Thursday, March 08, 2007

Love Lives Forever

K and his Dad

K's father passed away just hours after Christmas Day ended the year K was sixteen years old.

I have many friends who have lost a parent at a young age and all of them continue to grieve.

I know K
still misses his father -- on both extraordinary and ordinary days.

Days like the ones when he graduated from high school from college.

The day he got married or the days his children were born.

Tuesdays, Fridays, Sundays.

K and I spent Christmas 2001 in Dalat, Vietnam on our honeymoon backpacking trip.

On the day after Christmas, the anniversary of his father's death, K wrote his dad a letter and then burned it and Vietnamese incense.

The scented smoke carried his message upwards.

k and his Dad
K as a baby with his father.

I know K laments not having his father around to meet our children, to ask advice about taxes and investments, parenting, career choices and life in general.

There is a way that I miss K's Dad too...

I wish I had known him.

I wish I had known K with him.

K's father was an engineer for IBM, a company man.

Grandpa John

K and his siblings often recall the way that their father would provide an engineer's complex answers to their innocent questions.

They joke about how
careful they were about asking him questions because querries would invariably lead to one of his legendary, hour long, university style lecture and discussion sessions.

Over the weekend I was in the kitchen and overheard K talking with The Mayor about the eclipse of the moon set to occur later that afternoon.

The Mayor didn't understand the word "eclipse."

The next thing I knew, K had a work lamp from his tool bench along with a basketball and a soccer ball and was delivering an elaborate science lesson on the rotation of the Earth, Sun and Moon.

I'm sure The Mayor didn't understand everything, but he was enthralled none the less.

I couldn't help but feel the presence of K's father.

He was there with us, visiting his grandchildren and delivering his gifts to them through his own son, their father.


My K

82 comments:

Melina said...

This made me cry. I lost my dad the day after I graduated college when he was killed in a motorcycle accident, I don't think I will ever stop grieving. I got married this summer and my husband took me out to his car and played the song that I would've wanted to dance with my dad and danced with me in the parking lot so that I could have a moment away from everyone else and I could just pretend to have a moment with my dad. (I hope that doesn't sound creepy). Great writing, I found you over on IndieBloggers.

slouching mom said...

Oh, goodness. Not even 7:30am, and I am in need of a tissue. What a nice tribute to the Mayor's grandfather. And with some lovely photos, too. Losing your dad when you are 16 has got to be as rough as it gets.

Sayre said...

Absolutely beautiful. Must go blow my nose now.

Janet a.k.a. "Wonder Mom" said...

It's 7:35am and I'm crying. Thanks.
No really. That was absolutely wonderful.

I know the loss..I've been there and you just some how, made me feel warm all over...

I hope K reads this. Everyone who has ever lost a parent should read this.

Kim said...

wow...what a great post.

My husband was only 5 when his father died in a car accident. I think the hardest thing for him is only having a couple memories of his father. Thankfully he has a wonderful step-father but that can never replace the feelings of loss and a missed relationship.

heather said...

There's nothing like a good cry in the morning to make me rush to the phone and tell my parents I love them.

Thanks, this was beautiful.

Nancy said...

simply beautiful, thank you for sharing.

kfk said...

How very sentimental and beautiful.

Tabba said...

*sigh* I'm welling up with tears. I think you know I can relate. Thanks for sharing this and the lovely pictures.
K really looks like his dad :)

Again, thanks for sharing this.

Desert Songbird said...

I lost my dad on Christmas Day 1986 at 6:30 in the morning. He passed away as I held his hand. He was 62 years old; I was 24.

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about and miss my Daddy. I talk about him (and my mom, who died March 3, 1985) to my kids almost every day. They are beginning to feel as if they knew their grandparents, and they miss them as well.

Your post was so very poignant. Makes me think that I'm doing the right thing by sharing my parents' story with my kids, knowing that the legacy will live on through them.

Lizzy said...

Just surfed through via HBM and Canape...
This was a beautiful post--thank you for sharing. What a beautiful tribute.
I never had the opportunity to know my husband's grandfather, "Dee Dah." A man who so clearly influenced and inspired The Mistah. When we met and married, Dee Dah was in the end stages of Alzheimer's. But his love and his talent live every day within both my husband and my father-in-law. I can see the missing in their eyes.

canape said...

What a perfect way to say all of that.

I never knew my K's mom. She died almost 10 years ago. I find myself wishing so much that I could thank her for everything she did for him.

Then again, maybe she is right here with us and already knows.

SciFi Dad said...

Well said. A beautiful tribute, especially to a man you never met.

karrie said...

