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I thought I would take a break from writing the traditional posts that I usually write here on my blog and do a tribute to my Dad.
I spend a lot of time with my Dad, not because I have to but because I choose too. I feel like I owe him that much, after all, he has always been there for me. He is a big part of why I can be so giving and thoughtful of others. He is the reason I am not as judging as maybe others are. He is definitely the biggest reason I love to laugh and be around other people.
Everyone loves my Dad. It is completely impossible not to love him. His smile can warm your heart, and his gentle and kind words will win you over in a heartbeat. I don’t think my father has ever had an enemy in his life. He is easy to talk to and tells the most interesting and wonderful stories that you can listen to over and over and never get tired of hearing them.
He was a strong man when I was growing up. I remember him breaking an apple in half with his 2 hands. I remember friends of mine coming over for him to work on their cars because they were amazed that he could loosen a bolt with his bare hands. He was strong.
Over the last year, his health has not been the greatest. He has slowly declined from being the strong, smart and funny man that he once was to become weak, confused and understandably down.
My dad has been battling glaucoma and diabetes for a few years now, and although it is being controlled it has left him 100 % blind. He has had his share of ups and downs throughout this past five or so years too. He developed lung cancer about 5 years ago at 82 years old and had to have the upper right lobe of his lung removed. He beat it though and is cancer free. He has been diagnosed with dementia recently, and he is now having issues with his heart.
Somehow through all of the medical issues he has, and as confused as he sometimes can become, he still laughs and jokes and smiles with us. He dances with the nurses that come to assist him, he flirts with the physical therapists, and he still finds a way to make a wisecrack while at the dinner table. He tries so hard to be positive and happy. And most of the time he succeeds, and we laugh like crazy with him.
I know that deep down he is depressed, he doesn’t understand why or even what is happening to him. He sometimes says he feels like a bother to us. Sometimes he even says he wishes God would take him. Sometimes he even says he doesn’t want to live this way.
The hardest thing for me is to watch him as he slowly deteriorates and his struggles become harder and harder for him to handle and understand. To remember a man that was and still is my hero and best friend, the one I could always go to, the one who always listened and never judged me, and perhaps the only person in life who really “gets” me slowly go downhill is hard, perhaps the hardest thing ever.
So on Memorial Day, I want to honor my dad, a man that fought in 3 wars and would have stayed in the military and done it again. I want to honor a man who stayed loyal and true to a marriage of 60 + years, a man who always helped me if he could, who taught me to listen and watch, to enjoy life, to appreciate what I have, to always keep moving forward without looking back and above all to never quit.
Even though Memorial Day is about those who died and gave up their lives to defend my country, I honor my Dad on this day. I don’t know if I will get to celebrate another Memorial Day with my Dad, so this one is for him.
Happy Memorial Day to all, especially you Dad! I love you!