Thursday, February 20, 2014

Goodbye for Now

We buried my father on Saturday. My mother, sibs, the grandkids, in-laws, and I get teary-eyed from time to time, but we also laugh a lot because we always laugh when we’re together.

At the wake, my brother’s best friend since elementary school recalled that my dad, alone among his buddies’ parents, wasn’t fooled by his upstanding-young-man act. “He saw through my bulls*#t.”

Probably so, but my father had a soft spot for a certain kind of bulls*#tter. He had no time for braggarts and those who made empty promises, but he’d cut slack for a guy who just wanted to have fun.

My brother’s best friend grew up to be a responsible member of society and served as a pallbearer. My dad would have gotten a kick out of telling Johnny, “Watch where you’re going, will you?” He’d have been proud, too.  

Another funeral preceded my dad’s, so we waited behind the church for the earlier mourners to disperse. Turns out Sue, my friend-since-freshman-year-of-college, and her husband showed up early, thought they’d gotten the time wrong, ran inside and stumbled into a pew. After a few minutes, Sue wondered why she didn’t recognize anyone. Later, when her husband said something about me having had a long day, I could reply, “Unlike you, I only went to ONE funeral today.”

The next day, my younger daughter broke out some of the videotapes my father recorded in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Camcorder in hand, he’d chronicle birthday parties, trips to Turtleback Zoo, and wedding rehearsals. As the designated videographer, he could disappear into the background while remaining part of things. He captured touching moments, unfortunate hairstyles, and fashion choices we’ll never live down. Parachute pants, anyone? Eventually, we’ll transfer the tapes to digital format and make lots of copies. Big and small memories will live on thanks to my dad.


Anonymous said...

Ah, Patricia,

Il y a un moment pour tout, et un temps pour chaque chose sous le ciel:

Un temps pour donner la vie, et un temps pour mourir; un temps pour planter, et un temps pour arracher.

Un temps pour tuer, et un temps pour guérir; un temps pour détruire et un temps pour construire.

Un temps pour pleurer, et un temps pour rire; un temps pour gémir, et un temps pour danser.

Un temps pour jeter des pierres, et un temps pour les amasser; un temps pour s’étreindre, et un temps pour s’abstenir.

Un temps pour chercher, et un temps pour perdre; un temps pour garder, et un temps pour jeter.

Un temps pour déchirer, et un temps pour coudre; un temps pour se taire, et un temps pour parler.

Un temps pour aimer, et un temps pour ne pas aimer; un temps pour la guerre, et un temps pour la paix.

- Patrick

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Thank you, Patrick. My cousin Jeanne read the same passage, albeit in English, at my father's funeral. You're right; there's a time for everything.

Lark Howard said...

Pat, I'm so sorry to hear of your father's passing. Although you'll all miss him, what a gift to have had him for so long and to have the video memories to cherish.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, lark,
My father lived all but the last five weeks of his life on his terms, and the least five weeks weren't all bad. We had him for ninety years. Not shabby!

Jennette Marie Powell said...

Hugs, Pat... Sounds like your dad had a wonderful life with lots to celebrate.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

He did have a wonderful life, Jennette, and he made the lives of his wife and children pretty wonderful, too. We DO have much to celebrate.

Coleen Patrick said...

Hugs, Pat. I'm glad you are finding comfort in your family and memories. Thinking of you!

Patricia Rickrode w/a Jansen Schmidt said...

I am so sad for your loss, Pat. Losing a parent is probably one of the all time worst losses. I know when my mom died, I felt like I'd lost my lifeline, my anchor, and my best friend.

I'm so glad you all have happy memories and can re-live your life through those videos, knowing that you Dad captured what HE (as the videographer) thought would be important later in life.

My thoughts are with you my friend. We'll share a drink in his honor in San Antonio.

Patricia Rickrode
w/a Jansen Schmidt

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Thanks, Coleen. I drove the length of Broughton Avenue several times and thought of your family.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Patricia,
From June through September, my dad would make G&T's in the evening. Your idea is the perfect tribute.

Alarna Rose Gray said...

Hey Pat, I just read through your last three posts now. So sorry about your Dad, and what your family has been through. Nursing homes and hospitals are tough places to be for everyone concerned. Wishing you peace xo

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Thanks, Alarna. My father's hospital + nursing home stint lasted five weeks--the blink of an eye in an otherwise happy life. Your aunt's cancer diagnosis is a toughie. She must find a way to get up in the morning and go on despite a poor prognosis. I will be thinking of her. Again, thank you.