Such a strong family resemblance.

I love the image of the burning image--beautiful.

My father died when I was nine.I often thought of him while travelling too, esp. in Sweden where his family was from.

Missy said...

What everyone else said.

I really liked this: "I know K still misses his father -- on both extraordinary and ordinary days.

Days like the ones when he graduated from high school from college.

The day he got married or the days his children were born.

Tuesdays, Fridays, Sundays."

Groovy Lady said...

What a lovely, beautifully written tribute to your father-in-law.

MamaLee said...

What a lovely post. It made me cry as well. I lost my Dad 8 years ago. You stirred up memories for me.

I'm so glad to hear that your father-in-law lives thru your husband. How wonderful that is. My hubby used to work for IBM, and I know EXACTLY what you mean by discussion sessions! My hubby can get that way as well! And I know about not having my Dad around to meet my kids. Just to hold them once...

I talk to my Dad every day, and I know that your father-in-law is with you and your family every day as well. Take good care.

Kendra said...

Thanks for this great story! Now I am crying, I was hormonal to begin with. I am linking to your site in my post today, if that is ok. You've put me into a reflective state. Oh boy!!!!

Rachel said...

Oh, that made me teary. What a sweet post.

We lost my father-in-law shortly after our daughter was born, and I know my husband is still grieving for him.

Lotta said...

You can really see how the two of them look alike in those last pictures. Looking at the other happy dad pictures was really hard. He's clearly so thrilled to be your husband's father, I can only imagine what an impact losing him must have been. Luckily your husband has a great family of his own with you and the mayor.

NotSoSage said...

Yes, it does indeed sound as though you got a chance to meet him.

bobbarama said...

My dad died nearly a year ago after slipping into a weeklong coma after elective surgery. I am still trying to find my way again after watching him take his last breath at 2 in the morning in a cold, sterile hospital room. Your heart just doesn't break at a moment like that. It stops. It melts. It shatters into so many pieces you don't really know if it will ever be put back together again. It goes numb, like the rest of your body. And you don't hear anything. The world around you is dead. It is difficult to see anything through the buckets of tears streaming like rivers down your cheeks.

I like your blog, both because it's hysterical and poignant at times. I never know which one until I get here. Today it was poignant.

There is a card I had framed so I could hang it on my wall, next to the door so that everyday on my way out I am reminded that I have another chance that day to make a difference in someone's life. A word. A gesture. Anything.

On the card: Christopher Robin and his good friend Pooh Bear. They're doing what they do best ... hanging out together, on a bridge over a small creek in the countryside.

Their conversation:

Pooh Bear: Christopher Robin?
Christopher Robin: Yes, Pooh Bear?
Pooh Bear: I'll never NOT remember you. Ever.

I thought that was a really wonderful way to tell someone they had made a big impact on your life.

My dad was a Christopher Robin. He was my very best friend.

You made me cry. I am still crying. I think I needed it ... and I suspect it's just a start. I still have a lot of crying left to do.

Thank you for the tears.

Much More Than A Mom said...

What a wonderfully written tribute. You may want to consider printing that for the Rooster to have in the future. Thanks for the reminder of how important every day is.

Velma said...

Thanks for reminding me to take a minute out of my busy day to remember some of my own Love Thursday candidates.

:)

Gingers Mom said...

That was so incredibly touching. He sounds like a wonderful man. I am so happy that I have 2 great parents who are living that I can turn to. Being a parent must make him really ache for his father. It sounds like the few short years he DID have him, he was a great dad. Beautiful post.

Christina_the_wench said...

K looks SO much like his father. Wow.

My hubby's parents were gone before I married him as well so I feel you. I wish I had known them.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

This hit me right in the heart. I lost my dad two years ago (thankfully not a young age) and I think a lot of all the moments my dad has missed with his grandchildren. I can only hope he is watching overhead. He too was known as a 'talker' and knew something about everything---my oldest daughter has inherited this gift and we laugh at how much she can talk, talk, talk. (well, either we laugh or kindly ask her to shut up!)

That photo of K as a baby and his dad is gorgeous!

Ann M. said...

What a beautiful story, thank you so much for sharing it. My father lost his dad when he was 16, too. When my father talks about him, I think we both feet cheated--that my father didn't get more time with him, and that I didn't get any at all.

Kevin Charnas said...

And K's Father lives on...

and I'm going to go call mine, right now.

This was beautiful, Jessica.

Veronica Mitchell said...

Beautiful, poignant photos and post. It is amazing how parents continue to influence long after their gone.

