your adjustment to his absence - a void that will always be a little sad.
    Mary Clark

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  137. Thank you everyone...SO MUCH...for your kind comments and words of encouragement. This will stay with me for quite some time. :)

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  138. I'm sorry for you loss. It was a beautifully written tribute.
    Had a busy weekend away from the computer, so this is my late Blitz Day comment.

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  139. Sorry I'm late for Blitz day. I'm so sorry for your loss but you ave given your dad a lovely tribute,it had me in tears. I believe about the sneezes. I wrote a few posts about my dad sending me a Rose, I had given him a rose from my rosebush while he was dying,each year only one large rosé grew on the bush until the year my granddaughter was born we had one large and one small rosé that year and for the next two. This year my second granddaughter was born and yes there were three roses on the bush. We make look for signs that our loved ones are around us but who is to know ,it may be our loved ones try hard to send us these signs so its good that we recognise them.

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  140. Popping in with a belated Blog Blitz greeting.
    I'm so sorry for your loss...
    A wonderful tribute DL! Such sweet memories.
    I'm sending positive vibes all the way from my end of the globe....
    Take care of yourself DL!

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  141. So sorry to hear of your loss. Your father sounds like a wonderful man and a great dad.
    Just remember part of him is in you, always.
    Hugs to you and your family.
    <3

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  142. So sorry to hear of your loss. I'm coming to you via Book Blitz. You father sounded like a wonderful man.

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  143. Sorry for your loss but it's always awesome to have a dad with this kind of legacy. :-) I'm sorry for being late but on your blitz day (and my birthday) I had a wreck and suffered a concussion. I've been a bit out of it. I did want to stop by and read about your dad. I'm a big fan of fathers. :-)

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  144. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. A few months ago I lost first my mother and only weeks later, my father. [http://barbtaub.com/2013/11/27/bang-the-drum-slowly/] Both had done everything they'd set out to do in life, and left us with emotional and spiritual riches to carry on without them. But I know you'll be thinking of both of them at odd moments, and I hope those thoughts are full of laughter and joy and peace.

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  145. nice your site thanks for sharing love you all teme good work keep it up.
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  146. Sorry for your loss. This was a beautiful tribute to a beautiful person. <3

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  147. Losing a parent is the most wrenching experience. I lost my mom in Nov. and since my dad had already died, I now feel like an orphan. You're never to old for having those feelings. Lovely tribute to your dad. It reflects beautifully on his life.

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  148. I'm so sorry for your loss. Sadly, I understand exactly what you're going through at the moment. I lost my dad July 15th last year. Words cannot express how raw a grief it is. Your tribute was beautiful. Both my brothers wrote similar tributes, sharing memories from early childhood until the last few months of my father's life. I chose to write a poem, which I thought I would share with you (to help it make sense, my mum and dad aren't my biological parents).

    Dad,
    I was lost
    And then you found me
    Became my father
    Blessed me with a home
    Loved me
    Called me daughter
    Shared the father-daughter bond
    Taught me any man can be a father
    Only a special man can be a dad
    Always smiling
    Always helping
    Asking what you could do
    Loved your family
    Loved your friends
    No bad words against another
    Now you are gone
    Despite your hard-fought battle
    I will not say goodbye
    For you are in my heart
    My memories
    And I will think of you each and every day
    Will miss you more than these humble words can ever say

    All I can say is draw comfort from all the wonderful memories and do not be afraid to talk about your dad. To remember him often is the highest honour you can pay.

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  149. DL, I am very sorry to hear your news. I lost my dad in the mid eighties as he had heart disease, it was a painful time. It is inspirational to read what you've seen in your father's life. I am still proud of my dad, always will be. The pain will ease but the very good news is, love never dies. Take very good care of yourself.

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  150. That's a beautiful tribute to your dad. He sounds like he was a really swell guy.

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  151. Thank you for sharing this! My dad past away right before christmas and I am all heart with you. With great respect! A. (Late blitz) :)

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  153. Hi Don - What a beautiful and moving tribute to your father and your mother ... brilliantly written and told - and you'll have this here for your children to read in due course...

    Very very moving ... and it is just lovely to know your father is once again with his wife, your mother ... with many many thoughts - I shall think of cars and car repairs differently now ..... Hilary

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  154. Sorry for your loss. Good luck with your writing.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

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  155. Beautiful, heartfelt tribute. Interesting that I am sitting beside my mother's hospital bed wondering if she'll make it through the night as I read your post.

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  156. Wonderful tribute. Lucky parents, it's all I can think of. As a parent myself, I can only hope I do as good a job.

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  157. I'm so very sorry for your loss. You gave him a beautiful tribute. He sounded like a wonderful man.

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  158. That was a wonderful tribute, DL.

    Wishing you all the best, and thank you for all you've been doing for the blogging community via the blitz. I've been a bit sparse on blogging lately, but I try to comment on each blitz-- I think it gives those who receive the surprise just the right boost at the right time.

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  159. Hi Don - a hug sent your way and that of your family for Valentine's Day yesterday ... and for the blog blitz which is helping so many .. I cam via Tina .. she's a special supporter ... I've commented on your post earlier up there!! cheers Hilary

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  160. What an amazing tribute! Thanks for sharing.

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  162. Jeez DL. I hadn't planned on tearing up tonight.

    I'm late to this blog but I just wanted to say I'm very sorry to hear about your father.

    Well done on the tribute. I particularly like the telling of your college break up and you and your dad just hanging out in silence. I definitely see the comfort in that.

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  163. A beautiful read. Lost my Mom 4 years ago Easter. It was a long drawn out painful situation. I said Thank God when she passed. And though I knew it was best it still didn't make the situation easier. Watching Dad miss her, even still continues to be painful. I like to focus on the positive and like looking at old pictures and telling stories. I enjoy talking about her, so does Dad. My brothers still struggle. Particularly my older brother who only remembers the end. How wonderful you can express your thoughts and share your love for your parents in this manner. I so agree that we know are parents differently after we become parents, and there's a time when they become more like friends vs parents. We go through stages in our lives. My deepest condolences to you and yours, though I didn't know about this til finding your blog post today.

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  164. Lost my dad this year as well. Your post gave me a fresh perspective to get through the process. Thank you for that. Hugs to you.

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  165. So sorry to hear about your loss. Saying good-bye to a parent is especially tough. My Dad left 24 years ago when he was only 67. I was glad that I shared his final days and had time to tell him I loved him. Right now my mom is struggling with pneumonia and heart trouble and is in the hospital as I write this. I'm on the other side of the country from her and it's tough. I hope she'll be there in the summer when I can go back.

    Blessings to you and your family.

    Lee
    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

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  166. My father passed 6 years ago, this month. I wish you and yours the very best. Hang in there.

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  167. I've been trying to reconnect back with some of my favorite writing bloggers and I realized I hadn't seen you around much. I came across this post and I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your father. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. And thank you so much for sharing your words with all of us.

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  168. Missed your last couple of Blitz Days as I've been out of town with limited or no internet. Glad to be back on the wagon. Just passed my Mom's angle day, I can tell you it gets easier; but not quickly. I like to look at pictures and remember the good times.
    Bridge and Beyond Blitz

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