Saturday, July 4, 2009

Peace

The good Lord has given me special graces this week.

Ever since I found out that I was pregnant with my fourth child I have been worried about the day my dad would pass away. I'm sure I don't need to tell you (though I will anyway) that I have always been very close to my dad. To this day I consider myself to be daddy's little girl. I knew grieving my dad would be very hard on me, and it worried me to be pregnant at the same time. I feared that if I became too depressed those depressed feelings could be passed onto my baby.

My fears were unfounded.

This past week has been a busy one, planning the funeral, helping take care of arrangements, and writing the obituary as my mother requested. And yes, there have been times I would break down and cry. But for the most part I just felt peace. Peace that daddy's struggle was over and he could finally be himself again. Peace that when we would have family get-togethers dad could be there to join in again. Peace that when I speak to my dad I know he will hear me. And peace knowing that dad is reunited with the daughter he lost so long ago.

Maybe it is because this has been such a long road. Yes, I will miss my father terribly, but I have already been missing him for so many years. We have been grieving for quite a while. Even still, the very thought of loosing my dad used to flood me with tears. Now that it has actually happened I am just so happy for him. And my mom seems to be feeling the same thing.

Friday was the funeral. Just planning the funeral, picking the songs that dad loved, choosing readings that meant so much, caused me to cry. Probably more than I had cried yet. But in actually being at the funeral I felt joy. So many people came to celebrate dad and what a wonderful person he was. Pictures were sprayed throughout the church. A video collection of pictures showed just who dad was in life. I laughed when I saw how many photos we had of dad holding a baby. I think that sums up my dad perfectly. He was always taking care of people. Protecting the underdogs. Giving unconditional love. Living with a child's wonder and joy. Thinking about it, dad's connection to babies was perfect, and it is no wonder we had so many pictures of him in his glory.

It reminded me how much I will miss having him at the hospital when this baby is born. I will miss him repeating one of his favorite phrases as he would have taken my daughter in his arms and said in his most reverent, joyful, and gentle voice, "There is nothing like a newborn baby!" I shared this with my mom at the funeral as we were in the back of church and she smiled at me and said, "I just heard him say, 'I'll be there.' " And I have no doubt that he will be.

The sermon captured dad's personality so well that it may have been the only time I cried during mass. Dad's enthusiasm for God's creations was catching and I will never again be able to look at the way the afternoon sun hits the brick on a house and warms it to a glow without immediately thinking of dad. Dad was famous for pointing out beautiful things that the average person would walk right by. I am so proud to be passing that on to my children. Dad's appreciation for life and all it's beauty.

Yes. I will miss dad. More than I can say in words. But I am so filled with love of this man that it is hard to feel past my joy for him right now.

I thank you all so much for your kindness and your prayers. All the overwhelming love and support my family has been given is one of the things that does bring me to tears. This love is beautiful.

I'll leave you with the obituary that was shown in our city's newspaper. I think it sums up my dad's life (if that is even possible) as best as I could in the short amount of time that I had. I am deleting last names and cities and such and I'll just place a * in their spot. I hope that doesn't make it difficult to read.

Thank you all again. And God Bless. :)


John G. * III, 77, of *, died peacefully at * Nursing Home on Monday evening, June 29, 2009 after a long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s.

John was born November 14, 1931 in * to John and Clara *. He graduated from * North High School, Class of 1950 as school president. During high school, John lettered in track and football. He furthered his education at Mission House, where he starred in several positions with the only undefeated football team in school history.

John went on to play football for the Redwings semi-professional football team. He quickly became one of the Redwings’ star players and word of his talent traveled to Green Bay to the Packers organization. John discovered that the Packers wanted him to tryout for their team just as he was drafted into the Army during the Korean War.

John served his country in the U.S. Army, stationed at *. Following his service, he attended radio broadcasters school in New York, NY. He was employed at a radio station in Manitowoc for a time before he entered * Beauty School in *. It was there he met his wife to be.

On February 7, 1959, John was united in marriage to Gloria * of *. The couple were beauticians in * for a year before moving to * to make their home. John worked as a carpenter for his uncle’s contracting business before he became a lab technician at * Engineering Co. where he was employed for over thirty years until his retirement in 1993.

Mr. * was a faithful member of * Parish where he happily served with the maintenance crew and grounds keepers. He sang with the church choir for many years and will always be remembered for his annual solo of “O Holy Night” during Christmas Eve Mass. John was a member of Community Players and had many lead roles. His favorites included playing Charles Dalrymple in “Brigadoon” and “South Pacific” where he played Lt. Cable, and his wife played Liat. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus where he shared in grounds keeping duties.

John will be remembered by his wife as having the most grateful heart. He found beauty in everything around him. The way the sunlight filtered through the trees, a beautiful red barn in a field, the majesty of a sunset, or the glory of a fall day. He made life fun and exciting by taking such joy in God’s creations.

