Thursday, April 26, 2012

In Memory of Dave

I'm back from my dad's funeral services.  It's so hard to say good-bye to someone you dearly love.  But, I do have hope because I know he was a Christian and loved Jesus and one day I will be with him again in Heaven.  Until then, I have joy that he is with Christ.

I also had a wonderful time being with my family.  My family is close and we always have fun and laugh, no matter the circumstances.  And we were able to laugh last weekend.  My uncle did a fabulous job speaking at the church and sharing about the early days and our family history.  We all learned something new about dad, and the family, which was wonderful.  Thankfully I video taped the services so I can go back and write down the history. 

Dad was in the Air Force for 20 years and retired a Lt. Colonel.  Because of that he also received a military burial with the folding of the flag, taps played and a gun salute.  It was beautiful and so deserving. 

I also spoke at the funeral and gave a daughter's perspective of dad.  Here's my tribute to dad and what I said....

I’m Peggy, the 2nd of the 4 daughters and I want to share a few memories of dad.  As I look back on my life growing up, so many memories of dad come to mind, and most of them are the snapshots of everyday living:
           - Dad in the garage listening to baseball while tinkering on something.
           - Having a fire most nights, even in California.
- Teaching me how to balance my bank statement – and I still do every  
- For our birthdays going to dinner, without the sisters, and dad usually
  remembering what he had at every restaurant – he loved food.
- Tail-gating before Stanford football games.
- Watching the Alfred Hitchcock movie, “The Birds”.
- Coming home from work and reading the paper and not hearing anything
  going on around him.  We’d talk with him and he could tune all of us out.
- And the family favorite: trying to say our name but going through  
  everyone in the house, including the dog, before getting it correct.  This
  has been passed on to each of us.

But dad had a few traits about him that stand out above all.

First and foremost, dad was a family man.  His family meant everything to him.  He loved his kids, his brother and niece and nephew, all his grand kids – he loved everything about the family.  If it had been a bit since he’d talk to us he’d call and say, “hi toots, it’s your daddy” and find out how we were doing.  It didn’t have to be a long conversation, he just wanted to check in and see how we were.
           He loved his four girls and we knew it.  When he and Carol married he gained a son and another daughter and he welcomed them as his own.  And I know they felt the same about him. 

           Dad was also a man of faith.  He wasn’t charismatic about it; instead he lived his faith.  I don’t think I ever heard him say a mean word about anyone.  He was honest, kind and had the utmost integrity.   He loved being a part of the men’s Bible study for both the learning and the company.  He enjoyed serving at the church and ushering. 

           Dad was also a provider.  He worked hard and loved his work.  He instilled a strong work ethic in all of us by his example.  He loved what he did.  I remember him telling us that he had done such a thorough job at Boeing that he streamlined himself out of a job.  I think he was proud that he was able to improve operations so well that he wasn’t needed in that area anymore.  Thankfully he did move into another position.
           All dad’s jobs were top secret, but he had a way of telling us about a project he was working on and it seemed like he told us everything when, in fact, he disclosed nothing.  Dad had that story-telling ability, which I know he got from his dad, and so did Uncle Harold.

           I don’t have that story telling gift, but I will still tell you a few stories and memories of times with Dad.
           Many of you might be surprised that dad would occasionally break out into a tap dance around the house.  The time that stands out the most when dad danced was when we moved to Sunnyvale.  Dad and I were in the back of the moving van, just hanging out, and two girls were poking around trying to get a peak of the new neighbors.  Dad prodded me to go out and say Hi.  Believe it or not, I am shy at times and didn’t want to.  So dad made his move and tap danced down the ramp of the van.  I could hear giggles.  Being the cool 2nd grader that I was, I was mortified (maybe that was a bit of dad’s motivation??).  We did become friends with those girls, so no harm done.

