One of the last photos taken of my Dad
It was February 26, 1987
I had just come home from doing night shift on a private duty case in Wyoming, a town a mere 5-10 minutes from where my parents lived.
Mom and Dad
But I decided I was too tired and decided to go home instead....a decision that I would regret for many years.....until I realized that what is meant to be, will be.......
I had just laid down and the phone had begun to ring. These were the days where there was no cell phones, no caller ID and no answering machines.
Mom and Dad's Wedding Picture
When I answered the phone, it was my only sister, Barb, telling me that she had called my Dad and there was no answer.......
We both knew why......
Over these past 30 years, Heart Disease has taken pretty much all of my Dad's 7 siblings and his Mother.
In 1985, my Uncle Joe, had passed away suddenly while sautering pipes in the bathroom , where my Aunt Helen found him when she returned home from work later that day.....
Dad was a Master Sargent in WWII
My uncle Lenny, the youngest of the 8 siblings and a father of 9 children, died while eating supper at the dinner table at the age of 49.
When my Uncle Joe died 2 years earlier, my sister and I had the uncanny feeling that our Dad would be next.
We had actually discussed how it would happen and what we would do.
We knew it would be sudden, we knew that for some odd reason my sister, who lived closer, would find him because Mom would be at work and we knew that by the time she got there, nothing could be done to save him.
Earlier in the beginning of the year, my Dad had been admitted to the hospital for cardiac issues . He did everything the Dr.'s told him to do like limiting his salt intake, taking new medications he had prescribed and even lost almost 30 pounds.
But it was not enough......
Back to February 26, 1987
My sister is on the phone telling me there is no answer...
We knew Dad could not have gone anywhere because Mom took one car to work and the other was in need of repair and not drivable at the time.
Quickly, we discussed what she would do.......
Knowing she would be finding Dad...
She would call me as soon as she got there...
Barb was pregnant at the time with her 5th child and had to take my niece, Lynn, who was 5 years old at the time, with her......
I called Joe at work and told him to be on stand by because I was sure that my sister would be finding my Dad dead...
He said I was crazy but I knew in my heart that I was right.....
Finally, I could not wait anymore and I dialed my parent's phone number........
My sister answered and all I heard her say was "Lynn, don't go in that room"!!
I knew that my world would never ever be the same.....the 1st Love of My Life was gone.....
How could this happen.......
I was 29 years old and my sons were only 3 and 5 years old.......
They would never benefit from all the knowledge that my Dad had to offer.......
My Dad was 67 years old......
I called Joe to come home ........ A dear friend and neighbor was then called to go and pick up my sons at day care because I knew I would have to be making arrangements......
My sister and I had decided that she would call the Police and they would then know what to do.....
When Joe and I pulled up to my parent's home, neighbor's were standing outside crying, the police were in the Kitchen with my sister ...
My Dad was in the bedroom....he had apparently been sitting on the bed and simply fell back onto the bed.......
They assured me that it was sudden and he felt no pain......A massive heart attack......
Dad, who was retired, had gotten up with my Mom, made her breakfast, waved goodbye to her from the Living Room picture window as she pulled out of the drive way to go to work. She still worked part time in a Dress Factory......
He then used to lay back down for awhile. Hence the reason why he was laying on the bed.......
It was decided that Joe and I would drive to Pittston, where my Mom worked, to tell her........
When my Mom walked into the office where we waited for her, she screamed when she saw us....... She knew.....
This was one of the hardest things I ever had to do......
She sat on that bed a long time, stroking my Dad's head, whispering " Frankie", a name I had never heard her call him before that day......
My Mom sold that house 3 months later, as she could not stand to live there with all the memories that her "dream house" held......She moved to a Senior Citizen's Apartment.....
My Mom was never the same and for the 18 years that she lived without my Dad, all she wanted was to be with him.......They are together now.....
There was a sadness in my Mom's eyes that never went away after Dad died
The 2nd hardest thing was telling my sons that their Grampy had gone to heaven.....
Jim, who was 3 years old, did not understand and would grow up not having any memories of my Dad.......
Joey, who was 5 years old, would only have one memory of my Dad and it would be my Dad , laying on the floor playing with him and for this, I am forever grateful because his memory shows the true essence of who my Dad was.......
I have missed my Dad every day for these 30 years.......
My Dad taught me many things.....
How to upholster my own Dining Room chairs and I have done so many times!!
How to use a roller the right way when painting
How to put up wall paper border
The border I put up in the Powder Room when we remodeled the down stairs
How to paint and stain furniture
A piece of furniture that I painted and made into a Faux Fireplace
How to lay a brick sidewalk ( I laid the sidewalk myself in the above photo)
For you see, I am a Carpenter's Daughter.....
