Wednesday, November 12, 2014

In Loving Memory...


Our "long goodbye" is over.. My dear father passed away on October 31, 2014 at the age of 87 years, two months, and five days. Born in a small town in western New York, he was the third of four children whose parents were the town doctor and a former schoolteacher. A "blessed" baby according to the caption written on the back of this photo taken by his mother that pictures him at just nine weeks old.

Dad in November 1927: nine weeks old

You would never know it from looking at this angelic looking boy, but Dad was quite an impish child--very energetic, hard to make sit still. I'm sure he and his buddies roamed the streets of his small town cooking up all sorts of mischief!

Dad at age 8 or 9 in the mid-1930s

And he was a bit of a rebel, too. The first time my mom met him in high school she thought he was cocky and a bit full of himself... And I'm sure he was--he was a handsome football star, president of his class, and class salutatorian. Mom and Dad dated a bit, but before too long, went their separate ways and off to colleges far, far apart.

 Dad in 1945--age 18

After a few years, however, they met up again and this time, my mom saw him differently--she saw the hardworking, determined young man he had grown into. I think his time in the Army probably had a lot to do with that along with his decision to attend medical school and become a doctor like his father.

1946--Home on leave from the Army

Dad and mom were married in the summer of 1953 in my mother's nearby New York hometown, and honeymooned in Maine.  Little did they know then that their union would produce four children and nine grandchildren!

Reading a congratulations telegram before 
setting off on their honeymoon--July 1953

What can you say about a man who could fix just about anything? From a broken toy to a broken car to a broken body. My father was a surgeon (on the right in the photo below) and, through the years, saved countless lives and made even more lives easier by "fixing" ailing bodies. I was always so proud and amazed by his profession. Me, who can't stand the sight, or even the thought, of blood, had a dad who went into that operating room each and every day and mended tears, removed diseased organs, and installed pacemakers to extend lives. Yes, I was constantly in awe of his intelligence and self-assured manner.

Steady hands
I don't have a lot of memories of Dad "doing stuff" with us kids. That can be attributed to not only his demanding profession but also, simply, to what being a father was like back in the 1950s and 60s. But, I do know that his family meant more to him than anything. My mother said he absolutely doted on me being the first child and that when I was born he insisted on waking me up and playing with me when he returned home way after I'd been put to bed for the night. I'll bet this was one of those nights!
 
Me at nine weeks with my proud papa

I remember the giant snow storms we used to get in Buffalo, New York when I was growing up in the late 1950s. My dad used to pile the snow right up the front stairs of our apartment to make a small sled run for me and my brother (much to the landlady's dismay!)
Buffalo, NY winter 1959

Another vivid memory happened in high school when a  friend and I had sewn these soft pastel colored dresses with little puffy sleeves and empire waists--very sweet and very much the style of the early 70s. Mine was the palest pink and hers was mint green. The first thing my dad said to me as I modeled the dress for him and mom was, "Carol, you look like a little girl in that dress!" Well, I immediately burst into tears and ran into the other room crying. I was 16 and the last thing I wanted to look like was a "little girl". He came rushing after me, enveloped me in a big bear hug, and said he was so, so sorry and that the last thing he ever wanted to do was hurt my feelings.

As the years passed, Dad and Mom were blessed with nine grandchildren and, oh, how Dad (and Mom!) loved each and every one.  His round face simply lit up each time he saw one of them. He was quite overweight when they were babies and he loved just letting them sleep peacefully on that pillowy stomach of his. Below are my three sons back in 1988 when the youngest was just a few weeks old and sound asleep, thumb in his mouth, on Dad's big tummy. All nine of his grandchildren rested there at one time or another...

 He just lit up each time he saw his grandchildren!

Dad actually did more "stuff" with his grandchildren than he did with his four children because he had more of that elusive thing called "time." He'd take them for long rides in his ancient car (Big Blue), walk with them up to the railroad tracks to squish pennies under the wheels of trains that passed by, and take them up to his "club" (just a cottage really where the local men gathered on Monday evenings for steak, beer, and card-playing) to gather jugs of the fresh spring water. And they loved him back--no one could get them laughing harder than their Papa could! They brought such joy to his life and he to theirs.

Dad worked very hard until his retirement at age 62 in 1989 and then he and mom spent 7 months of each year relaxing in the Florida sunshine. Those were such good years for them... carefree days of setting their own schedules, walking the beach, and marveling at the sunsets each evening from their oceanfront balcony.

Daytona Beach, Florida sunset

Mom is so thankful that they had those years together because within 15 or 20 years, Dad began to change. He became unsure of himself and a bit paranoid. He stopped reading books and doing his daily crossword puzzle. He began to have trouble with simple math. He developed an almost "vacant" look in his eyes. And then four years ago, the hallucinations began and we finally had a diagnosis:  Lewy Body Dementia, the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer's.

