PJV

LOSS

“I just want to get back on my feet,

So I can walk to the end of the driveway holding hands with your mother”

This "want" pretty much sums up my father

He recognized and appreciated the beautiful things in life that often go overlooked

My sister – as far back as I can remember

Has been “Miss”

He worked continuously and endlessly

Day after day, decade after decade

To take care of his family

For all of his 87-years

They came first

He was not flashy…he was not loud

He was simply good and steady

My older brother who is not wrong about many things

Recently called him one of the all-time greats

He was

He came off a downtown street corner in Saco

His immigrant parents laughed at him when he told them he wanted to go to the University of Maine

He walked into Wingate Hall on his own

The finance rep listened to his story and grabbed a piece of paper

Worked up some numbers and slid the paper across the table to him

He looked at it long and hard then looked up saying,

“I cannot do this”

The rep looked him in the face long and hard, took the paper back and began writing again

He then again slid the paper across the table

Dad looked at it and said, “I can do this!”

OCS (Officer Candidate School) was part of the deal

The US Marines

Korea

He told me about standing in front of a drill sergeant receiving instructions on how to kill a person silently, from behind with a knife

He finishes the story with,

“I was thinking… this is really not my cup of tea.”

He called me the other day from the hospital saying,

“I have had a procedure and I have not dealt with it very well.”

I responded, “Dad, you have had brain surgery.”

They told him if he opted for the most aggressive option - surgery

Statistically he would have a year

He lived 12-days

Basically the surgery killed him

But, with his resolve, and love of life

It took him ten-days to die

The last words he spoke to me were on a Sunday afternoon,

“How come you are not watching the game?”

Six short days later as he spent his last day on earth fighting a battle he could not win

He was surrounded by his life-long love, every one of his children and every one of his grandchildren

We all constantly bathed his failing body with love

I was asked, “What do you think he sees?”

My answer, “Dreams…a mish mash of this world and the next.”

He waited until we were all gone then quietly left us

I hope it is beautiful where he is now

He was a good and decent man

I am fortunate enough to be able to call him my friend and my father

He will be missed

……………………….

 

~ pjv ~