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#303515 - 10/10/08 11:15 PM Memories of Loved ones
pugwash Offline
The recent posts by Otter, Mikeywaz and Reaper reminded me of how much I miss my father and how his influence on me is felt every day.

Please keep any additions to this thread non political or inflammatory.

This is a letter I wrote him shortly before he died and I'm so glad I was able to let him know how I felt while he was still with me: any of you who still have their parents around, do not wait until its too late:


Dad,

I have put off writing this letter for a while now, as I feared it would be hard for me, but as I thought about what I wanted to say, I realized that this will in fact be very easy.

Although I have not spent much time physically with you over the last 30 years, you are with me every day in all that I do. The standards and values you instilled in me as a child are what makes me who I am today.

When I think back to my early years, every good memory I have has you in it.

Do you remember camping with Richard Lindley when we had you dig up the latrine looking for your “lost” lighter? I was maybe 10 years old and already my sense of humor was keenly developed, as were my powers of reasoning and logic: sitting in your old chair in the dinning room where we spent so many hours together I counted while you smoked 5 cigarettes, and then announced in a manner that left no room for discussion that the cost of those 5 Players Navy Cut would have paid for a tin of dog food, and that there was no way Patch would be going to the pound!

We listened to the radio as the news of Kennedys assassination shocked the world, and even though I didn’t really understand, I knew something important had happened.

We listened to the Goons and Hancock and to the Henry Cooper-Cassius Clay fight, and I loved the time that was just you and I together

How about the first “grown up” plane we built together? it was a “Caprice”, a 51” wingspan glider, with wingtips that angled upwards. I’m not sure how much of it I got to actually build my self, as your “supervision” was very much hands on! "we" forgot to set up the de-thermaliser (the timed fuse on the tailplane that caused the stall out) and spent hours looking for where it landed.

When I found out that you’d selected Wyggeston as first choice of prep school, I was heartbroken, as I would have to learn to play rugby instead of soccer, but by the time I played my last official game at aged 41, I’d forgiven you: I guess the education may have helped a little too!

The early teen years were wonderful, and you were always there for me. The saddle from your old bike (a brooks b17) looked great on my first real bike, and it stayed with me for several years, during my early racing career: in building bikes and trading parts, I got my first lessons in economics: I learned how to wheel and deal, but always to be fair. I may not have won as many races as some of the other guys, but I had the most supportive dad: for each 6.00am start I had, you had a 3.30 alarm call to drive me there, while I slept in the back of the car, usually with Phil Read there with us, like he was on our holidays. I’ll never forget us all having to get out of the car as it struggled to tow a caravan up the hill at Lynton and Lynmouth!

Whatever hobbies or interests I had, you were always supportive, if not approving! The fact you could practice your photography and show off your guitar playing seemed to help just a little bit when I bought home Phil Collins and the rest of the guys from Genesis!

You hosted several future music multimillionaires during their up and coming years, and each and every one was in awe of your guitar playing.

You gave me room to grow, to make my own decisions and mistakes, but always with a solid sense of what was right and wrong that you had instilled in me over the years: I may have broken a few laws here and there, but I never did anything I’m ashamed of.

As time marches on and our roles in life change, I only wish I had spent more time with you. The house is finished now, and we are very happy here, but I’m so sorry that your last visit was 6 months before we got moved in. Jane has made life wonderful for me, and we laugh together so much: like you and Jill we didn’t get together as early as we perhaps should have, but now we will live out our days in love and happiness, and enjoy every minute we have.

You taught me how to do so many things: I wonder how many Saturday mornings old George at the wood store hid behind the counter in case I came in with sixpence and a big job in mind! I went through life always thinking I was able to take on any project and that I had the skills and confidence necessary to succeed, and for that I will always thank you.

The wonderful picture of you on top of Old John has a special place in my heart, as that image encompasses the way I’ve thought of you for the last 25 years, and always will remember you in the future; what makes it even more special is that this was also the day I told you I was going to visit Jane in Portsmouth, and I already knew my life was about to change for the better. Whatever the future holds for you, know that I could not have had a better role model, and that each and every day I strive to be as good a person as you dad.

I love you dad, yesterday, today and forever.

I was unable to be at his funeral and service, but my letter was there, and said all that needed to be said about a wonderful man
_________________________
It's rarely rocket science, it's usually just math: then again if you can't do the math.......

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#303516 - 10/10/08 11:33 PM Re: Memories of Loved ones [Re: pugwash]
azbob Offline
Your letter is heartfelt, beautiful, touching and bought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing.
_________________________
"Hold on Tight To Your Dreams" ELO

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#303519 - 10/10/08 11:49 PM Re: Memories of Loved ones [Re: pugwash]
Nova Offline
Dear Pug,

Next time I see you I will give you the biggest hug and kiss!