 Dad being inducted into his
 high school "Hall of Fame" 2009

It wasn't long before mom knew she couldn't keep caring for him on her own in Florida and so they moved back to New York State year-round to be nearer family. As the next year passed, he became more and more unpredictable--his hallucinations increased. They would often involve water (a river running down the hallway or a glass spilling over with liquid), animals romping across the balcony, or small children hiding under the bed. Nothing scary, thank goodness... But, he was recognizing fewer and fewer people and having more and more trouble putting words together. And then the wandering began and we knew the time had come to move him into a dementia facility in early 2013. The day we moved him was probably one of the hardest of all our lives... for the first time in so, so many years, Dad was living apart from Mom. For the next 20 months he spent his life within the walls of dementia units with others suffering the same or even worse fates.

Christmas 2012


The last time I saw Dad awake was in early October when my two sisters and I went over to see him. Thankfully, he was in a good mood--almost playful. He didn't make much sense when he talked, but he seemed content and happy to see us. All of a sudden at one point in our "conversation," he grabbed my hands, started rubbing them, looked into my eyes with a hint of recognition, and exclaimed, "You little sweetheart, you--I love you so much!" My eyes welled up with tears and I felt that I had just been given the greatest gift in the world. I doubt that he even knew who I was, but just to hear those words from him again, meant so very much.  It was the last time I would ever see those warm, brown eyes of his...

The funeral on November 4th brought many tales from relatives, old neighbors, and former teachers of how he stitched them up "on the kitchen table" or saved someone's life. And even more stories of how he was always so kind to everyone in town, regardless of their race, religion, profession, or status in life. For Dad it was always an even playing field... This is the biggest lesson I learned from him--always be kind and treat others as you hope others will treat you. It was so wonderful to see the many people gathered to remember and celebrate  his life. That is life in a small town--everyone knows everyone else and there is a sense of community not often seen in city life or in the suburbs. 

One last ride... When the funeral ended we took dad on one last ride through the quiet streets of his beloved hometown--the town where he had spent nearly his entire life... The hearse led the way down Main Street where he had ridden his bike and shopped for penny candy with childhood buddies. It passed the street where he grew up and maintained his medical office in a house located right next to the very library that inspired me, his oldest daughter, to become a librarian.


On past the stately brown Presbyterian church where he had sung carols each Christmas Eve and given me away in marriage on a warm, sunny July day 37 years ago.


The procession made a right turn and crept to a halt in front of the wonderful white house where he and mom raised their four children and spent 52 of their 61 wedded years. The house was a constant work in progress for dad--he was always tinkering away in the barn or basement to fix this or that. And there was that wonderful wrap-around porch where the family would gather to observe parades on Memorial Day or to simply sit in cozy wicker chairs and watch the world go by...

 Home

Heading up the street, the funeral procession passed over the railroad tracks where he and his grandchildren had placed pennies and waited for them to be squished flat by oncoming trains. I still recall the joyous voices of my sons as they raced down the street to show me what had become of the pennies that Dad patiently helped them search for after the train had flattened them.


Another right turn and then a left  took the procession past Dodge Creek where dad, as a boy, surely spent many hours happily wading in the knee-deep water and attempting to catch slippery minnows in his small hands. That same shallow creek swelled to a raging river and flooded his hometown twice in his lifetime.


And then, a final left turn up the curving hill and into the most peaceful and beautiful cemetery that I know... Dad's final resting place. My father now lies in rest overlooking the town that meant so much to him...with those beautiful hills in the distance, surrounded by tall trees and crisp autumn air. His mind is now whole again, free of the fog of dementia that imprisoned him for the past few years.

 Chestnut Hill Cemetery

We knew this day would come, and in some ways, we welcomed it. Dad is no longer struggling through the tangled web of dementia. He is free and at peace... He would have hated knowing how he was living the past five or so years--absolutely hated it. He was such a proud man and would have despaired at seeing himself just "existing" at a toddler-like level. And yet, I can't help but weep, and cry, and sometimes sob, for not only his loss, but for the way he lived these past few years. You see, Mom's and Dad's favorite quote, and the one they already have etched on their gravestone, is Robert Browning's "Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be." How sad that they didn't get to realize that "best is yet to be" in their final years together.

At peace at last

My dad was a character in so many ways: a loving husband, son, brother, father, surgeon, rose gardener, sousaphone player, music lover, history lover, bread baker, pickle maker, avid reader, handyman, car tinkerer, limerick reciter. He loved to make people laugh and smile...

I know you've got a whole new audience to entertain now, Papa... And, oh, how that makes your oldest daughter smile!

Me and dad: Thanksgiving 2011


Goodbye my dear Papa...
 I'll miss you ever so much...


146 comments:

Anna van Schurman said...

What a lovely memorial. So sorry for your loss, Carol.

Giovanna said...

I'm so sorry, Carol - I remember you writing to me about your dad when I commented on the post about the skeleton in the attic. You've written a wonderful tribute. Hugs.

Lee said...

What a lovely tribute. I'm so sorry, Carol.

Margaret said...