John was a true follower of Christ. Always taking care of those that could not take care of themselves. Always defending the underdog. He had a generous, kind, and compassionate nature and made each and every person that came in contact with him feel special. He was the charming life of the party and loved making people laugh.

John was an avid hunter, and enjoyed taking his German Shorthairs on hunting trips. He loved fishing and hiking and took much joy in showing his children and grandchildren all the beauty in nature. His children will always remember the family camping trips to St. Croix falls and many other state parks.

John not only had a gorgeous singing voice, and was a fabulous actor, but he was a great dancer too. John and his wife loved dancing together at weddings, parties, or even in the living room when the mood struck.

John and his wife were best friends and enjoyed spending all of their time together. They took many motorcycle trips across the states and along the Mississippi River stopping wherever something struck their fancy. They took daily walks through the woods with their dogs. They enjoyed attending mass together, singing together, taking long car rides, listening to music, and spending time with their children, grandchildren, and friends.

John will be remembered for many things, but the most important is love. John loved his God, and his family. His faith and love of God lead him throughout his life and made him an extraordinary example of God’s love for us. John loved and supported his wife and children through all of their endeavors and rejoiced in their happiness. All who knew John knew love.

In addition to his wife, Gloria, John is survived by five children, David (Debbie) *, Mike *, Jeff (Jenny) *, Anne *, Kathryn (Todd) * all of *; eleven grandchildren, Garrett, Kellie, Jake, Jason, Alyssa, Emily, Hannah, Lydia, Joseph, Thomas, Benjamin, and another grandchild due in August; 3 brothers, Clarence (Barbara), Eugene (Lois) and Carl (Marie); and other family members including a brother-in-law, Larry (Emma Jean) *.

Preceding John in death was his beloved daughter, Mary Joy, his parents, a brother, Jimmy; father and mother-in-law, August and Casey *.

The family would like to thank all the nurses and staff at Sunnyridge Nursing Home and all the nurses at Hospice for their loving support and care.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday, 11:00 A.M. at * Church by Rev. *, the Pastor. A time of visitation and support will be held at the church on Friday from 9:00 A.M. until the time of service.

A memorial fund has been established in his name.

43 comments:

Chris said...

My prayers are certainly with you and your family right now Kat.

I lost my own father ten years ago, while my wife was pregnant with my son. My dad never knew about the pregnancy, but on the day my son was born, I felt my father so close. I absolutely knew he was there.

I hope you have those same wonderful feelings, when it's time to bring that beautiful little girl into the world.

Kelly said...

That was beautifully written and I cried my own tears for you. What a wonderful man your dad must have been and I know he will be there for the birth of your daughter.

Mom24 said...

Kat, I'm so glad you're feeling peaceful. You're in my prayers.

imbeingheldhostage said...

What a beautiful way to be remembered-- if we could all just make that impact on the world!
I have thought about you all day today Kat, being the 4th with all of it's celebrations and wondering if you could even find the energy to smile--but here you are, showing your strength and courage and faith. You are a treasure. May God bless and keep you and your family, you're still in my prayers and my thoughts.

coastrat said...

I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved father, Kat. It sounds like he was loved very much, and loved every bit as much, in return. This is a beautiful tribute you wrote for your dad, Kat. My heart and prayers go out to all of you as you move through this sad, but joyous time.

lakeviewer said...

You stepped up to help your mother and the rest of the family at this time; and that gave you peace too. Your father would be proud of you.

wheelsonthebus said...

i am so, so sorry for your loss

Random Musings Of My Life said...

What an amazing dad! You are truly blessed... I am so glad you are finding peace.

Tonya said...

what a sweet tribute to your dad. I learned something new about you through the obituary, that you are the youngest of 5 kids.

ewe are here said...

What a wonderful, full life he had. A beautiful tribute !

I'm glad ou have a big, loving family to be there at this time.

Lisa said...

Oh Kathryn.....I'm so very sorry! It sounds like you are at peace, but I'm sure this is a very difficult time none the less. Please know I am sending prayers your way, hoping that the peace you are feeling now continues. Much love to you and your family.

Emily said...

What a wonderfully written piece. Your father sounds like a honorable man and I'm so glad the Lord is giving you peace at this time.

Dawn said...

What a beautiful life, worth celebrating, your dad had. He sounds like such an amazing man. I'm glad you feel such peace during this time. I'll continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

BeautifulWreck said...

Prayers for your family. The obit was beautifully written. Take care!

Maggie's Mind said...

Your dad sounds like a wonderful man, not just in this post, but in the love and concern and the admiration in so many of your previous posts. I believe that my mom lives on through the lives of those she touched, and it sounds like your dad touched many lives, too. Sending you hugs.

tweetey30 said...

You know its easier to say goodbye when you realize they are in pain and need to go. I am glad to hear you have done so. I know it hurts to let a loved one go but hey its better than watching them suffer. My great grandmother had Alheimerzers.

Not Your Aunt Bea said...