Patience said...

Losing a parent, especially before his time, is something we never completely get over. Our parents are our beginning! So when they are gone, are we forced to accept our own mortality?

This post is a beautiful tribute to your father-in-law and fatherhood in general!

Augs Casa said...

I really enjoyed this post. I am one of the lucky one who still have both parents living and who have been married for over 50 year. I often think about my father and how much time I have left with him as my boys are both very young. It makes me think.

Super B's Mom said...

How proud your father-in-law would be to know that his son married a woman who honors his memory so greatly.

I am so touched. And reminded how precious the time is that I still have left with my parents.

Dirty Birdie said...

What a wonderful post. K's father sounds like he was a wonderful man and an amazing father. I could not imagine not having my dad be a part of my childs life, it would break my heart.

{{Hugs for K}}

I"m going to stop visitng you if you keep making me cry...


KIDDING!!

g-man said...

Touching post. I'm not looking forward to having to deal with that kind of loss.

Blog Antagonist said...

I can't think of anything worse than losing a parent at that age. Poor K! My mother lost her mother when I was an infant. I know it is a loss she has felt all her life. I know K's father would have loved you to pieces. How could he not?

Lovely post, J.

Nancy said...

What a beautiful and touching post. The pictures really are the icing on the cake.

cafejohnsonia said...

That was just beautiful. And very touching.

I love your blog. Where else can I go for a good cry and stories about poop?

Mimi said...

Aww. I'm so sorry for K, and for you as well. But how nice to see the echoes of one generation in the next! And so the sons of fathers become fathers of sons.

My dad worked for IBM, too: he used to bring me in to watch the giant dot matrix printers generate huge x-o printouts of Snoopy, Charlie Brown, and the gang. That was 30 years ago, and even though he's dead now too, I remember that stuff ...

Adventures in Baby Fat said...

That was a beautiful, insightful tribute to your FIL and to K. Laugh or cry, I'm guaranteed one every morning. You have a gift, lady.

I also am touched by all of the comments everyone has posted. So beautiful.

My father is still living and resides just miles down the road from me. He has chosen not to ever be part of our lives and taken a completely different path in life. He withdrew from our lives and made it known how he felt about my siblings and I. That was like a death. I can relate.

Catizhere said...

That was beautiful.
I lost my Daddy 13 years ago and I miss him every.single.day.

Misa Gracie said...

*sniff*

I lost my dad to violent crime 10 years ago. It was senseless, as all crime is. I hope to have similar moments when I have children. Just knowing he is a part of who I am, helps me think of him as an eternal influence on my life and the lives I help create.

ps Can you electrocute yourself by crying into your keyboard? I hope not! *running for tissue*

polliwog said...

I was already crying when I came to visit your blog this morning and of course, this beautiful post made me cry more but in a good way. You are a beautiful person.

QT said...

What a great post! I too wish I could see my BF interact with his dad, who died 12 years ago.

Mad Hatter said...

My daughter has been shown the pictures of her grandmothers and grandfathers sooo many times that she thinks they are real, flesh-and-blood relatives. I will over-hear her talking about Grandma Muriel or Grandma Rosemarie and I will well up time and again. It is a great gift we carry with us--this imprint of our ancestors.

allrileyedup said...

Beautiful post. I don't normally comment just to say "beautiful post" but I really have nothing to add here.

Mel said...

You made me cry, too. I loved this.

I am also strongly reminded of my husband, who will, when asked something, give you an essay answer with physical illustrations. Unless you knock him out. And run away.

deb said...

It's funny how that works, isn't it?

Jenny Ryan said...

That's so sweet! :)

nikki said...

i'm wiping tears off my face now.

my father-in-law passed before i ever met my husband. sometimes when our kids are playing together in the living room, i've looked up and i swear i've seen him watching over them.

Mrs. Chicky said...

That was beautiful. Dammit.

Now I'm all weepy.

mamatulip said...

This is one of the most beautiful things I've read in a long time. And it's just what I needed to read today.

Flawed & Disorderly said...

I have nothing different to add than what's already been said, but as always I'm grateful to still have both my parents. I can't imagine not having them by my side all this time.

Abbynormal said...

That was touching. Thank you for writing about it. I think we all need a step back performance like that. I really miss my dad sometimes and he lives about 11 miles away. Thank you. I needed this post today. I'm probably going to cry. Have a wonderful day.

BethGo said...

This is ridiculous.
Stop making me cry you big jerk!!
I'm going to have to stop reading your blog.
It's just too good.
:)

Jess Riley said...