Oh Carol, I'm so so sorry, and yet I know in a way this is a blessing that your dear father has passed on. He is no longer suffering and you and your family can rest easy knowing that. What a beautiful post -- I loved reading about your father and what a wonderful man he was. He was a handsome devil too! lol! Surgeons always amaze me with their skills and talents -- and your dad was good at fixing other things too -- fantastic! The family photos are just wonderful, and the pictures of the various town landmarks and your homes -- I feel privileged that you shared all of this with us. Lots of hugs to you and your family. I hope your mom is doing ok through this loss. I am tearful after reading your post, your dad is smiling on you from above!

Lynda Harrison said...

Hello Carol,
A beautiful , loving tribute to a wonderful father.
Thinking of you and your family always with love,
Take care,
Lynda

Vonna, The Twisted Stitcher said...

Carol, your tribute to your father, the words, the photos, the memories...are so poignant and filled with love that who can doubt the man your father was here on earth. He lived and taught his family the greatest commandment that Jesus proclaimed, "Love your neighbor as yourself" and he did that in his family life and in his career by tending to people, their health and their spirit. As I've told you before, God welcomed him home saying "Welcome my good and humble servant! I have prepared a special place just for you!" You have his eyes and your boys has him in them too, you can see it in that photo with their Papa...He left his legacy on earth, he lives still in heaven and he is always, always in your heart and all those he touched! May he rest in peace now...Hugs and love to your entire family. You are always in my prayers...

Natasha said...

Carol,
This post made we weep but it also made me smile for I could feel the love your family had for your father and the love he felt for you. What a beautiful tribuit to a life lived fully....
I am trully sorry for your loss. He is smiling down on you from up above I am sure of that.

((HUGS))

Mrs. GraceWorks said...

Carol, when I got to the part about your Dad telling you that he loved you I just broke down and cried. I have a few memories like that with my Mom during the last months of her dementia and they are so precious to me that they almost hurt whenever I am reminded of them. I wish I could just give you a hug and cry together. Not because we want them back the way that they had become, but because we miss the way they were. Hugs to you and your mom as you begin your new normal without him. I'll be praying for peace and comfort!!

The Inspired Stitcher said...

What a sweet and loving tribute to such a special person. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. Positive thoughts are sent your way today with hugs.

Elizabeth said...

Carol I am so sorry to hear about your Dad - your tribute to him is lovely. Our thoughts and prayers are with your and your family. I hope your mom is doing ok.

Elizabeth B

Vickie said...

Oh Carol. What a beautiful, love-filled post. What a blessing your father was to you all. I am praying for you and your family.

Ineke said...

So sorry about your loss.

Annie said...

So sorry about the loss of your father. Your post put tears in my eyes and made me remember my own dear father and losing him.

Your dad looks like he was a real sweetheart! Sending hugs...

Heather said...

Oh Carol! I am so very sorry for your loss! What a beautiful tribute, I cried like a baby reading it! I will be praying for you and your family! Lots of love and hugs!

Barb said...

Carol not so long ago or it does not seem like it I was reading your tribute to your parents. Now I have just read the most moving tribute to your father. Dementia such a cruel illness and as you say he is now free from it. Your memories are many and so happy. Take care and in between the tears -smile because you had him.

Hilda said...

What a love-filled and wonderful tribute to your dear father. My thoughts are with you, dear Carol and your family! I am sure your father is with you from above and takes care of you, his oldest daughter!
Embracing you!
Hilda

Linda H said...

I am in tears reading your beautiful tribute to your loving father. I am so very sorry for your loss. I hope you will be comforted by all the wonderful happy memories you have of good times with your Dad. Treasures all the memories! Sending you Love and Hugs, and keeping you in my thoughts and prayers...

stitchersanon said...

I am so sorry, I couldn't read past the bit about the dimentia and his final words to you.I was crying too much. Your dad could be the twin brother to my grandfather, and it was as if I knew him. Mainly in part because of the wonderful way you have written this tribute. I think all adults get to have more fun and time with grandchildren: and less responsibility. As a man of his time he provided well for his family and showed you all great love. I think this is wonderful. I never had a father and it is just so nice to see that when a man does a job well as a parent, it just shines through in his children. It certainly shines through you. This really is an amazing post. You have done your father credit. I am of course so very sorry for your loss, I wish there was a magic wand to take the pain away. He seems an amazing man, and it is cruel that dementia can affect someone not only so highly intelligent but also so very kind. I am pleased he held your hands and recognised you. I do believe completely that he did. The last time I saw my grandmother who has alzheimers, she did a similar thing. It was the first time I had seen her in four years because we live in different countries and she had no recognition of me at all. I saw her every day I was in the Uk and nothing. On the very last day of my visit though, as I went to say goodbye, she too looked me in the eye, smiled and said 'goodbye Gaynor'. I hadn't mentioned my name and up till then she just thought I was another carer. I think something there new it was the final time and somehow she got through to me and vice versa. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers. You have such an amazing family, and he was such a wonderful man, who I am sure is watching down over you all.

wenhkc said...

You've written a wonderfully loving tribute to your Dad. The love you and your family have for him is so evident, as well as his love for you. So nice to read. Remember him always with fondness and love. He gave so much to all of you.

Von said...

I think this is the most beautiful tribute post I've ever read. I know you are so grateful this man was your dad and the love you shared will sustain you until you meet again. Sending you a big hug across the miles.

Simple Pleasure said...

Dearest Carol,
So very sorry for your loss...
What an incredible man he was...how blessed you have been to call him your father...
With prayers,
Patricia

Faye said...

What a wonderful tribute to your father. I know you are comforted by the many good memories. May God bless you and your family.

Jenny said...

What a beautiful and moving tribute you have written for your Dad, Carol! The love that your family has for each other, the love that your Dad had for all of you is such a blessing. The memories that you have shared are so poignant and are real treasures for your Mom as well as all of your family. It seems there is never enough time to spend with the ones we love but how comforting it is to know that he is happy and free from his illness and entertaining a whole new audience now. Most important of all is that he continues to live on both in your heart and through you and your family....his love is still shining through every day! Here is a hug for you and please know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Melissa said...

I am so sorry for your loss, Carol. What a wonderful tribute you've made to your Papa, not only the words but the gathering of photos to go with the story.

It is curious to read about what he had - Lewy Body Dementia - because I heard on the news last night that "they" now suspect that that's what Robin Williams had. The hallucinations were the common element in both stories.

His last gift to you - those lovely words - I am sure he knew to whom he was speaking to! I think the pain of loss speaks to how much that person meant to you in life. He sounds like he was a treasure and quite a character!

Take care, Carol!

Chocolates4Breakfast (TerriBoog) said...

What a beautiful and loving tribute, Carol. My mom, (just turned 78) has early Alzheimers and I am reading your lovely words with great empathy and sorrow for you and great dread and sadness for me. I too will have lovely memories of my mom to sustain me through what I know is going to be a tough road ahead.
I loved reading about what a special man your father was and I know he'd be touched by your sweet words. My deepest sympathies for your loss.

Christina said...

That is the most beautiful tribute I have ever read. I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

Michelle said...

Dear Carol what a beautiful moving tribute to your Father and what a handsome man. I cried all the way through reading your post it was so emotional. Thinking of you all with much love xx

Cole said...

So sorry to hear this Carol, my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. This is a beautiful tribute to your dad ~ thank you for sharing it with us. Hugs to you.

Sally said...

Hi Carol

Your post is a beautiful tribute to your father who sounds like a lovely gentleman. What great photos.
When I got to the paragraph about the dementia I cried. I am also losing my dear father to Lewey Body Dementia and it really is a "long goodbye".
You and your family are in my thoughts and I wish you peace and strength for the future.
Sending you love and hugs from England xx

Carolyn said...

Oh Carol, I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved father. The beautiful tribute that you've shared with us truly is wonderful. You have such a way with words, and this time you've outdone yourself. He would be very proud and humbled by your words. :) What a special thing to do taking him one last time down his favorite roads. It's very, very obvious that you have a loving family. What a blessing! Thank you for sharing this difficult time with all of us. Sending hugs, prayers and love from Texas. :)

Sally said...

Should have begun my post by telling you how sorry I am at hearing your sad news.

Preeti said...

So sorry to hear about your father. My prayers are with you and your family.

Barb said...

When I woke up this morning I had a feeling that you would be posting to your blog today. What a wonderful tribute to your father. You are blessed to have had such a father and a such a good relationship with him. I have been thinking of you every day. Much love to you Carol.

Blu said...

So sorry about the loss of your father. This was a beautiful tribute to an inspiring man.

Robin said...

Please accept my deepest sympathy on your Dad's passing. What a heartfelt tribute you shared with us. You and your family are in my thoughts.

Robin in Virginia

Ann at Beadlework. said...

Oh Carol what a beautiful but sad post - I truly feel for you losing your beloved dad. Take care.

butterfly said...

Beautiful tribute to your father Carol.
Reading your post brought tears to my eyes knowing only to well what you and your family have been through .
He will be very proud of your tribute to him.
He must have been a lovely person.

You look very much like your father around the eyes.

I am always here for you my friend if you need to talk hugs & kisses.

Daniela Bencúrová said...

Carol, you were úžastná father !!!
Condolences you wish!
My dad died when I was 30, it was very, very sad.
Beautiful've written about his life!

Pam in Virginia said...

Dearest Carol - thank you for sharing this news with all of us. I am so very sorry for your family's loss. I remembered previous posts where you had written about him, and have just now found them and read them again. On January 16th of this year you posted a photo of your Dad holding you, a grinning sweet little girl, on your first birthday. Treasure that photo now and remember all the love he had for you. And on July 11 of 2013 you wrote again of your Dad on the occasion of your parents' 60th anniversary. I wanted to see again the photo of your parents driving off on their honeymoon to Maine with your smiling father leaning over to kiss your radiant mother. Treasure that photo too as it was the beginning of along life filled with love for you and your siblings.

marly said...

I have a headache from the tears. What a beautifully written tribute to your Dad. Not only would he be touched, he would be proud that the life he lived brought so much happiness and love to his family. Even though he is at peace, sadness and grief will always take hold. My deepest sympathy to you and your family.

