Sunday, January 24, 2016

A Celebration of Love and Family.

Daddy with his three children - January 22, 2016
My father, always "Daddy" to his three children, passed away early yesterday morning. Thankfully, all of us - my brother, my sister, Mother and I - were with him.

He officially enrolled in hospice care just ten days before he died, but he's been battling cancer since 2003. Marc said that Daddy "stole some years from cancer". We are grateful for all the extra years he gave us.

I’m also grateful we had this last week together. My sister came down Thursday before last and asked me and my brother to come last Sunday.  I know Daddy loved having his three children (and Holly!) here even though he couldn't say much. The dark hours - literally and figuratively - we shared with him those last days have only strengthened our family bonds.

I never shared much about Daddy's fight here; it didn't seem like it was my story to tell.  He was a faithful reader, certainly one of my biggest - and earliest - fans. I started the blog in February 2007 as a way to keep in touch with my girls, but it quickly became a support for my parents when Daddy endured radiation and chemotherapy for throat cancer that spring and summer.

And now ... I know I could write for days, but there's no way I could tell the story as well as it deserves to be told. So I'll simply say he lived a life full of love, faith, integrity, honesty, loyalty, humility, strength and family. I miss him terribly, but the legacy he gave me and my family will keep him alive in our hearts forever.

Thankfully, my schedule allows me to stay on here with Mother for a few weeks. She’s been preparing for this mentally for months, but the reality is still challenging. We’re going iPhone shopping and getting a security system installed (not to mention all the phone calls, emails and paperwork that has to be handled). There will hopefully be some cooking, reading, knitting and more alligator sightings to share here. For sure there won't be any snow and I'm guessing that'll be a welcome change for many of y'all!

Thank you all for your support, love and understanding.

18 comments:

  1. Oh, I am so, so sorry for your loss. What a gift for your lovely family to find yourselves strengthened during this time. You are all in my thoughts. xxx

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  2. Mary, you said that so well. Family is everything!

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  3. The love you all shared with your dad will support you . My prayers and thoughts are with you.

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  4. It's never easy, even when you try to mentally prepare yourself, but you've expressed the love and strong bonds your family shares so well. That is a really lovely photo embodying that love. I'm glad you were all together, and glad you can stay to be with and help your mother. Sending my sincerest sympathy, love, and prayers. XO

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  5. Take care. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

    How lucky your father was to have all of you with him. That is a blessing.

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  6. Oh Mary. I'm very sorry to hear about this. Your post is beautifully written and a wonderful tribute to your father. I hope you can hold on to this feeling in the days to come.

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  7. I'm so sorry to read this, Mary. Hoping that your memories of your father can be a source of comfort to you in the days to come. It was fortunate that you could all be together surrounding him with your love. You and your family will be in my prayers. Take care.

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  8. A beautiful way to transition from this life to the next.

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  9. The picture alone has made me weep. I was blessed to know him for the last 25 years. Through the tears we'll continue to shed I know we'll be able to smile at the memories and happy times, and there are many. xoxo

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  10. Sending much love your way, Mary. I'm so glad you and your siblings were able to be together with your Mom and Dad, and I'm so glad you'll be able to spend this time now, with your Mom. I'll be holding you all in my heart. XOXO

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  11. My heart breaks for you and I sent all my love your way. It's so wonderful you were all together to ease his passing and that you can be there to bolster your mother during this very difficult time. The roller coaster of grief is a real one. Thinking of you and keeping you in my heart, Mary.

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  12. I am so sorry for your loss. It is so great that you were all together.

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  13. May God bless you & your family, Mary. You have my sympathy and prayers.

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  14. I am so very sorry. What a lovely post you have written in remembering him.
    Take care.

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  15. Mary, I'm so sorry to hear of your father's passing. Your post is a beautiful tribute to a life well lived. May you find peace and comfort in the days to come.

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  16. Dear Mary, I am so sorry for your loss. You are lucky that you, your mom and siblings were with him at the end, and that he knew he was cherished.

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  17. I am so sad to read of your father's passing ... Your love and eloquence speak volumes about him and his many gifts to you all and the world. Thinking of you all ...

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  18. So very sorry for your family's loss. How wonderful that your family was able to be together for him and each other.

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