Saturday, February 28, 2015


Mom and Dad
I was a happy kid growing up. A pretty simple fellow who still enjoys the simple things in life.

All thanks to those two people in that photo.

I know that I was a pain in the butt as a teenager. How Mom and Dad got through those years, I'll never know. Patience.

Mom had more patience than Dad I think. Most mothers do.

Still and all, they gave me a happy childhood and many happy memories.

Five years ago this month, I talked to my Dad for the last time.

I was in a hotel, traveling for work, he was back at home after a pretty rough hospital stay.

I could hear the pain in his voice but, as always, he wanted to know how I was doing.

So yes, the last time I talked to my father was on the phone.

Not long afterwards he was back in the hospital.

Not long afterwards I made the long, lonely drive from Rhode Island up to Lebanon, New Hampshire.

It was cold, lots of snow on the ground in Vermont and New Hampshire.

A full moon lit the snow-choked fields and mountains of my youth as I drove north.

The call had come after church.

"It won't be long. You need to be here."

I've told parts of this story before, here and here.

It doesn't get any easier. The pain doesn't go away. It's always there, some days you just don't notice it.

Then it will creep out of the mists of memory and wound me anew.

I still remember sitting in that darkened hospital making the phone calls that would get the news out to my oldest daughter, The Nuke, serving her country far out at sea on board an aircraft carrier. It gave me purpose, something to do.

The next day, awakening at my parents' home realizing that it had been no dream.

Five years ago today, I lost my Dad.

I miss him still.

I miss him always.


  1. On the phone for me as well. Dad was sitting up talking with my mother, sister and family friend. Sounded strong and was in great spirits. Was in hospital for a urinary tract infection. We small talked for a few minutes and he said as he normally did during our phone conversations, "Here's your Mother." that was it. The last words I heard. After a good day on Friday, late in the afternoon all his systems started shutting down one by one. I left SoCal on Saturday travelling all night arriving at his bed around noon on Sunday.. He was on a ventilator. I spoke to him softly in his ear. His vitals were strong but in 45 minutes a noticeable change occurred in his breathing and we watch as his O2 levels dropped off and then he was gone, surrounded by his family and friends. It'll be 3 years in July. I feel all you do. God Bless these GREAT men.

    1. You never know. And yes, God Bless them.

    2. We'll have an extra toast of Courage next weekend.

    3. Absolutely. I was just talking to The WSO we're both pretty excited about next weekend.

    4. Coming up on 7 years for me. Called on my way home from work and didn't get an answer. Turned around and went to check on him. Sitting in his easy chair, glass of Bourbon in his hand. EMTs and ER couldn't revive him.
      Still miss them both.

  2. Two and a half years here. Had planned to fly up and spend the week-end with him, but scratched it because he felt good and the weather was poor. Got the call at work and flew it anyway in weather I should never have tried in. Made it just in time to say good-bye. I still miss our weekly phone calls on Sunday nights.

  3. My father died in March several year ago. My sister dreads March. Over the years she has lost a father, a husband, and several close friends in March.
    What hurts the worse was my sons missed out growing up around him. I will always miss him.

  4. Just over nine years ago, I told my Dad that I would take care of Mom and he could let go. I wasn't sure if he heard me or understood, but he died peacefully in his sleep that night after fighting cancer for four years. I miss him mucho.

  5. Thanks to all of you for sharing your stories.

    It is up to us to remember them.

  6. It will be four years, come May, that my dad passed. I made a trip to Missouri when his cancer was diagnosed & installed a webcam on his PC. That was seven months before he passed, and we spoke face-to-face like that every week until about 10 days before he died. I'm so grateful to have had those extra conversations. And I still think of things I wish I could ask him about.

  7. Mailed a book to my dad today,on a subject that we both enjoy, just because. I can't help you out, Sarge, but thanks for the reminder that we need to share now.


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