Wanda said...

My Dear Carol, I am so sorry for your loss. I am still crying after reading your beautiful tribute to your Dad. You have such special memories to cherish. I know that although you are relieved that he is now free of disease it is also painful beyond measure to lose your Dad. Thank you for sharing your Dad with us and helping us to know the beautiful father that he was and always will be for you. My heartfelt condolences to you and your family Carol.
Hugs, Wanda

Wendy @ Ravenwood Whimzies said...

What a moving and emotional tribute to your dad. My heart goes out to you for your loss, but rest assured He is no longer suffering. Praying for your heart to heal.

Barb said...

Nice tribute to your father. I know it was hard. I lost my dad in Sept. 2013 and I do miss him. I lost my mom just a few days before you lost your dad. You have my sympathy.

LindataxPA said...

Such beautiful words about your dear Papa. Now I feel like I have met and known him and the town that he embraced and they in return.

Mouse said...

Such a lovely memorial to your Papa (((hugs)) love mouse xxxxxx

Kate said...

Carol, such a lovely tribute to your dad. Hugs.

Rowyn said...

I am so sorry to read of your Dad's passing Carol.

Thanks for sharing the lovely photos and some of your Dad's life story. It is a beautiful tribute.

I especially liked the part about how your Dad used to come home from work when you were a baby and he would wake you up to play. That is so sweet.

I hope you and your family are all doing OK. Sending hugs your way.

Melanie said...

What a lovely tribute to your Father, very moving. Sending you big hugs xx

Southpaw Stitcher said...

What a wonderful tribute to your dad. So sorry for your loss, Carol.

AnaCristina said...

I am so very sorry for your loss but happy for that beautiful tribute!

Lisa T said...

Hi Carol,
I am truly so sorry for your loss...for the worlds' loss. It was wonderful to read your loving tribute and "get to know" your dad. What an amazing life he had! May you find comfort in your memories during this difficult time. Thank you so much for sharing with all of us. I am sending you a hug and saying a prayer.
~Lisa

LoriU said...

Oh Carol I am so so sorry. But what a beautiful remembrance you have written. You brought me to tears, but I feel as if I really 'know' your dad!

Maggie said...

So. So sorry for your loss, but What a wonderful tribute to your dad, he sounded an amazing person. x

Linda said...

I'm so sorry for your loss Carol. What a beautiful loving tribute to your Dad.

Linda

Annie said...

Such a heartfelt and moving tribute to your Dad. So nice to have all those good memories plus family and friends to share them with.

Take care, my friend and stay positive!

Daffycat said...

Carol, this is an amazingly beautiful post. Your father was an incredibly wonderful man. I am so sorry for your loss. I can only imagine the pain you must feel.

My mother is in the early stages of this same horrific disease. It's so cruel and scary for everyone involved.

valerie said...

Lovely tribute to your dad, Carol. I'm so sorry for your loss. I think it's wonderful that you have so many happy memories with your dad and great pictures to reminisce over. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Elia said...

Querida amiga, desde la distancia un abrazo muy grande por esta pérdida tan grande,
me ha encantado este relato de la vida de tu padre, un gran hombre - muy especial para la familia,
no tengo palabras,
espero que este vacío y el dolor en la familia, se convierta poco a poco en buenos recuerdos y agradecimiento a la vida por haber tenido un hombre así a vuestro lado,

un fuerte abrazo desde la distancia

^^

Andréia Regina Sarmento said...

I´m sorry, Carol. You wrote a beautiful memorial, well you do write very well!

Frances N said...

What a lovely and touching tribute to your father. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Ellen said...

A beautiful tribute to your loving Dad! Sending big hugs to you and your family!

Hugs,

Chrissie B said...

Carol...That is one of the nicest tributes I've ever read!! My mother also had dementia and it's heartbreaking so I know how you feel. Bless your dad, your mom, you and the remainder of your family!! Cry when you can..sad tears yes but tears for a wonderful man who you were proud to call "Dad"!!

Joy said...

So sorry to hear about your dad. I lost mine almost nine years ago and it still hurts at times. Just take it a day at a time and keep remembering the good times. :)

Catherine said...

Such a beautiful tribute to your father...thanks for sharing him and your memories with us. May you and your family find peace in those memories..hugs and payers to you all.

Barb said...

Carol, your beautiful tribute has brought tears to my eyes. I know exactly how you feel because I "lost" my wonderful father months before he died. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. All those wonderful memories will give you peace and happiness for the rest of your life.

Ana Roat said...

May God's love and peace surround you and your family at such a tender time. Your tribute is lovely and what a man your father was. I lost my dad 6 years ago and still miss him so very much but thru his passing we all learned to live with a greater appreciation for the celebration of life.

Here's to your dad!!


EvalinaMaria said...

You and your family are in my prayers. Thank you for sharing with us you lovely memories.

The Queen Bee said...

You are both so lucky to have had each other. What a beautiful tribute. Take comfort in knowing he is at peace now.

Pam

pj said...

