I had a half written post about how I was spending my longest vacation from work ever. And the early morning hours of January 4, my post about my 2013 blogging goals went up. I was hoping to post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Then later in the morning on January 4, a text message from my mother was received letting me know my dad was being taken to the hospital and then within a few minutes, my phone rang and that's when I knew things were going to be different this hospital visit then the last few in 2012.
I had planned to not say anything. Take a brief break as there were things to do. But I had just written about my blogging goals. And thought people would think it was odd that on the the very first Monday after setting those goals, I had already failed. Then I thought about actually going through with writing something and not saying anything about my dad. And then I thought if I didn't say anything at all, a few who knew would think I was crazy. And I have several friends in the book blogging community that I'm friends with on Facebook and I know they read this too. Some of my friends in the book blogging community experienced great loss themselves in 2012. The thing is though, that I'm actually a fairly private person when it comes to a lot of things with most people. I'm also not a very outwardly emotional person in general. But the more I thought about it, the more just never saying anything felt more wrong than right.
My father passed away on the morning of Friday, January 4 having lived 87 very full years. As the patriarch of our family he's left a legacy including 6 children, 14 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. He outlived every man in his family that came before him by over 33 years. My parents were married for over 40 years, and my father loved and worshipped my mother with true devotion. My parents were 25 years apart in age. As a child, I had a father who retired when I was just starting elementary school, and a few years later my parents opened a horse boarding stable on our ranch. Therefore I spent the majority of my childhood with two parents at home. It has never been lost on me how special this was for me. How lucky I was compared to most of my other friends and classmates. My father was an incredibly hard worker, always passionate about the things that interested him, and he loved his family deeply. The last several years he was faced with declining physical and mental health, but my mother took absolute meticulous care of him, ensuring he was able to stay at home until his very last day.
I have friends who have lost a parent at such young ages. I'm so thankful for the 87 years my father had. He was a man who lived life. He was a man of very strong will, strong character, and strong opinions. He was honest and sometimes strict, but always fun. He had high expectations, but he would be the first to reach a helping hand. He was a damn good man. He was the best father. His life is one to be celebrated. Dad loved a good party, a great cup of coffee, and an even better glass of wine. Many friends and our big family will gather on Friday to celebrate his life.
Thank you to those who already knew and reached out with kind words and many virtual hugs. My dad would say if you were not out living life to the fullest you were doing it wrong. Life is a gift. Live it to its fullest potential. Make an indelible mark.
I'll be back Monday, January 14.