My Dad built the 2 homes that I lived in as a child.....
The 1st house Dad built upon returning home from WWII, with Christmas decorations that he made
The 2nd house he built when I was 4 years old
He taught me how to make turkey soup, which I still make and my sons love....
He taught how to make his sausage filling which is still a tradition for Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas at our house......
He taught me kindness, compassion and understanding...
He taught me that I could do anything that I wanted to do if I put my mind to it......
I always said that if my Dad could drive me to the Moon, he would. He drove me and all of my friends everywhere I ever asked him to take us and NEVER complained about it. I made sure I did the same for my own sons and their friends.
I was his "Debbie Webbie". When he called me Deborah, I knew he meant business. But that was not too often. He was the teddy bear of the family.
Mitch Album , one of my favorite authors, posed the question in his book " For One More Day", What would you do if you could spend one more day with a loved one? Both my sister and I agree that day would be spent with my Father, just talking.
I miss him every single day but he is with me forever in my heart....
I hear him saying "That a girl!" when I finish a project in my home or especially when I am laying under the Tree on the platform that he made, setting up my Christmas Village, just like he used to do.....A tradition I will carry on until I am no longer physically able to do so....
My Christmas Village, on the platform that my Dad built 38 years ago
I have felt his presence watching over me and my family for these 30 years , keeping us safe, keeping us happy.
Joey, Joe and Jim
I know he is so proud of my sister's family and mine....
Me and Barb
He would be thrilled that shortly after his passing, Joe, who was great friends with my Dad, quit drinking ( 30 years ago now) for the sake of our marriage and now recently quit smoking!
I see my Dad in my sons......
Barb and her husband, John
John, Dan, Mom holding Lynn, Lisa and Dad holding Joey
Brian ,Lisa, John, my brother-in-law, Lynn, Dan and John
He would be so excited over his Great Grandchildren and Great Great Grandchildren........
My sister and her grandchildren
Madalyn,Carly,Caitlin, Cortney, Barb, John and Will
Madalyn and Carly, Cortney, Barb and Caitlin
My niece Lisa and her husband John
John and Lisa
Sadly, Lisa's son Craig has joined my parents in heaven......
I know that my Dad is keeping him under his wings.....
Lisa and her grandchildren
My nephew John, his wife Renae and their family
Cortney, Carly, Renae, Caitlin and John
Cortney, Carly and Caitlin
My nephew Dan and his wife Heather
Heather and Dan
My niece Lynn, who was with my sister when she found Dad that day 30 years ago, her husband Ed and their family
Lynn, Will, Madalyn and Ed
My nephew Brian, whom my sister was pregnant with in 1987, and his wife Anne
Anne and Brain
My sister and I memorialized our family by purchasing a paver that lies outside her church.....
I can't believe 30 years has passed since that day.......
If your parents are still living, please tell them that you love them before you no longer have the chance.....
I so wish I could have just one more day with my Dad..........
I hope you will stop by and visit again.....
If you do not have a blog, PLEASE give me some way to reply to your comment, maybe by including your email in your comment. If I can not find a way to reach you, I will reply on the post where you commented so please check back......