Carol
What a wonderful tribute to your father! I could just feel your love thru these words you have written. Yes, it is a great loss but also it is wonderful to know that he is now in a better place looking over you and your family.

Thanks for sharing your dad, your town and all the great memories that touched you. You will always have memories and love in your heart to hold dear.

You were lucky to have loving parents! You and your family are in my prayers.

Lillie said...

So sorry for your loss Carol, my deepest sympathy to you and family. A beautiful tribute to your dad, it brought tears to my eyes. My thoughts are with you. Take care !

Judy said...

Carol, I am so sorry for the loss of your father. Thanks for the wonderful tribute through time you have posted about him. So very touching and so many wonderful memories. Love pours out of each photo and each sentence you wrote. My deepest sympathy to you and your family.

Judy Heartland stitcher

Pam in IL said...

Such a special post and tribute to your dad. I'm so sorry to hear about your dad's passing. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

CalamityJr said...

Your tribute to your Dad is so beautiful. He was such a special person, though he couldn't have been anything else, knowing how sweet his first-born daughter is. Hold those memories close; you'll always feel him in your heart. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers.

Lisa V said...

Dear Carol, what a moving post, I had tears in my eyes and got quite emotional.
What a lovely tribute to your Dad, he was a lovely man who had a family that loved him dearly. I shall be thinking of you dear friend.
Hugs

Marilyn said...

Sorry for your loss.
You have great memories of him.
He sounds like a wonderful man.
What a nice pic of you and your Dad.
Marilyn

Belinda said...

I am so sorry for your loss Carol, I am sending you my condolences. Your tribute to your Father was so beautiful to read and what beautiful photos you have shared with all of us. What a handsome young man your Father was. He sounds like a true gentleman and someone who you are obviously truly proud of and very much loved. What beautiful memories you can hold close now. May your Father Rest in Peace. Sending you much love at this hard time. xx

Mary Ann said...

That was such a wonderful, loving tribute to your dad. I am very sorry for your loss, and will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.((hugs))

priscilla said...

I am so sorry Carol .. Your tribute to your Father was just amazing ..sure made me cry . What a wonderful Dad! I hope it gets easier for you ..I know this is a very hard time . Take care ..
Priscilla

Mary @ Neat and Tidy said...

What a beautiful tribute to your dad. My heart goes out to you.

Ele said...

My dear Carol,
I am so sorry to read about your loss. The tribute to a wonderful Dad from his oldest daughter is full of love, in memories and pictures.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, hope that your Mum is well.

Take care
hugs
Gabriele

msmartello said...

So sorry for your loss, Carol! You're right, your Dad is now free from his illness. He will always be with you and what great memories you have of him.
Maureen

Anne said...

It's hard for me to write with tears in my eyes Carol. I am giving you big hugs here and praying for your mother and you. Your father was quite the man and what a life he had. Such a lovely tribute to him. I had no idea he was a surgeon...maybe you did tell me and I forgot...my brain is foggy these days as well as emotional. His final resting place is peaceful and beautiful and I know you will visit him often both there and in your memories. Much love to you my dear Carol.

Syd said...

Carol,
What a wonderful heartfelt testimony to your father's life.

I was intrigued by your story particularly when you talked about a town in western New York. Upon seeing your pictures I recognized Portville! My grandparents lived there for most of my life, not far from the footbridge (if it's near the cemetery.) Some of my fondest memories are playing in Dodge Creek. I remember the flood in the 70's and my grandparents' devastation. I remember playing on the dikes, riding cardboard down them like sleds.

My parents both are at rest in Chestnut Hill Cemetery.

It is always amazing to me how small the world actually is when we reach out to each other as bloggers.

Syd

Shirlee said...

Such wonderful photos & such a beautiful memorial to your dad. Many prayers & hugs to you.

Schoolgirl Samplers said...

This was such a very warm tribute to your Dad Carol at times bringing tears. Please convey my condolence to your Mom.
I am thinking of you all.

Blessing and hugs dear friend:)

j:)

Stitchy Mc Floss said...

Oh this post is just so beautiful at all the love that shines through each and every single word. ((hugs)) to you sweet friend and so very sorry for your loss. :)

CECILE PREUVOT said...

c'est très triste de perdre son papa - toutes mes condoléances - bon courage Cécile

BrendaS said...

Carol --
What a wonderful tribute to your Father. You have such wonderful memories to help you in your grieving.

I'm so so sorry for your loss. Sending you big hugs!!!

BrendaS

Jackie said...

Oh Carol...I am so sorry. I don't know how you found the words to write this post but you expressed yourself so wonderfully. Your love for your father really shines though. He sounds like an amazing man! Sending you a hug.

Andrea said...

I'm so sorry to hear this but as you say he is at peace now. You have given a wonderful tribute and I am having a little weep with you. You are in my thoughts and I'm sending you ((hugs)).

C in DC said...

So sorry for your loss.

Christina said...

Dearest Carol, I'm so sorry to read your news. What an incredibly talented man your father was. And SO handsome - with those lovely, twinkling eyes! You very much resemble him.

