It’s been a very hectic week to say the least. Last Friday the 9th I received a phone call from my sister to tell me that my Dad had a massive heart attack. My Dad would have been 97 on May 7th of this year. He lasted 24 hours on equipment and when they removed it his heart was so badly damaged that it just couldn’t go on and he passed away very peacefully. I made flight reservations from Pensacola to Toronto and went home. After the funeral I flew back down here. Ken stayed with the fur kids.
My Mother passed away 15 years ago and it didn’t take Dad long to meet a lovely lady and marry her. We all loved Mary, she was a gem. Unfortunately, she developed cancer and 7 years or so after they married she was gone. My Mom, bless her heart, was a homebody, but not Dad, he was the social butterfly of the family. He was extremely active all his life. My sister compared him to the Energizer bunny and that he was. But Mary, well Mary loved to do all the things Dad loved to do. Dad was a fanatical fisherman and Mary loved to fish. They took many fishing trips together. They loved to hike and walk and both kept very active. Until she got sick.
After Mary passed away, again it didn’t take Dad long to meet someone else and marry her too. Unfortunately, she was no Mary. None of us really warmed up to her, but that’s another story.
They moved into a seniors complex, not a old age home but an apartment complex for seniors. Dad helped run all the social events, which was absolutely no surprise to us. He had thousands of movies, so he arranged movie nights for the seniors. They played lawn bowling, bean bag baseball, I think they even had nights out. He ran the bingo and called the numbers. And Dad helped or completely ran them all. He just had to keep busy. And he loved it.
There are 4 of us, I have 2 older sisters and 1 younger brother. We all said that we hoped that when it was Dad’s time that he went quick because it would have just killed his spirit if he was any sort of an invalid. Dad was a healthy man all his life. He had a couple illnesses the last couple years but he bounced right back. He had no arthritis, no major aches or pains. He was an incredible man. He led a charmed life, he really did.
My Mom & Dad were missionaries in the West Indies, on a small island called Dominica. I was the only one born there, but other than my brother, who was born in Canada, we 3 girls were raised there. My Dad never stopped for a second down there, preaching, helping the people with things, just go go go. I do believe it was the happiest time in my Dad’s life. He loved it there, but we came home in 1958 and stayed home. But Dad continued his go go go. He never stopped for a second, couldn’t sit still, loved bowling, fishing, tennis anything that kept him busy. He would walk into a room where he knew no one and within 10 minutes was friends with all of them. Not a shy bone in his body.
Up until about 10 years ago he was an avid tennis player. One of the reasons he stopped playing was because he told us all his player friends had passed away AND they were all younger than him and when he found new players he didn’t think they gave him a good game.
So it was not a mourning, but a celebration of 97 years of a life that was well spent and well enjoyed. There were few tears, much laughter at the funeral home and service. You cannot mourn a man who lived so long and so well. I’m sure that where ever his spirit his, he is running something, playing something and absolutely, taping movies.
As they say, God’s speed Dad.