10 years ago today I was finally taking my mandatory time off from work after having had to change plans several times during the year due to work. The day before my boss had asked if it was possible for me to postpone again, and I told him that I needed to visit my parents, particularly my father as he had been ill off and on all year.
I spent the day doing things around the house. I finally was getting some painting and refinishing done to the house after having lived there for 5 years. I went shopping late afternoon and kept avoiding coming home for some reason. I felt like there was something hanging over my head. I finally got home, and there were messages from all of my siblings asking me to call. I knew immediately what had happened. I called my big sister and heard that Daddy had collapsed shortly after they had returned from the Mayo Clinic. Although they resuscitated him briefly, my mother had made the decision per his stated wishes to not keep him on life support. He died a week before I was supposed to go visit him.
In the time since my father died a lot has happened in my life that I wish he'd been able to share in. He never met Jeff, but I feel that he was part of our coming together. Jeff and I ran into each other about 6 months after my father died. His father had died about 5 years earlier, and we spent a lot of the evening talking about our fathers. Jeff helped me get through my grieving. I wish Daddy had gotten to see my kids, and I really wish my kids could have known him. Daddy was an amazing man with small children. He wasn't as good at communicating when we got older (very old school), but he was wonderful in a lot of ways that I didn't appreciate as a teenager or a young adult.
I'm very proud of my father and what he accomplished in his life. He was born the son of a tenant farmer, graduated top of his high school class and got a full scholarship to Ohio State as a result. At that time the men on scholarship lived in the towers of the football stadium. I'm not sure how old I was before I realized that the "Tower Club" he talked about was really their fraternity as they didn't have the money for a regular fraternity. He got a degree in accounting and went to work for Arthur Young, traveling the country as an auditor before WWII. He quit to go to law school at the University of Michigan (Big 10 fans will appreciate the irony there) but put that on hold to serve in the Navy during the War. With his amazingly flat feet (that I of course inherited) and accounting degree he ended up serving stateside the whole time. After the war he used the GI Bill to finish law school, again graduating top of his class and earning a JD (only given to the top of the class at that time). He was a great storyteller, and I so wished that we had videotaped him telling some of his stories.
Most of my father's career he was a law professor. He had a private practice for a short period of time but didn't do very well in it as he wasn't good at schmoozing and gladhanding. He really liked teaching, and he loved the law. He was a constitutional purist, and he and Jeff would have had a great time discussing the issues. He wasn't flashy or showy, but people respected him and remembered him. He had a quiet kind of power , gravitas
, that I don't think I've ever seen in anyone else. He was a good man, and he loved his family. I am so fortunate to have had him as a father.
I love you, Daddy.
Current Location: family room
Current Mood: nostalgic
Current Music: children playing