Your photographs have a magical quality about them. I can't put my finger on it, but it's almost as if they were just taken yesterday. Thank you for sharing them with us.

I will be thinking of you and your family. You must be so proud to have called such a wonderful man, 'papa'.

Mary said...

Dear Carol
My sincere condolences on the passing of your beloved Father. Your eulogy was absolutely beautiful, and I know that he lives on in your heart. It sounds as though your parents had a long and rich life married life together before they were separated by his ill health.
Mary



Friendship Crossing said...

Wow, I had to wait till the tears subsided before I could write. I'm so very sorry to hear of your Dad's passing, Carol. What a handsome man he was and I loved the way you let us all in on what a wonderful person he was!
I cried so hard at the end of your post b/c it reminded me so much of my mother who had Dementia and lasted almost 7 yrs. in 5 different nursing homes before she passed. She and my dad were also married 61 yrs. and my Dad is now 93 and still living on his own.
Thanks for sharing such a personal and meaningful post! It was so very sweet and truly touched my heart!

Big hugs to you my friend!
Tanya

Terri said...

So sorry for your loss! What a wonderful tribute to your dad!

Hugs and prayers!

Erin said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, Carol.

But....I recognize EVERY SINGLE ONE of the pictures from your dad's hometown....because that is MY hometown, too. :o As soon as I saw the library picture, I knew exactly who your dad was.

Erin

Kathy L. said...

What a lovely memorial to your father. So sorry for your loss!

Kathy

Maggee said...

Carol--my deepest condolences to you, and to your family. You HAVE written a wonderful post about your Father's life...he sounded like a wonderful man. The pictures tell us what a loving and kind father and grandfather he was. May God's blessings fill you as you go forward day by day. You are a beloved member of our blogging family, and you can count on me for support or whatever--just ask! Love and Big Hugs!

Heather said...

Thank you for sharing, what a lovely life.

Lesley said...

Dear Carol,
What a wonderful man your father was,I hope it helps that you have many precious memories and pictures of your dad.
My father in law had Lewy Bodies with Dementia so I have some understanding of what you have experienced.
My sincere condolences to you,your mum and all your family.

Myra said...

Such a beautiful memorial for a wonderful person. I am so sorry for your loss but thankful you have these fabulous memories. My heart goes out to you, your mother, and your family.

Jennifer M. said...

My condolences to you and your family Carol. This post was so beautifully written and with gorgeous pictures too. Thank you for sharing his wonderful life story with us. I'm sure he is up in heaven smiling down at you all.

Barbi said...

Oh my dear friend! So sorry for your loss, what a lovely tribute to your father. May he rest in peace, and may that same peace be with you.
HUGS!

ronda at simple thyme prims said...

Such a beautiful memorial, I feel as is your father is familiar, you have touched my heart. God bless, your memories will live forever..

Meari said...

Carol,

Having lost my Dad earlier this year, your post brough tears to my eyes for the both of us. Your Dad sounds like he had a wonderful life. My condolences to you and your family.

Sheryl S. said...

I´m very sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful tribute with us. My condolences.

WindyBay said...

That was a beautiful tribute, thank you for sharing.

Lesleyanne said...

So sorry for your loss Carol. Your memorial is beautiful.

Gabi said...

Dear Carol, my condolences to you and the family.
I am very sorry for your loss. Your tribute is beautiful and the memories will remain.
Hugs from Germany

Mary said...

Carol, you have been a devoted and loving daughter. I'm sure your Dad would be honored by your tribute.

jeanneil said...

Just beautiful, this statement of his life and love. He would be so proud to hear these words! bless to your mom in this struggle and your family!

María Dolores Jiménez Acevedo said...

Carol a beautiful memory of your dad, he always will be in your heart. I love so much the last picture with him. Best

Christine said...

What a beautiful tribute to your father! A wonderful way to remember him!

I also wanted to comment on your 'Full Moon' boxes in the last post ~ Having done one myself, I can't believe you completed five! Great job!

Beth said...

What wonderful memories of a special man. The Last Ride Home brought tears to my eyes.

Éva said...

Oh, Carol,

I have no words ...

a big hug from a distant friend
Éva

Valentina said...

A really touching tribute to your beloved Dad.
So sorry for your loss, sending you big hugs.

Lynn B said...

Such a moving tribute to your Father, I am so sorry for your loss Carol.
This post has so much love within the words that you wrote, such a loving tribute to a fine man.
My deepest sympathy to your Mother, yourself and all of the family.

diamondc said...

A positively beautiful tribute to your Father, thank-you for sharing part of his and your lovely life.

Blessings
Catherine

Kaisievic said...

Carol, such a wonderful tribute to your father. Thank you so much for sharing him with us. He was a lucky father indeed to have such a wonderful daughter as you. I know how difficult those last years can be as my mother developed vascular dementia and her last year was a difficult one for all of us. But I am sure that your Dad always knew that he was loved by all.
My condolences, Kaye xooxoxx

passionfruitprincess said...

Lovely post, Carol, and what a sweet tribute to your Dad. Beautiful memories, and gorgeous pictures. I am sorry for your loss.

