I have been a wife and mother for over twenty years. Now I am becoming my husband's lover, too.
We owe it all to my fellow bloggers who gave me the courage to come out to my husband as a spanko.
I do feel like this is a New Beginning for us.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

My Dad


My dad died a year ago today, November 9. This post is just going to be talking about him. He was a fascinating man. My dad was interested in everything! I remember him studying ESP, dreams, reincarnation, pyramid power, hypnosis, all the reading of Edgar Cayce and over all of this, the Bible. He was a world traveler who was always anxious to go anywhere. He loved my mother everyday of their 55 years together. And even as Parkinson’s disease and dementia rob him of so much he always remained pleasant and funny.

Daddy was a WWII veteran. Once he died I realized that I really didn’t know about his time in the service. We only knew about two things from that time, one was about a little boy, Guy Specks, who sat with Dad on guard duty and taught him French. The other thing we knew about was a beautiful girl named Antoinette that he dated while he was there. After he died we found out that he had won 5 bronze stars. We never knew, he never mentioned it.

He and his brother owned a small appliance business that their father had started. They had 5 small stores. My mom and my aunt worked with them. That meant that my mom and dad often spent 24 hours a day together for years. These little stores allowed Mom and Dad to travel the world. They could win trips by selling a certain number of appliances. It is hard to remember where all they went – Bermuda, Hong Kong, Tokyo, France, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, Spain and Africa (we went with them on that trip), England, Ireland, Ecuador, Mexico, Canada and Hawaii and Alaska, as my dad would say after given this list to someone, “Probably other places, but I don’t want to brag.”

On one trip to France, Daddy began thinking of Antoinette and decided to write her a letter. He sent it to the only address he had and it was 40 years old. She got the letter. She still lived in her parents old home. They wrote for a while and on the next year when Mom and Dad went to Switzerland they were only about 100 miles from her home so they broke off from their tour to drive down for a visit. Mom said they had a wonderful visit with Antoinette and her husband and even spent the night. Mom did comment that since she was the only one that did not speak French she could only wonder if they were planning to run off together. She didn’t seem especially worried. The night they rejoined their tour and in a little ceremony they were each given an award for being “The most Broad Minded” using both meanings of the word!


When I was little daddy taught the old men’s Sunday school class. When I turned 12 he began teaching my class. He didn’t like the literature the church had so he threw it out and began teaching all the Bible stories straight through. My friends and I came out of that class with a good background in the Bible! Daddy was a good example for everyone. He never drank. He never smoked. He never cussed. I never saw him angry. And you can imagine living with a wife, two daughters, and a mother-in-law that hated him he probably had plenty of reasons to be angry. But he was always good natured.

When Daddy was in his 60’s he saw a picture of the small mountain town where he grew up. He wasn’t able to make a good copy of it so he drew it. What he discovered, at this rather late point in his life, was that he was a fantastic artist! He became quite famous locally with his pen and ink sketches. He made the rounds of all the craft shows and always loved talking to all the people who bought his work.

Out of all his travels his favorite trip location was by far – Disney World!! He was the biggest kid. They went more than a dozen times, the last 3 times with our family. When I ask Nick if we could take the kids one more time when our son was in the eight-grade I told him we could go, just the four of us and drive it. To me one of the most romantic things Nick ever said to me was his answer to this. He said “We could make an easier trip with just the 4 of us, but your Dad loves it so much, let’s just fly so we can take your parents”. I wasn’t an easy trip; both Mom and Dad agreed to let us push them in wheelchairs for speed and ease of travel. But it was their last time there and we had a ball! I am so glad we made the effort.

It was rough as he had a harder time getting around. It hurt when I had to ask him to stop driving. I hated making decisions that were changing their lives. But Daddy was always a true gentleman and accepted that I was trying to help and do what was best for both of them. Dad and I were with Mom when she passed away at their home. After Mom died Daddy saw her often. He said that she never spoke but that he could sometimes see her and every night he could feel her getting into the bed and holding him. I never tried to argue with him because I realized that it just might be true.

