My father passed away on October 9, 1998 from pancreatic cancer. He was 81. The night of the wake, as I sat grief stricken, unable to understand my world without him, my 17 year old son came and said: "Mom, we ran out of chairs!" I did not understand what he meant. He looked worried and said again: "Mom, there are no more empty chairs!" I turned and looked around. I was stunned. The room was overflowing! Who were all these people?! Where did they come from?!
One by one, total strangers came and paid their condolences. The grocer’s daughter, the postman, the butcher, the florist’s delivery man, the bakery’s manager and countless other people who seemed to have known my father and were truly upset about his death. As I stood there, numb with pain, I felt my broken heart swell with pride. My father, the helpful, the kind, the patient, the optimist, the one with the ever present smile and the contagious laughter had a special collection. Friends!
Years have gone by since that day. I’ve learned to accept that he is no longer here to share a cup of coffee and read quietly together...
he is no longer here so we could watch a silly movie and laugh until it hurt...
he is no longer here so we could take a walk in the park and feed the ducks...
he is no longer here to help me and offer good advice...
You’d think that the passing of time has made the memories fade but the fact is, I miss him more each day. He was just that type of person, totally charming, impossible to forget.
I am very lucky to be married to a wonderful man who is not only a loving husband, but also a loving father. I have many things to be thankful for, and at the top of that long list there is my father, a bright shining star, the one who taught me:
“to believe in love and to have faith”
“to seek inner peace in Nature’s beauty”
"that a smile does not cost a penny but is worth a million”
"that no matter what, there is always a solution”
“to make sure and laugh many times a day, every day” and so much more!
On Sunday, as we gather in the garden and celebrate, I will play my father’s favorite song:
I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom, for me and you
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.
I see skies of blue, clouds of white
Bright blessed days, dark sacred nights
And I think to myself what a wonderful world…
Dad, wherever you are... I love you, I miss you, and all my thoughts are yours on this Father's Day...
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