Friday, February 3, 2012

In Memory Of My Father

My dad died on February 3, 1980, at age 58.  I was 25 years old and a freshly minted RN.
It is so strange to realize that my dad has been gone for 32 years.  I had him in my life for such a short time.
Still, I have a lot of memories of my father.  He taught me so many things.

A very physical guy, he taught me to ice skate, ride horses, snow and water ski, sail, and more.
He was an architect and a structural engineer.  He built furniture.  He was a pilot in the navy during WW2 but he rarely talked about it.  He had the voice of an angel.  He sang in a barbershop quartet, a chorus, and always sang in his church choir.  He swore like a pirate.

I think about him every single day.  I wish he had known my husband and daughters.
Some holidays and anniversaries are more difficult than others in reference to my dad, but it is what it is.

I think he would be tickled about how I have lived my life.  I know he would have liked my husband.  There is no doubt he would have been enchanted by his granddaughters.  He would have especially enjoyed their quirky humor.

So, I have a ritual that I use to honor my loved ones on these anniversaries.  It is different for each, but important to me.

Dad (R) with his sister, Maxine
Dad (L) with my uncle Ralph (center) and Maxine
This is a "Lil Rascals" shot!
The Tuckers
L-R: Marjory, Maude (my grandmother), Rex, Roger, Ralph, George (my grandfather), and Maxine
My uncle Roger, like me, is the last member of his family-of-origin.


  1. I'm sure your father would be really pleased to know that he lives on through you, your family and your posts. :)

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Leslie,

    I also miss my father, gone since 1983, too soon, but he did know my children, who were 13 and 16. It is amazing how certain things can call a father to mind and the hole resounds again.

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Lovely post. The old photos are priceless. Doesn't it seem like the older we get the more dear those memories are and in some ways we miss our parents and family who are gone even more than ever? I thought it would be the opposite.

  4. What a wonderful ritual to honor your dad. He would be so proud of you and all that you have become, and the things that you are yet to achieve. Hang in there today, as you go through the motions of remembrance. My heart goes out to you.

  5. Thanks, everyone. Today was filled with good memories. Life moves forward, memories included. Thanks for traveling along with me. I appreciate it more than you know.

  6. Like you, Leslie, my Dad died when I was fairly young--in 1968, the second semester of my freshman year in college.
    In an odd coincidence, I dreamed about him last night. Odd, because I more often dream of my Mom who passed away at age 88 in 2002. I'd told my husband that I hardly ever dream about my Dad because he was gone when I was young, and I had my Mom with me much longer.
    Dad's always been a bit of a puzzle to me. He was seriously ill for most of my growin-up years, so it was hard for me to know the real him. He came off as gruff and angry, but knowing that he was struggling with illness has always made me wonder what he was like in his earlier years.
    But I do remember times when my folks and I sat at the dinner table after the meal and played cards or told stories and laughed until we cried. Those times I will NEVER forget.
    I, too, am the last of my family-of-origin, which saddens me a bit. But life is what it is, and I'm grateful for it.
    Thanks for sharing this part of your life, Leslie. May your coming days be filled with the warmth of grace and peace.

  7. An interesting parallel, Donna. My mother died in 2003 at the age of 78. One does wonder about who the person inside the shell of a chronic illness was/might have been. I'm glad you have some intact earlier memories.
    Being the last in the family-of-origin is truly weird, but, as you say, it is what it is. We are tougher for it and we know how to put things in perspective.
    Thank you for sharing part of your story with me, Donna.


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