What a beautiful obituary. It made me tear up just reading it especially as it reflects what a beautiful person your father is. I am glad you and your mom have a peace with his passing. I know you will carry his legacy of appreciating the understated beauty in life and caring for others. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Candy said...

first..... i want to tell you that I AM SO GIDDY THAT YOU ARE HAVING A GIRL!!!!!

and...

i want you to know that my dad died 11 years ago- and it never gets easier, but the pain numbs a bit over time.

I will be thinking of you this week.

david mcmahon said...

You're all in our thoughts and prayers, Kat. Every member of my family knows the pain of a loss through Alzheimer's.

Merisi said...

I am so happy for you that your are at peace, knowing that your dad's suffering has ended and that he will always be in the hearts of those he loved. I wish you the very best with your pregnancy. May it be a time of joy!

Congratulations on winning David's Post of the Day Award!

Sandi McBride said...

First of all, our condolences on the loss of your Daddy...I know this is a hard time for you...but look at it this way, your baby has a very special Guardian Angel to direct her or his life...very special indeed!
Post of the Day...awesome!
Sandi

Gaston Studio said...

He'll be there with you and your new baby girl Kat, as you would expect him to be.

Congrats on POTD.

VALKYRIEN said...

What a lovely tribute to your father. Touched my heart reading your words. I was very close to my father, and it was very hard when he died many years ago.

All the best to you - and congratulation with Post Of The Day.

Maryeliz said...

Oh, Kat. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I know your father certainly will be with you when your daughter is born... and before and after that time, too. May you find continued peace.

Denise said...

We who have lost our beloved father's know what you are going through and I am so very sorry for your loss. Your Dad was an amazing man to be so loved and this is a wonderful tribute to him. You have a wonderful family and now a little girl, congratulations. Our children have a way of getting us through these very sad times.

Eternally Distracted said...

A beautiful post and amazing tribute to your Dad. Thank you for sharing.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I'm in awe of how grounded you are during this time--and that is the most lovely obituary. He sounds like a Great man.

Brian Miller said...

a beautiful tribute to your dad in your words and in the peace you have found. my wife lost her mom about a year and a half ago. it was tough as i was asked to preach the funeral. capturing just the right words in her passing after her struggles was heart breaking. my wife found her peace as well, and still hugs those memories today.

congrats on POTD. well deserved as i think many will appreciate your words.

Craig Glenn said...

Kat,

A very moving and beautiful post. So sorry to hear of you loss.

Congrats on POTD and the new life to come.

Craig

Shaye said...

WOW! So beautifully spoke. I'm in need of kleenex.

I'm sorry for your loss, but grateful to learn of all the lovely years you have with such an amazing father. Please take care of you while you take time to mourn.

CONGRATS on the POTD!

~Shaye

Moannie said...

A very moving post and a wonderful tribute to a much loved man.

Congratulations on being David's POTD

Ms. Neha Gandhi said...

i am so moved... u have such a great connection with ur dad...
everything is so beautifully described

all the best for ur little girl to come...m sure she will have the qualities of ur dad...:)

Cheffie-Mom said...

What a beautiful tribute to your father. My thoughts are with you. Congratulations on the Post of the Day Award.

April said...

I'm so sorry for the loss of your Daddy, Kat. I can relate though also to that feeling of relief and joy that you describe...no more pain and illness will ever bother him again! *HUGS*

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

Sweetie, I'm just sending you more love. There's never a "good" time to lose someone you love. I can't imagine it during a pregnancy, though...

Krystyn said...

What a beautiful post, and I hope it's okay to say, beautiful obituary. Thank you for sharing it.

I'm so glad you are at peace.

I know you can feel him with you always.

Elaine A. said...

I'm so happy to hear that you've been at peace during this time. I can only imagine all the emotions you are feeling.

Still praying for you all and he sounds like an absolutely wonderful man who led a beautiful life.

Molly's Mom said...

Beautifully, beautifully written. What a wonderful man your daddy was!
Hugs to you...

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I so enjoyed reading this post. Having been through my own father's passing I kind of understand a little of what you must feel. Always believe he will be there for you, watching as you smile, consoling as you cry and loving you for ever.

CJ xx

DysFUNctional Mom said...

I'm glad you were able to have those feelings of peace.
That obituary is truly one to be proud of.

Jaysi said...

What a lovely tribute to your father. I am terribly sorry for your loss...that sounds so insignificant. My heart really does ache for you. I have a friend whose father had early onset alzheimers. It was gut wrenching to watch the emotions she went through. I am glad that you are able to find some comfort in knowing that it is over for him. Although they say the person does not know any different, I cannot imagine living in a lost world like that. My prayers are with you and your family.

Momisodes said...

Kat, I am so sorry. I apologize for arriving late, but my condolences to you and your family. My heart goes out to you all.

I know this has been a long and tough road for everyone, and I'm glad to hear that although you must miss him dearly, you find peace and love in his freedom.

His obituary was beautiful.

My thoughts are with you and your family.

MomOf4 said...

I am so sorry for your loss. This was a beautifully written obituary.

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson