He wasn't perfect, certainly. He could have been a better father; gentler, less quick to anger, more unconditional with his love. As his adult daughter, though, I was able to see Dad's sense of humor, and if I ever needed help with something, he was willing to offer a little elbow grease. He was a very hard worker. He liked to build bird houses and squirrel feeders. He just didn't like to show vulnerability, and for some reason, he had a hard time seeing the goodness in some of his children (or at least letting them know that he did).
It was interesting, as his offspring, to see that many people knew another side of my dad. When my cousin Jeanie paid her condolences via email, for example, I was happy to see that Dad's best characteristics were evident to others.
[I have to preface this to say that Jeanie was one of eight girls in a family of 10 children. To this day, I have difficulty keeping some of their names straight, as nine of them are older than I am.]
When I think of memories of your Dad..........
member being impressed firstly as a small child, when this Uncle re membered us kids enough to bring back chips and candy bars from the beer run to the local tavern.
And then, when this sa
me Uncle re membered not only our correct na mes, but would ask with that big smile, "And how's Jeanie doing?" ...and would take the ti me to listen to this teenager's response.
And again, at the last family reunion in
... talking to Door County me as an equal, with a sincere wisdom and acceptance. We were sitting on the lawn, and of course Aunt Elsie was by his side.
member seeing a photograph from years back...of a young handso me couple on a picnic blanket on a lawn, looking like movie stars and wearing an obvious look of love for each other.
And out of that union ca
me a big beautiful family of nine children. In big families, there is a lot of learning and lessons and memories, and as we get older, it seems we all have our own special memories and spin on them, too. I think it best to choose to re member the memories that leave you with that sa me big smile.
One more amazing thing.......as I was just on the phone proof-reading this with sister Margaret in Minnesota, she was out walking, and as she passed the church, the bells started ringing....
and the song.......of course.....was Amazing Grace!
Love to you all, Jeanie
I guess what it boils down to is that when people close to us pass away, we often mourn what we didn't have with them. In Dad's case, it was healing to hear that even if I didn't always have my dad's affection, someone did.
It was my role in the funeral to choose the music. I never remembered Dad enjoying music, except maybe Lawrence Welk show? so I knew it was really for the rest of us. My cousin Jeanie had recorded a song not too long previously, and I thought it was kind of nice, so I chose it for the procession out of the church, after the service. In my state of grief, I really hadn't put a lot of thought into the choice, but as the strains of Jeanie's voice rang through the church, it made an impression--everyone loved it. Today, listening to the song, I got a little choked up, but again I realized what a great song it would be for so many others; it beautifully fits the life philosophy of many people we know.
Note: This video is not really visually appealing (except that it shows sweet Jeanie and her friend); it's just some pics thrown together by a friend who wanted a background for the song. I recommend, instead, that you turn off your monitor and just listen to it (or put a favorite photo of your own on your monitor); the quality of the sound is excellent.
Here's to life, and here's to today. Have a good one.