This was such a wonderful, moving post. I need to call my folks tonight...

(K does look like his father.)

Jill said...

I love this post. I know all too well what it means to lose your father, in more ways then one. That is actually a topic that I will be writing about coming very soon.

You are amazing. What a beautiful post.

jen said...

honey, your heart is like a wide open universe.

you.

Lawyer Mama said...

Damn you, OTJ! You've made me cry and I'm at work. I bet K loved this post.

(And, OK, yeah, this may be a totally inappropriate comment in a post about grieving, but K is quite the hottie.)

Peanut Tree said...

shocker.. I'm crying..
not a huge step for me I know but blimey OTJ, that was teary x
BN's dad died two years ago now and I miss him. It's hard to watch BN not really being open about his grief and so hard to draw anything out of him about that day.

The thought of your children seeing a part of him through K, made me think I see the same thing for my girls x
nutty mummy
www.littlenuttree.wordpress.com

Kristin said...

oh *sniff*... what a lovely tribute to a man who sounds as though he was remarakable... i hope you show this to K's mom!

Long Island Dad said...

Nice... that's all I got Jess! Nice!

squire said...

Super post. I lost my dad at such a young age that my mom became my "rock".

Marmite Breath said...

One more way that he is being kept alive--through words. Thank you, Jessica for reminding us how powerful words are.

creative-type dad said...

I don't even know where to begin- you touched so many things...

great post!

gingajoy said...

gorgeous. Makes me love and miss my father all the more (very much alive, but very much a long long way away).

amyerj said...

Makes me sad all over again for my friend and her daughter (just lost their husband/dad last week), but it's an absolutely beautiful post. The pain just never goes away does it? Thank you for sharing!

flutter said...

What an amazingly beautiful post. Your hubby has his daddy's eyes. Amazing what a difference one life makes, isn't it?

Amanda said...

Thank you for such a touching post. My father died when I was three and it breaks my heart that my kids will not have their grandfather in thier lives. Thank you!

Little Monkies said...

I lost my dad at 16 too and the hardest part of that for me was there was so much there, yet so much to come.

It takes a good woman like you to help someone move through those feelings as they come. K is lucky to have you...

And as K looks like Dad, so does Mayor look like K. It's an unbroken chain, even if your FIL is not here.

And now I know where the big brain on K comes from!

Heather said...

That was a beautiful tribute to a man you never met. Its obvious that he lives on through your husband.

wayabetty said...

Thanks for sharing this OTJ! It makes me appreciate my Dad more and more each day.

I'm glad you visited DaLat, my birth city.

Terri said...

Very touching and sweet.

I simply can't imagine losing one of my parents. :-( I can't even think of it!

Jen3 @ Amazing Trips said...

So sad & so beautiful. My dh lost his mom less than a year after we started dating ... and we mourn her loss every day now. I can only imagine how much she would adore her triplet grandchildren, one of which is her namesake.

My dh's dad is flying in to town this weekend from AZ, very last minute, to look at a house we are preparing to purchase. Of course we could do this ourselves, w/o parental "input" but ... it's so comforting to have. And, we are lucky to have him.

King Isepik said...

Thank you. That's all I can say about it. I'm sure that K appreciates your words at least as much as I do.

Thank you!

carrie said...

God. I feel like this all the time. Like little pieces of my father-in-law (who passed away a few months before Katie was born) are coming through in so many ways.

Thanks for the cry. I need it sometimes.

And your father-in-law sounds like he was a beautiful man. Just like K.

Carrie

liv said...

Beautifully crafted post. It reminds me of my Dad and the heaviness in his heart that is still with him about his own father's death. The long answers, the quest to know the exact right thing to say, the precise standards, and all the while having us kids think: Come on. We just wanted to know why the sky is blue.

Your writing this is a gift to us all, and I just love that K has you to adore him.

Damselfly said...

Aw, this is beautiful. I really don't know what else to say.

Pgoodness said...

That was a perfect post. Beautiful and touching and as real as it gets. Your husband is a lucky man.

Indecisive Woman said...

A lot of times I read your posts out loud to my husband JJ, but not this one. His father died when he was 14. He's missed a lot of big events and will soon miss another one, the birth of JJ's first child.

It makes me appreciate my own parents more.

Shannon said...

Stop it, you're making me cry. Seriously, it's wonderful that you think so much of making K's dad a part of your lives.

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

OK...tearing up a great deal here. What a beautiful post and what a great father to the Mayor and the Rooster you have! Love the pictures of K and his dad. Just beautiful. Thank you for sharing.