Monday, December 12, 2011

Dad........10 Years Gone

There are days on life's calendar that you always have in the back of you mind.   Today, December 12th marks the 10th anniversary of my father's passing.  Hard to believe how fast time the time has gone.  My dad but was relatively young by 2001 standards, just 68 years old.  However, a lifetime of smoking eventually caught up with him even though he had quit about eight years earlier.  When he did smoke it was the "high test" Lucky Skrikes unfiltered. 

Even though his death was sudden, it was not unexpected.  This part of the end of his life tortured him a bit, not knowing when or how and the thoughts of a nursing home weighed on him heavily.  For all the worrying and anxiety, he passed away in his chair watching the mid-afternoon news.  I didn't get the news until I came home from work that day around 4:30 pm.

What did he miss in the last 10 years?  When he passed 9/11 was still in the news and the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan had not started or were in it's infancy.  He would never see a grandson serve in a forward combat area.  He would never see the Phillies make it back to the top.He would never see and I-pod or smart phone and the internet was a relative new concept for him.  He wasn't much up no technology and going past channed 13 on the dial was a big thing. 

When he passes George O'Leary was the head coach at Notre Dame, if only for a few days.  He would never see Ty Willinghan and never hear of Barack Obama.  He still wouldn't believe JoePa got fired, but he never cared for Joe. My children were 2 and an infant when he left and would never experience my battle with cancer.  That was probably a good thing on both of our ends.

With a death in the family, there is something you find out that you never knew or you do get an education.  The story about my dad that I never knew until after his passing was the of the religious medal he wore.  He wore it everyday I knew him unless the chain needed repair.  I had always assumed it was of the Blessed Virgin.  My grandmother gave it to him to wear when he entered the Marines in the early 1950's.  Later did I find out that it was actually a medal of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  About two weeks before his death, he had a dream that the Our Lady appeared to him.  He passed on December 12th, the American feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe!

Ten years later, he is always in my thoughts as I wind my way through life. Though always preaching to his children, there is always a situation in which I come across that he did offer an opinion.  The advice is there forever. 

I miss you dad.  Semper Fi, Biddy.

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