My mother told me when choosing a husband, take the one that loves you more than you love him. That is wonderful advice if you are able to contain your emotions enough to have that happen.
My grandfather was my role model and he was the first I spotlighted for a Father's day article several years ago, entitled King for The Day.
Looking back over the fifty years with my husband, Paul, my life parallels my grandparents in the dynamics of household setup but both my husband and I had 'gypsy blood' travelling throughout the United States, seven times while my grandfather's travels only took him from one side of Brooklyn to the far side of the same borough of New York City, and the Hamptons during the summer months.
Fifteen years ago we came back to the property I was living on when I left to marry the man who made my emotions soar and my physical being quiver. The Ice Maiden chronicles the whirlwind courtship.
I finish up this tribute by turning the narrative over to our middle son, Patrick who wrote his article in August of 2014:
It's been a hell of a week.
I got a call Tuesday night that my dad went into the hospital because he was completely unresponsive and they thought he'd had a stroke.
Earlier that same day Amy found out she is losing her job as her company is closing the office and moving all the jobs out of state.
At times like these, I remind myself of the old saying, "When Life hands you lemons, ask Life what the hell am I supposed to do with these lemons? And when Life punches you over and over in the stomach, make lemonade and add some Smirnoff vodka."
This ancient Irish proverb doesn't make much sense but has been a help at times.
I've lost count of the number of times I've held Amy and said "it'll all work out" the last 25 years, but I think she might be getting suspicious I just don't know what else to say.
I still don't know what to say, but I have to write. This has become one of my only outlets since I gave up crying like a girl or punching holes in walls.
We were glad to get the news the MRI showed no stroke and he started to get more responsive again. But I just talked to mom and since they'd given him some Parkinson's medicine for some of his symptoms, he is unresponsive again.
I do not know how much more time my dad has, but I cherish every rare moment of clarity and lucidity.
When my oldest, adult kid was just a baby, we had an Oregon ballot dubbed "Death with dignity" to legalize euthanasia for those dying and in intractable pain. I don't remember how I voted, but I know I have learned since then that death is almost never dignified. It so often reduces us to the time we were babies, helpless, voiceless and in diapers.
Death is almost never dignified, so we better make the most of our lives fitting that definition.
But thankfully life can be dignified and we're so often reminded of it in old family photos. With the Internet, these pictures have become ubiquitous and I lost count this year of the Facebook birthday reminders of those who are no longer with us.
I've often pleaded on my blog that we do not have tomorrow promised to us and to make use of every day to tell your friends and loved ones how much you care. Hug and kiss them. Make fun of them and get on their nerves. Give them something to recall you by.
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