Remembering How Life Happens

February 4th, 2010

Well, it seems I’ve struggled with the written word the past few weeks.   I’ve been trying to catch up in so many other areas and somehow a quote by Allen Saunders comes to mind that,

“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.”

Yesterday I was outside in the sun with the boy, and he said it felt like spring already.   I think he’s on to something, even though it’s pretty cold and another storm is around the corner.  I had that first twinge of spring yearning too, and the knowledge that it’s going to come quickly now.  Time to get those seeds ordered that we don’t have, and get some planted for starts.   Soon we can even put potatoes in the ground.    After I clean up the garden that is.   And the shed, the bees, the barn, maybe some chickens, the engines…

Today is a chance to look back a bit though.  It’s the anniversary of my father’s passing five years ago.   So many thoughts come to mind, and it would be nice if I could share some brilliant journalistic form and a few pictures to mark the day.   It was a difficult time though, and he could have come through just fine.  But he didn’t.

In his last years he had several operations for replacing hips, fixing a heart valve and a widening in his aorta.    He grew strong again in those years, enough to enjoy his family, his beloved golf and the ability to work on the property.

I remember talking with him while cooking steaks on the grill, and looking over the pond.  He was 77 years old, and he said more than anything he was so thankful that he could still work around the house and do things that mattered.   He made it to one more birthday a few months later, and a few weeks after that.

He was outside working a bit when he had a pain in his chest, and Mom took him to the hospital where he was transfered to another.  I met him there that afternoon, and he was in good spirits.  I said, “You’re a turkey…”   and he said, “I am a turkey…”  Our little joke for the challenges he was facing again.  We talked and I told him I loved him, and he told me the same.  I saw him again briefly that night while Mom stayed with him in intensive care, getting ready for surgery.

Early the next morning he was on the operating table and actually came though the operation, almost.  When they gave him more blood as the surgeon was finishing up, somehow there was an allergic reaction and they couldn’t correct it.   Mom called me while I was picking up the boy at preschool.   I took him to the park, and we talked about his Bepaw going to heaven.

A couple of weeks later I remember cooking breakfast early one morning while the little boy was getting dressed upstairs for school.  He took a little longer than usual, and I remember calling to him.   “I’m coming…” he yelled back, and shortly came walking down the stairs.  I was surprised as he already had his socks on which was usually a struggle for him at four years of age.

I told him that was great as he sat down to eat, and he said “Well Daddy, guess what?”  I said “I don’t know, what?”   And as simply, and earnestly as could be he said, “Bepaw helped me put my socks on this morning.”    I didn’t really know what to say, but after my heart skipped a beat I smiled and told him “That’s nice…”

I asked him about it once a few years later.  He didn’t really remember, but thought it was neat.   It was, and I can only wonder.

Dad was a good man, a good father… and one of the good guys in so many ways.  I’ll probably share a few stories about his life in the years ahead.


He’s sitting with Justin, our late Basset Hound in the picture above.  They were buddies, and went everywhere together in the little golf cart for a couple years while we were overseas.   This picture was from July 4th in 2004;  Justin was scared because of some fireworks, and snuggled up to Dad to hide.     I figure they’re off somewhere together romping around a bit, probably on a golf course.

Life still happens, just about every day.  I’m trying hard not to miss too much of it, and to remember the things that make it beautiful.

13 Responses to “Remembering How Life Happens”

  1. That was very beautifully written, I thought. You were very lucky to have such a father.

  2. Indeed my friend…remember what makes it all so special…

  3. Ed

    Excellent story… and yes, you should write some more about your father.

  4. Lovely memories!

    I especially love the story about the socks. Children are often blessed in ways that we don’t expect or understand.

  5. Greetings, Beau!

    I have to admit that your story touched me so much. I’m lucky to have my parents still, although it was touch and go with my Mom a couple of years ago. I grew to hate hospitals, and my blood would run cold when the phone would ring at 3 in the morning, usually it was something going on and I would have to go to the hospital. But luckily she pulled though and is doing okay now. But they’re both older, in their 80s, and I’ve tried to prepare myself for what lies ahead. I honestly don’t think you can though.

    And I readily admit that I believe in spirits. I know that sometimes we don’t try to read into things, but isn’t it amazing that your son said Bepaw helped him? My little nephew said he saw his grandpa several times not too long after he died. I think he was four or five then. And not once was he afraid. Maybe childen are in-tune with more of what’s around that we adults are.

    I bet your Dad and Justin are riding that cart every day now!

    All my best!

  6. Wonderful story, well told

  7. what a beautiful story.

  8. Annie- Thanks, and you’re right!
    Warren- So true, even though we know it, we get lost along the way at times…
    Ed- Okay… I will :)
    Shayne- Welcome! That’s a wonderful way to put it.. thank you.
    Mark- Wonderful words, and thanks for sharing your experience too. All part of our journey…
    Pablo- Perhaps simply, thanks; I wonder if we ever really know all of the story…
    Chook- Thanks too…

  9. Nice story and how special for your son to be given that memory back.

  10. Thanks for this story. It reminded me of my own Dad’s passing (in a good way) back in 1993 under similar circumstances. I remember that the night before his surgery (following chest pains), my daughter, then two, asked if we could visit Grandpa. So I took her to the hospital and just watched, as the two of them had a wonderful time.

    It seems the kids always know something we less sensitive adults seem not to grasp.


  11. Sage- I had not thought of it that way, but you’re right.
    Randall- So neat you were able to share that time with her. They sure do…

  12. My dad was 77 when he passed too and he looked a lot like your dad. I haven’t read enough of your blog to know if you’re a man or woman, but I love the way you’re chronicling your life in pictures and words. It’s lovely. Dogs, a boy, a pond, a vegetable garden, bugs and bees. The Ben Franklin book. All lovely. I enjoyed my visit here.

  13. Brenda- Thank you for your kind words, and paging through the site. I’m just a guy on a journey… I think that’s kind of my purpose, chronicling aspects of life in words and pictures. I don’t know why really, but somehow I think it’s important; and I like to share, albeit under cover of psuedonyms and ambiguity :)

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