Thursday, December 3, 2009

Goodbye to a giant

Thanksgiving Day was a mixture of emotions. A mixture of relief and sadness all rolled together. I had recieved the news on Wednesday November 18, that my dad was in the end stages of lung cancer.( He lived in Spokane Washington) The statement was a complete shock as I had no idea he had been sick. Of course that was how he had wanted it. I was able to speak with him on Thursday to give him my love and wish him some easement of the pain he was in. Due to aggravating my neck injury I was unable to fly home to see him, however this was most probably a blessing in disguise as he declined quickly from that point on becoming delerious and failing quickly and passing into God's hands on Thanksgiving morning. While selfish and distraught over the loss, I was thankful also that he was now out of pain.

He was a giant of a man, in so many, many ways. I was always proud as a child to be able to say my dad was the: biggest, strongest, smartest etc. as it was all very true. Over 6 1/2 feet tall he was indeed a giant of a man. This was the man that showed me nature, took me hunting, fishing, sailing, exploring and where I learned an appreciation of nature and the beauty and bounty it can provide. We developed a game of 20 questions usually played after he had been out in the woods or lakes. I soon learned that my first question should be: 'does it bite?" He was always bringing stranded or injured animals, rodents or reptiles home. Twenty questions was usually the way I learned what species of animal it was. Now you can see the importance of my first question. A quirky, dry sense of humor. I remember well learning to read and asking from another floor of the house: "Dad, what does w, h, a, t spell?" and his answer.......... "what!" "Dad, what does w..h...a...t.. spell?" and his reply "What?" this went on for some time with a growing frustration on my part and held in laughter on my dad's part till mom finally stepped in, called time out on my dad and the meaning of the word w...h...a...t become learned.

I remember spending lots of time being 'forced' to watch educational shows like 'NOVA' or other PBS specials, how awful that was!!! Now I realize how very much I learned from these shows and it also furthered my love of animals & nature and my eventuall career as a Licensed Veterinary Technician/zookeeper/instructor. We also watched plenty of Star Trek, it was typical of Dad to determine which episode it was within the first few minutes of the show. My friends often commented that he reminded them of 'Spock' due to the fact he had such a dry sense of humor and was well informed on a variety of subjects.

While we didn't always see 'eye to eye' ( catch the joke there?!) as I inherited his wonderful sense of determination or is it stubborness? He was and will always be my dad, a giant of a man.

So today, as always 'I love you Dad, God Bless'

1 comment:

Susan said...

I am so sorry about your loss. Your father sounds like an amazing man-what a sweet tribute to him you wrote. How wonderful thatyou inherited/acquired his love of animals and nature-he must have been very proud of that. Big hugs.
I hope your neck is better, too.