I tried to work thing out so he could stay there in the home he had built for them 55 years before. But after 6 months it wasn’t working. He went to live in an assisted living center that was beautiful. I think of Theresa when I think of the wonderful nurses who took the time to talk with him, listen to him and in general petted him all the time. He loved them. His biggest fear was that Mom would not ‘go with him’ to the new place. She did. He was very happy about that.

I had the honor of being with my dad when he passed away too. One of my sisters was also there. When Daddy died nearly everyone from the staff came to his room to give us a hug and tell us how much he was loved. I was happy that he was surrounded by so much love at the end.

My mom and dad made a wonderful combination. He was always calm and even tempered; Mom would get mad about once a week and stay mad for 8 day! Most everything scared my mom, Daddy was relaxed and confident in everything he did. I know they both loved there kids and spoiled us rotten. I still miss them both, but I am very happy that they are back together. As much as I miss them I know that they are where they should be and I know that they are happy.

12 comments:

  1. What a lovely and touching tribute to your Dad. He sounds like he was a wonderful man. You are so lucky to have such wonderful memories of him.

    Your Dad and Mom are together forever. Isn't that what life (and death) are all about??

    EXTRA BIG HUGS!
    grace

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  2. I know the feeling. Why is it we don't forget those dates. Mom was Jan 31, and Dad was August 16.

    Mom died at home with several family members including Dad beside her. Dad died here at my home. I was holding his hand and talking to him about how we watched tv together when I was little.

    You got me all teary now. Your Dad sounds amazing. ***Waving towards the heavens, "Hi Mr Elis' Dad, great daughter you raised there!"

    Hugs
    Theresa

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  3. What a marvelous man your Dad was. Talented, wise, kind and loving. He was a great men. I am glad you remember things so well. It is a blessing. I am also glad you were able to ne there with him at passing. I wasn't when my Mom died. I never said goodbye. I miss her so much.

    I am glad you have wonderous memories to hold onto. Diane

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  4. Elis, what a wonderful tribute to a wonderful father.
    You are one lucky girl, such memories.
    I never knew my parents, sometimes I wonder.
    Thank you for that.
    Warm hugs,
    Paul.

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  5. Anonymous4:42 PM

    Thank you, Elis, for sharing that. You have good memories and that's so very important.

    Enjoy a peaceful day.

    Debbie

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  6. This is the most beautiful tribute, Elis, not just to your Dad and the bond you had with him and will always hold in your soul, but the one between you and your Mom. I couldn't help but think of Paul and Mel with almost every word... and I'm wiping the tears now as I type.

    I also thought again of my own Mom, who I lost five years and four days ago... I was her whole world for every minute of her life since she discovered she was pregnant with me, but I spent all but the last 6 weeks of her life resenting her for all the wrong things. We tried our best but that time was simply not enough to even put a dent in more than 30 wasted years on my part. I will carry those regrest to my grave but I am glad you have such happy memories of your own parents.

    I love you and this post was incredible... something tells me that your Dad and Mom were reading it over your shoulder as you typed it, and smiling down all the while as they held hands!

    Love,
    Tiggs

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  7. Elis~ Very wonderful tribute you wrote there. You're father had to have been awesome... He raised you. The pieces of him that you share are very special to me. Thank you.

    Eva

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  8. Elis, what beautiful memories of your dad! There is nothing more special than a daddy's love. -Hugs

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  9. Grace, you are right that is what its all about!

    Theresa, the dates stay with us. As time passes I remember more of the good times and less about how sick they were near the end.

    Diane, I don't think any ever stops missing their mom and dad.

    Paul, I can only imagine the pride your parents feel for you from where they are.

    Debbie, I have had a peaceful day. Visiting with all of you here really helps. Thanks for stopping by.

    Tiggr, I know that I was blessed to have the paents I had. I saw them grow closer as they got older. It was so cute to watch!

    Eva, he always amazed me with what he could create.

    Maggie, he was always my hero.

    Thanks everyone, you have all helped to make today a time of joy at being able to share the love I had for my parents with others.

    Elis

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  12. Thanks for sharing this. WWII vets are slipping away from us too fast now. So many of them were humble and quiet about their experiences. Have read that many of them didn't want to burden their family with the bad memories that came with war.

    Will remember your dad... and all the brave men and women that served... on this Veterans Day.

    ~Todd & Suzy

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