           Dad loved baseball!  Like I said, he would listen to games on the radio on the weekends when he worked in the garage.  And I know I love listening to the Mariners on the radio because of him.  He played on men’s softball leagues for many years.  It was very hard for him to give that up because he was traveling so much and then physically couldn’t do it anymore.  He coached many of my and Karen’s softball teams – it was great having a coach that knew the game and how to teach us.  Sometimes after a game, dad in his jeans and me in my uniform and cleats, would find an open house or new construction in the area and check it out. 
           Many Sundays after church we’d make our sandwiches and sit in front of the TV and hang out and watch whatever game was on – either baseball or football.  Here’s a hint I learned from dad – the best sandwiches always include pepperocini peppers.

           We are all blessed for knowing dad!  He was an honorable man.  He was a hard worker and proud of his family.  But I think the best gift he gave us is being a loving father.  Because of his example, the ability to accept and understand that our God is a loving Father is so natural.  That is such an easy concept because dad was a great example here on earth.

He will be greatly missed – no doubt!  But it was a special Easter this year knowing that while we celebrated the risen Christ, Dad was WITH the risen Christ. 

And it doesn’t get any better than that!          

                                                      I love you Dad!

Friday, April 13, 2012

A Tribute to My Dad

I have been deeply saddened this past week.  My wonderful dad lost his 12 year battle with prostate cancer on Saturday, April 7th.  Easter was significantly more meaningful to me this year because of Dad.  I know he's in heaven and had the privilege of spending Easter WITH the risen Christ IN Heaven.

We arrived home from Hawaii Saturday morning and that evening I received the call that he was gone.  I hope everyone can say they have the best dad ever, because I certainly can.  I have been blessed with the family I was born into.  I have two emotions running simultaneously - sadness and joy.  The sadness is obvious because I adored my dad.  Joy - because...
  1. Dad doesn't have to be frustrated with his physical condition anymore. 
  2. I saw Dad two months prior to his passing. 
  3. Dad was always alert to the end. 
  4. Dad is home in Heaven.
  5. I never once questioned my dad's love for me.
I have so much to say, yet it's so hard to say.  I am shocked at how well I am taking all this - thank you Holy Spirit for your comfort during this time.  So I will write more at a later date, but for now I grieve.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

We're Back!

We recently had our spring break and this year we took a trip!  We NEVER go anywhere on spring break.  This was a trip that was bitter-sweet.   We had my father-in-law's memorial services during the trip, but we also had some play time.  We went to Hawaii.  Yes, this was our view from our hotel. We were spoiled.

My FIL lived on the islands for over 50 years and his wife is buried there, so of course he was buried there as well.  The entire family came out and we had a beautiful church service to remember him and saw family friends and colleagues.  He was a very bold Christian man and we were honored to remember him and his stories.  We had a couple of women perform a hula interpretation to the Mercy Me song, "I Can Only Imagine".  I'm sure you can imagine it was beautiful.

We also had a military service at the VA cemetery since he had spent a few years in the Navy.  I was so impressed by that.  To see the two men walk so ceremoniously, display the colors, hear Taps, and have the flag presented to my husband was such an honor to be a part of. 

We were able to have some fun, too.....

We had a great time at a luau. 

Swing bridge at the zip line.

 The crater of a volcano.  We walked around half of it then walked the floor back to the start.  Steam was still coming up in some places.
Here we are on the volcano floor.
 Here is the more active volcano.  We couldn't drive to the other end because it wasn't safe.

 Good advice to follow!

 The other hotel we stayed at.  This is how the "other half" vacation.  We enjoyed it because we usually don't stay at places like this.
 Not only were there wild cats (and darling kittens) but wild turkeys roaming the hotel grounds.

The reasons that got us to Hawaii were solemn ones.  FIL passed away a few days after Christmas so we had time to process his passing before we left and enjoy being back on the islands and remembering him.  We also knew he would have loved knowing his family was together and enjoying the state he called home.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed!

I pray for a blessed Easter for you and your families.