HAPPY FATHER'S DAY 2014, DAD
Upon our return home after visiting with you on May 12, 2014, my husband, Larry, and I felt a "complete calm in our hearts" in knowing "just how much you love us". No one can ever deny the gentleness in your tone, the sweet genuine warmth of your hugs, the tenderness of a Father's kiss to his Daughter, the very low whimper in my ear, the sadness in your eyes as we were leaving, and your last loving words: "I always walk you out." Thank you, Dad, for being the one to deliver your message to me on the day of your passing (May 25, 2014).
There was a "fine tribute to you, Dad" on May 27, 2014 (after the Memorial Day weekend), with the military salute of guns, taps, folding of the flag -- all in recognition of an Old Soldier who lived his life in dignity, honesty, integrity, and ethics -- love of country and his family. Very befitting was a "Currahee" poem read at your graveside service. It was extremely thoughtful and much appreciated to have received "one of the cartridges" from a friend of the family. It will be cherished.
Shortly before your passing, I had purchased two (2) Father's Day cards. One of the cards was of a lone man in a small boat, sitting on a glassy lake with the mountains in the background. The scene was a spitting-image of that "third lake" at Tangle Lakes in Alaska that we used to fish and camp many years ago. While you won't be able to catch that 20" salmon you pantomimed recently, you will be able to hook a few lake trout. I'm chuckling a bit now as I recall the grizzly bear that use to come up and lick the bacon grease from the cast iron skillet in the middle of the night. While Mom and the boys secured the area in the morning, you and I actually went out looking for him! What a childhood memory that is!
The second Father's Day card held more of the inspirational tone in which your Daughter thanks you for teaching me "about the lessons of life" and "being able to stand up for myself" and that "having a Dad like you has spoiled me a bit".
Over the previous several Father's Days, I have been sending your three (3) Grandchildren a personal note or card remembering their Fathers (Your Sons -- My Brothers). This year, there is another "extremely special Father" I will add to the list -- YOU, DAD.
When I selected the cards for Larry and me to send, I also purchased two (2) small pillows I felt would be very soft and comfortable for you. We never got time to send them before you chose to leave. We will keep them here for you, Dad, for your next visit. Much love from both of us.