As I shared many months ago, my dad has been in failing health for the last year and a half. We didn't expect him to make it until Christmas. Unfortunately, we were right. We lost my dad December 8th. It has made this time of year bittersweet. On the one hand, I miss him terribly, and this time of joy and family reminds me that he isn't here to celebrate with us. On the other hand, I'm thankful he's fully healed now.
He was in so much pain these last few months. Unable to catch his breath or even carry on a full conversation. We had already lost the dad I knew and loved so well. However, now that he's actually gone and I can reflect on the many healthy years he had before the pulmonary fibrosis set in, I hate that he can't be here AND be well at the same time.
I didn't write much about my dad on here, as this blog has been primarily devoted to becoming a mom, but it is important for me to share that my dad was amazing. He spent his whole life learning, and when it came to his kids and grandkids, he just got it. He was an incredibly hard worker- he grew up without much at all and his dad passed away when he was just 17, so he was constantly trying to give us all a better life- and he did. He was a great example of loving God and loving others. He sent my brothers and I to college debt free. He provided for my mom and made investments to make sure she was cared for after he was gone. And, while he was working so hard, he still made time for us. During his last years in the military, before he retired, he went back to school at night to get a degree in computer science. Crazy time consuming, but I still remember him coming home in the evenings before classes or homework and doing devotionals with me from a book called Character Sketches.
At his visitation, a dear friend of mine from high school shared that she always remembered seeing my dad in the crowd as we cheered for basketball games. Wearing a purple sweatshirt (our colors were purple and gold) and wearing the cheesy pin with my photo on it. I remember many evenings I would not understand a math or science concept, and he would spend hours in the evening reteaching himself the concept so he could teach it to me. So many "small" things that added up to knowing he loved us immensely.
I want to write these memories down, so I can share with my kids what an amazing grandfather they had, since none of my kids will ever have the chance to really know him. I think that's the hardest part- he was someone worth knowing. Someone worth learning from, and talking to, and spending time with. And they will never have that chance.