Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dad Is Gone

We got word of my father’s death last Friday afternoon. He was in a nursing home for almost nine years. One of his main diagnoses was Alzheimer’s. This seems to be a genetic thing, several of his aunts and one of his cousins had the disease.

Dad was 86 years old. He was nearly the exact same age his dad was when he died in 1980. I find this fact very interesting. I’ll have to ask the Lord about this when I go to meet Him.

Dad was his own boss. He lived his life as he wanted to. He drove race cars from the late 1940’s until 1969. He also promoted races throughout the Midwest. I got to go with him when he traveled . In the 1950’s I got to travel with my dad. I must have liked it because, there have been times my husband and son and I have done our fair share of it.

One of the sidelines Dad got into was the concession business. Selling hot dogs and snow cones, and pop. My mother helped Dad in this endeavor when they were married. She made the snow cone syrup. It was hot messy work. To this day, as an adult, can’t even think of having one. I believe in my adult life, I might have had two. All I can think about is the amount of sugar it took to make a batch.

My parents divorced in the late 1960’s. In the early 1970’s sugar got so expensive that Dad and my stepmother were asking us to save sugar coupons out of the paper for them.

Dad always used the younger generation of kids to help him work his stands at the events. On occasion, I still see one of them. I didn’t know how to get hold of Dennis but one of his brothers also still lives here. I called that brother, Gary. My son and I were leaving to go get some pictures copied yesterday, Dennis pulled into the driveway next door and we talked. This afternoon, I receive a phone call from Dennis’ brother, Terry, who lives in North Carolina. His daughter who lives here had called him and he called his twin and their oldest brother. I felt honored.

All my cousins have been more that gracious to me. Most of them have been through the loss of both parents.

Sometimes, I think I am dreaming. That it is something I will awaken from. But each day we have had to do something that makes this more real to me.

As I said earlier, Dad lived his life as he wanted to. He didn’t have a relationship with the Lord. But the Lord must have kept watch over him. He had several wrecks as I was coming up. He went through heart bypass surgery and Cancer surgery eighteen months apart.

As much as our lives differed and he didn’t understand how I chose to live mine for God, he was still my dad. I know this is different from my usual Blog entry but I hope you understand. This is what is on my heart.

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...