RIP

So some of you asked me to post this back in July, I’m just getting around to it now..

I’m pretty sure it could be cleaned up for grammar and sentences but I’ll leave it just as I wrote it this summer.

In the spirit of giving thanks I can’t adequately describe how thankful and lucky I am to have been my fathers daughter, I miss him.

Thank you for for coming today, we are overwhelmed by the love and kindness we’ve been experiencing in these tough times. It’s hard to wrap my mind around how my dad was so beloved. We feel so much love from everyone right now. Family and friends have travelled from all over the country to come here today and we are so appreciative. A special thanks to the Enders road family for all of their support over the last 20+ years. Everyone has been so great.

 

My Dad was sick for a long time. But he really didn’t show it. He was such a strong, silent fighter. He was the epitome of being strong. His triple bypass in 1991 was supposed to last 10 years. He lasted 24 years. He rarely ever complained. He was so uncomfortable this last year, always short of breath, short of energy, needing to be wheel chaired around at Disney, but he still never complained or threw himself a pity party. He was strong. I remember him coming out to a crowded Irish bar with us in Boston after having an angiogram, where they snake a camera through the arteries in your groin and not complaining about any of the discomfort he must have been feeling. He never wanted to be a burden.

 

I want to believe he knew that this week was perfect timing where he could finally let go and be at peace.
I do want to mention some of the things I loved and will miss about him:

 

I loved his sarcastic sense of humor and his deadpan delivery. I was reminded recently of the time he told some of my friends that a nude painting I made that was hanging in my house was in fact him.

Dad and Mark

I cherish the times we made road trips together, especially going to Florida in 2003 to go to Red Sox spring training. I remember him pointing out David Ortiz before he was officially on the roster and saying, look at him, he’s crushing these balls, he’s going to be a great addition to the team. He loved the Red Sox after I started following them when I moved to Boston. He even paid attention to the patriots for me too. We stayed with my grandma and Dave in Florida that trip in the green Saturn and stopped in Clarksville as well. In 2013 I suggested we drive down to TN cause I knew he probably didn’t have too many more years left to make that kind of trip. We had a blast, I’ll never forget the bonfire as big as a city block, so big that mark had to warn the fire department we were lighting it. That was a great trip, I love seeing dad and mark together and hearing them reminisce about old times. I’m so glad I got to take him to see Harry Potter World and have a butter beer.

I think I’m going to have a really hard time on Thursdays going forward as Thursday’s are trivia night and dad was always in his element there, I feel like he literally knew everything. I know he enjoyed going, he even had a rubber stamp made with our team name on it. He loved everyone on our team, Kate, Judi, Gary, the Tyos even Jeremy.

 

Learning how to play lacrosse and getting to spend so much time with him was a blessing, I certainly didn’t see it at the time though.. It wasn’t until well into adulthood that I realized that not everyone’s parents attend every single sporting event you play in, even in college in Oswego he came to all my games, in high school he even came to practices. so much so, he eventually became the coach. He went to every Clarkson Lacrosse game of Emily’s, everyone on the team knew and learned from him. He even knew the other parents. He was so proud of us.

 

When we were kids we camped, a lot. The day long canoe trips and the portaging between lakes were some real character building experiences. He always grossly underestimated the length of the trips. He had to go to bed early while camping because our side fires stressed him out.

 

I loved that he was quiet. He didn’t feel the need to fill silences with mindless chatter, he listened. He always had sound advice and knew the right way to do things. He would do anything for us, he was so generous.

 

His message to us always was to be strong. I’m so thankful that my mom and dad raised us girls to be so independent and capable, encouraging us to play sports, cheering for our successes, supporting us when wHarry Potter Worlde made mistakes. Never judging. He never took sides and was always the impartial voice of reason. Most importantly he raised us all to believe that there is nothing a girl can not do.

 

One last thing I admired about him was how he always wore his wedding ring. Even though it was dangerous because he was an electrician. He loved my mom, and he loved us. I’d be lying if I said I’m not heartbroken that he won’t be there to walk me down the aisle and dance with me if I ever get married.

 

Before I close, I want to thank some specific people:

 

First of all my brother in laws. Ryan and Junior are some of the greatest people I know. They are selfless, kind, supportive and loving. I can completely see why my sisters trust you with their hearts and why my dad trusted you to take care of them forever. You’re wonderful fathers to my nieces and nephews. I know Ryan is probably sick of Emily saying ‘well my dad said this, my dad did it this way, why do you need two air compressors, my dad never even had one’. Your parents did an excellent job raising you, and Emily and Sarah are lucky to have you, and I’m lucky to know you.

 

Emily, you are my support system, my sounding board, I appreciate how unconditionally supportive and generous you always are and I love you for that. I’m so sorry this is all happening so close to your birthday. We all know I would be besides myself if this were all happening in February. ;) And I know you will pass on dads love of Syracuse Basketball to Audrey and Ethan. And I know this season you are going to miss texting with dad every game complaining about how bad they are playing.

 

Cath, you are so strong, you have literally stood by dad for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, lots of sickness. And now with death you do part. I can’t say enough about how much I appreciate our recent living situation. it’s been so nice to have you as a roommate again, and I look forward to helping you through the times to come. We can lean on each other. I love you.

 

The kids. Teagan, Audrey, Zoe, Ethan and Declan. You are making this process a little bit easier just by being your funny little selves. Thank you for reminding us to smile when we are all so sad. Never be afraid to ask questions or cry, and don’t forget that a piece of Grampy will always live on in your hearts. I love all of you to pieces.

 

Lastly I want to thank Sarah, we don’t always see eye to eye, especially as of late, but there is not enough time left in the year to express my gratitude to you for being there with mom and dad through all those hospital visits, doctors appointments, surgeries. You have solely carried the weight and burden of dads illness on your back. you have known for a looooong time how truly sick he was, and shielded emily and I from the worst, knowing we couldn’t handle the tragic details you have been shouldering all these years. You allowed us to live in ignorant bliss of the gravity of the situation. You’ve been swallowing all that stress. You are always so strong. Your love of taking care of him led you to your career. I know he loved having you and felt so safe with you by his side. Dad couldn’t have asked for a better daughter. I thank you and I love you, and I hope someday soon your stress will be alleviated.

 

So dad, wherever you are, I hope you still have 22 sodas left, a fully stocked pond, 18 holes, can get all the SU lacrosse & basketball games, and never ending black and white war movies to occupy your time until I see you again.