Tuesday, August 01, 2006

My father passed away a week ago today, Tuesday morning around 4:30a.m. My mother and I were able to be with him until the very end. I feel the need to say, I've never witnessed anything so noble and peaceful and strong in my entire life. He made a choice that was selfless, and to witness the shared bond my parents had at the end, I've never seen anything like it on this earth. "His word was his bond," my mother tells me, and it was never more true than at his passing.

He kissed my mother goodbye, took her hand, and then mine. I was able to tell him that I loved him, that he was the best father in the world, and that he was the best man I have ever known. Holding onto us both, he never looked away as he passed into a peaceful existence. With that look, I seriously pray that he handed over some of that courage, because I'll need that courage for the rest of my life. Before I left his room, I hugged him and said, "thank you."

To me, when one world collapses, another begins, rebuilding from loss. Firsthand, I can tell you this, that true love and a place of peace exists; I saw it with my own eyes. All I can think of now is how my dad lived by example. Most of the lessons he taught me, I picked up just by observation: Shoot for what's real; have true character; hold your friends as close as family; and always keep the air pressure checked in your tires.

(Oh yeah, and check your oil before you leave,
and call me when you get there.)

So, I'm sending this last one up to you, Daddy. Even though you didn't call me when you got there, I'll overlook it this time. I know you had plenty of friends to catch up with. But thank you for everything you did for me, and for mama, and for everyone you touched in your life. You'll never know how much it means to us all. I meant every word I said to you, and I will keep my word just like you always did.

So keep your headlights on, I love you, Daddy, and Airborne
~ Bethany


Bubba said...

Bethany, I hadn't checked in with your blog recently, so I didn't see this post until this morning. I am very sorry for your loss. Your father sounds like he was a very good man. I am glad that you were able to be with him during his final moments of life. May you have peace in your time of sorrow. God bless you.

bushra said...

a beautiful tribute, bethany. hugs.

me said...

Thank you both for the always kind words, Bubba and Bushra. I had written this as a note for my father's service, and the reverend read it for me, so I thought I'd post it to share. Sending y'all both a big hug for being so very sweet.

sherry said...

I, too, have been remiss in faithfully reading your blog. i am crying right now and my heart hurts for you. you are an amazing person, and i know BOTH your parents are very proud of you. i am honored to call you friend. i am so sorry for your pain. i love you!

me said...

You are too sweet to me - I love you back, girl. I'm sorry I've been out of touch, but I think I'm in that stunned stage. Enjoy the silence ;) I'll get my second wind, you know I will. Then, I'd like a martini if you are interested. xox - bny