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Thursday, May 17, 2012

A farewell to Dad

"Parents aren't the people you come from. They are the people you want to be, when you grow up." 

                                                Frank (Lefty, Sonny) Lajoie

Shortly after my mother died in 2004, I was privileged to have a short letter published in Tim Russert’s last book “Wisdom of Our Fathers”.  It read:

I wrote this eight years ago and now eight years later, on May 1st, 2012, my Dad passed away to reunite with his soulmate, my mother.  And the night before he died we were told by the night nurse that at approximately 2:00am he sat straight up in bed, looked over to the nurse and said, “I would like to introduce to you my beautiful wife, Peggy.”  And with that he laid back down and went back into a semi-conscious state.
Oddly, I was not surprised by this.  I knew her presence was always felt by him in their home.  I knew the connection they shared was exclusive.  She had been with him for these last eight years; quiding him, encouraging him, listening to him. And so, as it happened to be, I felt comforted knowing they now shared the afterlife. 

I also found endless comfort from my siblings.  For endless hours our families were together, remembering, sharing, and of course, partaking in an occassional drink or two.  We made it through the preparations, the funeral, and then the good byes to each other as we departed in our seven separate ways. 

I stayed an extra day at the homestead to do a final cleaning and spent the day walking around each room taking it all in.  The empty house brought flooding memories back of the loss of my mother and I realized that era, their generation, was gone and that the values and the traditions they lived by were now in our hands and were ours to bestow on our children.

So, as I left the Cape and “crept” over the bridge, the tears once again flowed.  My children no longer had their maternal grandparents and I no longer could call home to hear about all the happenings and activities of a large family.   And what happens to 255-7172?   Again I am reminded – live each day, give all you can to your family, cherish your friends and live by the lessons you learned from your parents.  We are here but once.

May you both rest in peace Mom and Dad knowing that all you were, all you accomplished and all you gave made each of us what we are today. 

                                                      I love and miss you.