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Such sweet memories. Thanks for sharing with us. Your family is fantasticReplyDelete
Any Father, Mother---anyone ANYWHERE, would be honored to be remembered in such a sweet, heartfelt loving tribute such as this. Simply lovely, and I'm so glad for your wonderful memories.ReplyDelete
Such a wonderful tribute to your dad Debbie, I also lost my dad at a young age...he was 44 and died of colon cancer...I was only 28. hugs...ReplyDelete
Lovely tribute to your father. You have a lovely family.ReplyDelete
What a wonderful post. It breaks my heart for you all. The anniversaries of my parent's deaths are alway a bit sad even after all these years. Hugs to you.ReplyDelete
A lovely tribute, Debbie, and so moving. A big hug.ReplyDelete
Debbie, what a beautiful tribute to your dad! You have many good memories. That's something some children don't have of their father. I married early and moved out of state, so the time I spent with my daddy was short. He's still alive, as well as my mom. I try to speak to them as often as I can. I'm so glad the expense to place a long distance call is a thing of the past. We can spend long visits on the phone which helps when we can't be together. Anytime you lose someone you love then that pain stays with you forever. I know because my baby brother died 11 years ago and it seems just like yesterday. I miss talking with him a lot. Thank you for sharing such a tender post with us today. God bless!ReplyDelete
Awwwww, Debbie, so much love in your post. He is still there with you, everyday, in your heart.ReplyDelete
My parents have both gone also, I miss my Dad something else too, after my mom passed away we became so close in the 10 years between them passing. your Dad was a great example to you and you have continued on and I am sure your kids will continue with their kids.ReplyDelete
Great tribute you have given to him
Such a nice tribute to your dad! My dad has been gone 22 years this month and my mom almost 12 years--you never really think that you won't have them some day....You have a great family and family is what really matters.ReplyDelete
Oh Debbie, I had to wipe the tears away to read this post. My dad has been gone since Feb 6, 1994, and I feel like you. Wish I had been with him the day he died, but can't change the past.ReplyDelete
Such a lovely tribute to your Dad Debbie. I had to wipe the tears away reading the phone call part :(ReplyDelete
Debbie your father sounds so much like my dad who just passed away in October. My eyes welled up with tears reading about your father and remembering mine. I wish I had one more day...on more day to tell him how much I love him and to thank him one more time for all of the gifts he bestowed on me as his daughter. My dad was also a carpenter and a gardener, avid lover of all things related to sports,and someone who knew the true value of home and family. May God bless your parents in heaven, and your family still here on earth.ReplyDelete
Thank you for sharing such and intimate story of your loss... I lost my mom 10 years ago... Sounds like you have a lot of wonderful memories.ReplyDelete
What a wonderful tribute to your dad! He sounds like a very nice man, and what he taught you! My stars. I never really knew the real dad. He was best friends with the bottle & I've wistfully wanted to know him as he would have been...could have been. I know you treasure your memories of him...you were so very lucky. I'm sorry your mom had to be without him in her later years. I've been widowed before, but been fortunate to be wedded to 2 great guys. email@example.comReplyDelete
A great tribute Debbie. He had to have passed very young. Thank you so much for linking at #overthemoon! I look forward to seeing what you share every week. Please come back for #WonderfulWednesday or #ThursdayFavoriteThings. Don't forget to comment your link #'s so I can be sure to visit and you get a chance to be featured! Pinned and shared.ReplyDelete
Debbie, your dad sounds like he was an amazing man! Our parents play such an important part of our life and losing them is hard! I remember the day I got the call about my mom passing. A great loss in my life as well! My fil is 91 and I am dreading the day he goes! Thanks for sharing with SYC.ReplyDelete
Debbie, I don't know what to say other than I'm sorry and your words and family are beautiful. Thank you for sharing this at Funtastic FridayReplyDelete
Debbie, both your father and you mother must be very proud of all that you and your family have achieved. Good memories are a blessing.ReplyDelete
Well, you've gone & made me cry. What a lovely family, obviously close because of the teachings of your Mother & dear departed Father. Memories... Bless your heart.ReplyDelete
I came to visit you through the Happiness is Homemade bloghop; hope you'll have time one day to stop on by the 4Shoes.
Debbie, what a lovely tribute to your father. I've always thought that we women who had wonderful fathers were truly blessed.ReplyDelete
What a sweet tribute to your father, Debbie. Thanks for sharing @Vintage Charm!ReplyDelete
Debbie, It took me a while to stop by to read this post because I knew it would tear at my heartstrings. It is really a beautiful tribute to your wonderful father. I too have a very special relationship with my father, and although he is still with us, he has aged so much in the last year and a half. I try not to dwell on the fact that life is really way too short and do my best to embrace the present and give both of my parents as much time as I possibly can. Thanks for sharing your beautiful post. Hugs to you. ~LaurieReplyDelete
What a lovely post on your Father Debbie. Thank you for sharing it. God knows just the right people to place in our lives doesn't he?ReplyDelete
Debbie, it sounds like your dad was a wonderful man who loved his family very much and taught you all a lot of great things. What a lovely way to honor his life and memory.ReplyDelete
Debbie, this is a lovely tribute to your father. It's wonderful that he taught you so many things that you still put to great use. It's clear that his spirit lives on in you and your family. I lost my father when I was 22. He was only 57-that's the age I am now. Maybe because of that, he's been on my mind more and more lately. He left a wonderful family legacy just as your father did. It's beautiful that you treasure his memory.ReplyDelete
Such a beautiful remembrance of your dad, Debbie. I had the same kind of relationship with my dad, and ironically he taught me some of the thing yours did. We had some really good times painting; sometimes I'd miss a spot, and he would "Sis, there's a holiday". I miss mine so much also, he's been gone 25 years; I cried every night for a year. I treasure the memories though as you do.ReplyDelete