Hugs,

Ana Paula.

Mylene said...

A beautiful tribute to your father.
I am so sorry for your loss...thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Faye said...

Cherish his memories and remember the good times..... Hugs~

barbara said...

Sending you love, Carol. Thank you for sharing your wonderful father with us. <3

Thoeria said...

I'm so so sorry for your loss. A father and his daughter has a very special bond. What a beautiful tribute to him x

Sally said...

I am so very sorry to hear about your beloved Dad Carol. You have written the most wonderful tribute to him which brought tears to my eyes. Thinking of you and your family.

Mavi. said...

Carol I'm so sorry the loss of your dear father. I read all your post with great affection and transmits everything you've shared with him how you feel. I know how much it hurts to lose a loved one, I lost my father in 2002, is always good. In your case it is hard to remember and many good times. Get a hug full of all my love.

Barb said...

Dear Carol- thank you for sharing the sweetest tribute to your father. He was obviously a very special man.

Much love to you and your family.

Barb

Cindi Jackson said...

What a moving and loving tribute to your dad. Life, whether long or short comes to an abrupt end so we must remember to hug our loved ones a little longer and tighter tonight.

Julie said...

Oh my dear Carol, you have such a way with words, such a wonderful tribute to your day. He was a very handsome man. The picture of you both together is simply heart warming.

I'm rubbish with words so will just put my arms around you and give you the {{biggest cuddle}}.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. xxx

Irene said...

Mi dispiace tanto, io ho perso il mio papà 3 anni fa. Un abbraccio forte.

Annette said...

What a beautiull post you wrote about your dad, you made my eyes cry.
It so awesome to read about your dad, How a great family he come from, and how a wonderfull family he started with you mom,
The pictures so beautifull, and when how handsome he was.. A real beautifull men he was.I can imagine you mother fell in love with him.
he had a wonderfull life, he was a memn that could be proud of his love.. What awesome work he did, both his parents also.
Beautiful house he loved in.
beautiull kids and grandchildren.
It all sounds awesome, you can be proud that he was your dad, a wonderfull men.
Rememebr him as he was, and not thet men you saw the last 4 years, that wasn't your dad.

I wish you and you family many many strenght, my thought are with you.

Huggssss

Melanie said...

I'm so sorry, Carol. It hurts just as much even when, in essence, they are already long gone. :( This is a wonderful tribute to his wonderful life.

Kay said...

Carol, I am so sorry to hear of this. Have not been online so much til now. You have my heartfelt condolences on your loss. Wonderful photos you shared. Thank you so much for sharing a bit of your dear father with us

Michele said...

What a lovely post to your dad, Carol. I'm so sorry for your loss, but know he's in a better place. Big healing hugs.

Kathy and Bobber-Wobbers said...

So sorry for your loss. I'm glad that you have such happy memories of your Dad and hope they will comfort you - take care.

Sherri said...

That was a beautiful tribute to your dad to say the least. I hope the fond memories will comfort you along with the lovely pictures.

Carin said...

What a lovely memorial about your father. You have wonderful memories of him that will never be gone.
take care.

Karoline said...

I'm so sorry Carol, that was a wonderful tribute to your Dad

Lois said...

Oh Carol, what a beautiful tribute to your dad. xox

Melody said...

Oh, Carol, what a beautiful tribute to your dear father! I am so sorry to be so behind in catching up on blog reading, and sending my condolences to you so late. There is nothing quite like our dads. What wonderful memories you have of your Dad. Take care my friend.

Sharon said...

Carol, your dad was an amazing man and I have so enjoyed your beautiful tribute and pictures. He was very handsome! When he said those last words to you...I think he knew you who you were. My sincerest condolences to you and your family!

Nancy M said...

Carol, I am just catching up on blog posts. I'm sending my condolences to you. You have such a way with words and photos. Your stories made me feel as if I was there with you. What a brilliant tribute to your Dad. I know you hated seeing him in his later years, not being the man you remembered. He's in a better place now and free from his illness that took his memories.

Annette-California said...

Sweet Carol!!!
I am so moved by your loving and incredible tribute to your Dad. I feel I got to know him. What a legend he was and passed on to you.
Prayers, love and hugs Annette

Brigitte said...

Carol, this is one of the most wonderful tributes that I have ever read. After reading and looking at all the pictures I was so impressed and had the feeling that I had known your dear father. I'm so sorry about your loss.

Dena Kolsky said...

Carol- first off, let me say how terribly sorry i am to read of your father's passing. As i sit here, reading your glowing tribute to your dad and his amazing life, i have some tears in my eyes. Not sad tears, mind you, but tears that celebrate a truly wonderful man's life! Thank you for sharing your memories with us.
Prayers, Peace and Strength!
Dena

Quiltsmiles said...

Carol,
I am so sorry to hear about your Dad's passing. Bittersweet knowing his struggles are over, my thoughts andprayers are with you. My eyes welled with unshed tears as I read your tribute to your Dad. I could feel the pride, your loss but most of all the love you shared so beautifully. God Bless.

Jane