Sunday, January 26, 2014

Twenty-three Years Ago

Twenty three years ago, in the wee morning hours our phone rang......that called changed my life forever.  I could hear Rick's voice, I knew something was wrong, really bad.......when he hung up the phone, he told me to get dressed.  I asked him if my dad had died.......I had just seen him the evening before, but I knew in my heart he was gone.  A week before, he had been at our house chopping wood for their wood stove.......but he had lung issues and heart issues.......and I knew he was gone.

It seemed our family in a two week period had dealt with nothing but sister-in-law's dad had died and he and my father were good friends, neighbors had died, other family members had died, a young cousin had overdosed and my dad's best friend had died......eight funerals in two dad's was the last.

I think about my dad today, he died when he was seventy-two.  He had a wicked sense of humor and a heart full of compassion.......he lived by the Golden Rule.  At his funeral, so many friends and family members talked about him and his whenever there was a need, he was there to do whatever he could.  He taught me to love and appreciate Sundays, that was the only day he didn't read newspaper comics, to love ice cream, to love family, to be a good friend, to appreciate oysters on the half shell,  to shoot pool, to drive, he insisted I know how to change a flat tire, and the oil in my car and to always carry a coat in the winter whether I thought I needed it or not.

Before Christmas this past  year, three of my friends dads died......all I could say was I am sorry.  It made no difference to them that I knew how they felt, that I had stood in their shoes and had mourned the loss of my dad all these could I tell them, that even after all these years, the emptiness was still there, that his memory was such a poor substitute for him.  That is a path you walk alone.

But tonight, I remember Sharky ( his nickname)......his funny corny jokes, our family vacations to the beach, and his wonderful Irish blue eyes.......I still remember his hugs,
and his best words of wisdom ever, "you have to work out your own salvation."  Where ever you are tonight, I love you Poppa.


  1. A very moving read, Jilda. Time does heal, but you never forget the sorrow of the loss.

  2. Oh,Jilda. I think we had the same Dad. I have a huge lump in my throat for no matter how old I am I still miss my Dad. He also was 74 when he died and I was only 21! I think he was the only person in my life that ever loved me unconditionally

    God bless you as you miss your Poppa!. xo Diana

  3. Jilda, this was beautiful... the emptiness is still there for me too but we just have to go on... it does get to a point we can deal with it... but memories always flood in... the trick is to remember the good ones right?

  4. ahaha but He lives in your memories as does my Father in mine. love and hugs sheila in very hot Mulgrave