We traveled to Dad's funeral 3 weeks ago and laid him to rest on December 8th. It seems like a moment ago that we arrived and started running to get everything done. I never dreamed there would be so much work to be done. But how easy should it be to memorialize someone that lived 69 years?
There were so many fun and touching stories that I heard over the course of the week. Things I did not know about my Dad, things that showed me a deeper side of him that I really didn't know that well.
There were the things I knew. The parts of growing up that you just know as facts, like he loved his truck. I tried driving it once when he was out of town, although that dang old truck wouldn't let me drive him. Never got out of the driveway and never told a soul until this week. I wonder if he knew...
He loved this Valley. Only left a couple of times for short periods and then returned to his home. I've never seen the beauty in this place, but for me there is a piece of it buried in this dusty old valley and I will think of it differently now.
I heard a song on the radio today by Patty Loveless, called "How Can I Help You Say Goodbye". Almost took me down...I really don't know how to say Goodbye. I know the funeral is to help with closure but I can't stand how this feels. I know none of us were ready. Who ever is? He needed to go, he was in so much pain, but I...MISS...HIM! And it hurts...a lot.
There is a dignified beauty in death. We are released from this mortal existence with all it's pain and hardships. Sometimes I wish I could go with. I feel as if I am always saying goodbye to my Fathers. I was so young when my father, Wellington, died. I wasn't old enough to grieve. I feel as if I am grieving them both right now and it is an impossible feeling. I will no longer have a father to guide me or to talk to me. I was blessed with two...
I am grateful for MomE that took care of him and loved him. I know it was hard for a while with his health issues, but I admire her for doing so with love, patience and kindness. Her loss is infinite. She is a goodly woman and he loved her deeply. The greatest advice he ever gave me involved a story about how much he loves her.
My Aunt Judy is the sole survivor of the siblings. I can't imagine what that must be like. I pray she will be comforted in the knowledge that Dad was proud of her for turning her life around and going to the temple. This is one of those things I learned about him. He worked to bring those back to the fold. His friend Fred talked about how Dad had bought a trailer in Lehi, AZ when my sister and I came to live with them and how Dad talked him into moving next door since Fred had married and had two of her boys living with them as well. (side note: That's how Bill Betts and I became friends for life)
Anyways, he had recently been reactivated to going to church and told Fred he would be by to pick him up around 7:00 a.m. for Priesthood. Every week he showed up and Fred stayed in bed, finally after a long while, Fred decided he better get up if Dad was going to keep showing up every Sunday. Fred has been active in the church ever since.
He had a band of friends, five of them, that stayed friends from grade school on. They were all there that were still alive. He was that kind of person. Never met a stranger and stayed loyal to all.
I love you Dad. Thank you for choosing to my Dad...because I know it was a choice.