Tuesday, November 6th, 2012. 6:55 AM, the phone rang. The simple words come across the line. "Well, it's over." I say, "I'm so sorry, Mom."
It's taken me a long time to be able to write this. Three months, in fact. After an 18 month battle with mesothelioma, my dad finally succumbed to the disease and passed away. It was a day I had known was coming for a long time, but not long enough. I would like to say it made it easier, and I guess in some ways, it did. But, I still wish for it to have been different. Because we knew death was a possibility, we got to plan and spend lots of time together as a family. Of course, it's never enough, but we had a trip to South Dakota, family dinners, sleepovers from grandparents, and plenty of family prayer and fasting and faith building.
My dad has always been my hero. Always. Even when I was ticked off at something he'd gotten after me for doing. He was always there for me. He always took care of me. Whenever I needed help fixing something, or advice, he was always there.
His example continues to be an inspiration to me. I never once heard him swear. Ever. He had cars fall on him, cows and horses step on him and kick him, and 6 children to exasperate him. Not once did foul language escape his mouth.
His efforts to make the community and world a better place were noticed by so many, but his efforts to raise children who loved each other and took care of each other may have been unseen by those outside his inner circle. He will be missed by many, but his family most.
I know you fought hard. I know it wasn't how you hoped it would end. I know that you wanted to see your grandchildren get older, marry and have children of their own. I know you wanted to serve a mission with Mom. Those things will happen differently than originally planned. Your grandchildren still talk of you daily. Landon especially. He sometimes tears up and just says. "I miss Grandpa" Then, I hug him and say, "Me too, buddy." They all miss you a lot, but we tell them fun stories about you and good stories about your hard work and love.
The funeral was nice, as funerals go. All the boys had a chance to talk. We all cried. Afterward, we hugged and talked of how amazing a father you were to all of us, each in a different way. We had a nice luncheon. We saw family we hadn't seen in years. Several of them mentioned how much it meant to them that you called them or visited them when they weren't feeling well. We cried and laughed some more.
Thanks for all you ever did for me and my little family. Thanks for all you are doing now for us on the other side of the veil.
Bye Dad. Love you. Can't Wait To See You Again,