How can I remember my Dad who passed away on November 21, 2018? These are a number of ideas of what I can do to keep Dad alive in my heart forever. This list will grow and develop in the course of time.
“Come back. Even as a shadow, even as a dream.”
“If the people we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them.”
James O’ Barr
“When he died, all things soft and beautiful and bright would be buried with him.”
University of Chicago Chapel
The question looms and hangs in my mind as I wrestle with how to deal with Dad’s death. The question is as follows. How can I remember him? How can I keep Dad alive in my life? I lost both of my parents when I was 42 or 43. Going forward how can I keep them in my mind and a part of me? These are some ideas that I can do knowing Dad and how he lived.
“Is that on Your Diet?”
These are what I will consider to be Dad’s last words. His situation was hard as the brain tumor he dealt with affected his ability to speak and remember things. About three weeks ago with my sister Dad said something that is how Dad would be. After my sister picked up a bagel after a doctor’s appointment Dad turned to her and asked if that was on her diet. It took my sister back by surprise and in discussing this with her after Dad’s death I consider this to be the last words Dad said. It was the last coherent and meaningful thing he said. As his brain tumor progressed his ability to speak degraded and it was only in a “yes” or “no” answer. I consider those last words to be aimed at me. After all I already wrote about my Mom’s last words to me in, “Contemplating My Mom’s Last Words to Me.”
So how can I interpret Dad’s last words? For me it tells me that I need to continue to lose weight and take care of my health. Dad was serious about his health. That is something that he would feel strongly about, after all look at what he said to my sister. Those words apply to me and that is one way that I can cherish my Dad in my heart for the remainder of my life.
Other Ways to Remember Dad
There are many other ways to remember my Dad. These are but ideas that I can incorporate into my life over the course of time.
- I can learn about wine and have some more wine for dinner.
- I can embrace my Irish heritage more and celebrate the Irish side of me. After all I know how Dad felt about that.
- I can visit a BMW dealership and look at their cars and do what Dad like to do.
- I can continue his interest in musical theater and do that long term.
- Knowing how Dad felt about his alma maters of the University of Chicago, Duke, the University of Washington, and his teaching job at the University of Missouri – Columbia, I can embrace those schools. I can buy a couple of t-shirts and wear them. Dad smiled when he saw me wear the University of Missouri t-shirts and sweatshirt that I picked up. Its time to do that with the other schools.
- I can visit all those schools again in time. Though I have visited Duke, the University of Chicago and the University of Missouri in Columbia I can do so again. I can also visit the University of Washington for the first time.
- I can in a limited capacity follow the neurosurgical profession and check out a couple of websites and see how things change. Dad would like me to take an interest in his profession.
- I can visit his home town of Butte and Havre, Montana. I can make that hometown mine. In many ways I consider Montana to be my family home as I have been there so much and attended college there.
- I can read more about World War II as that was a hobby of Dad. Dad would be thrilled if I learned more about Erwin Rommel and German military history.
- At this point in my life I can’t take a dog but maybe in time that can change.
These are a start and something that can slowly become a part of my life. This would honor Dad and still keep him close to my life and heart. I will never forget my father. I will remember him to my dying day. My love for him is that intense.