Love,

Nova

P.S.

My Dad memory: I was 12 years old, heading home from school on the bus and one of the kids called me a "nigger lover"! (My best friend of 33 years is bi-racial). I had never heard the word before and told my dad what I had been called. His response was, after explaining what it meant, "Baby, you will be called many names in your lifetime, but this is one you can wear with pride!"

Pretty awesome answer coming from a 67 year old ultra-conservative Penticostal!!!

My best memories of my brother, Dale, who died in 2000 at 50 years old. While I was in University he would show up, out of the blue, (having driven from his home 450 kms away) whisk me off to the nearest freaky food store and make me eat strange foods and stay up and talk, sometimes 20 hours straight or more. We ate pickled pigs feet, octopus in tomato sauce, whelks, artichokes in vodka, and countless containers that only listed the ingredients in Mandarin or Korean! We discussed everything from Aids (virtually unknown at that time) to the most bizarre sci-fi books ever written.

Heavy sigh! smile Miss you guys! smile
_________________________
It's never too late to have a happy childhood!

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#303536 - 10/11/08 12:47 AM Re: Memories of Loved ones [Re: Nova]
Ernie B Offline
I miss one special person.
_________________________
Gun Control is Hitting Your Target.

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#303540 - 10/11/08 12:53 AM Re: Memories of Loved ones [Re: Ernie B]
Otteralum Offline
nice folks, very nice. thank you.
_________________________
I will have a Belikin -- put it on klcman's tab.

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#303592 - 10/11/08 04:55 AM Re: Memories of Loved ones [Re: Otteralum]
Tom Offline
My Dad died a few months after returning from a visit to the Island. When he got back he thought he might have picked up a bug or flu and waited for me to get back. I got on the plane that he had gotten off of. I was only down for about a week.
Got back and he was so weak he could not get out of the chair by himself. Tom helped into the car and we were off to the ER. After about 6 hours in ER we were told that he actually has Acute Luekemia. He was in and out of the hospital several times. The last time I took him back, he told me in the car that he had done everything he wanted and it was OK if this was it. He was glad that he was able to spend his last vacation in San Pedro Town.
I Love You Daddy.
Kat


Edited by Tom (10/11/08 04:57 AM)

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#303600 - 10/11/08 05:32 AM Re: Memories of Loved ones [Re: Tom]
Mikeywaz Offline
Very nice, Pug. I'm so glad you were able to share your thoughts with him before he died.
_________________________
mikeywaz

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#303759 - 10/12/08 05:26 AM Re: Memories of Loved ones [Re: Mikeywaz]
KC Jayhawk Offline
With all the political talk and cynicism on this board these days (of which I am more than guilty), I have a story that I think is in context here. In late 1985, I had just left the U.S. Senate staff of Sen. Nancy Landon Kassebaum of Kansas and had gone to work in Kansas City, to be closer to my now wife, Laura. My mother took very ill with cancer in the fall of 1985, and passed away in February, 1986 at the age of 58. I had not spoken to Sen. Kassebaum in the four months since I has left her staff, but I received a handwritten note from her two days after Mom's death that I treasure. After expressing her condolences, she shared a Thornton Wilder quote that resonates with me still:

All we can know about those that we have loved and lost is that they would wish us to remember them with a more intensified realization of their reality. What is essential does not die, but clarifies. The highest tribute to the dead is not grief but gratitude.
_________________________
When you find a big kettle of crazy, it's best not to stir it.

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#303906 - 10/12/08 09:30 PM Re: Memories of Loved ones [Re: KC Jayhawk]
Bobber Offline
"Tho they are no longer here, they are never gone and never far away".
_________________________
Been there, done that, the washing machine ate the T-shirt

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#304005 - 10/13/08 04:35 PM Re: Memories of Loved ones [Re: Bobber]
Jim Wade's Little Sister Offline
My brother lived all over and throughout the country of Belize for 25+ years. During those years, I vacationed and visited him every year no matter where he was in Belize. Through his love of this beautiful country, I also grew to love Belize so very much, but I have not returned in 5 years. Although I have wonderful memories of my brother and truly some of the wildest vacations of my life, they were spent with my brother and it really didn't matter where we were. His ashes were returned to the sea 6 years ago and I cannot bring myself to return to Belize without him there. Belize will never be the same for me. I realize that through his crazy adventures and my great love for him, I would never have experienced this beautiful place they call Paradise. Thank you Brother. We had an awesome time together.

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