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Old 11-26-2009, 10:50 PM   #1
PamelaLois
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Default Exceptionally sucky week

Well, finally, the week from hell is over. My father passed away on the 18th, it was a complete shock. He went out almost exactly how he joked that he wanted to die, on the golf course with his buddies. He had a massive heart attack on Monday 16th, and while his buddies were able to keep him going til the paramedics got there, the damage was just too much, and on Wednesday 18th, my mom had them remove the life support. They had made a promise to each other that they would never keep the other alive through artificial means. He died peacefully about 2 minutes after they removed the respirator. He never took a breath after it was removed.

For me, last week was a lonely hell. My brothers and sister were able to go to Florida to be with my mom for support, but I wasn't able to go. I was here, alone, trying to get through it without falling apart. They all came back here to Chicago for the wake, funeral and burial, as my parents have plots in the same cemetery where my dad's parents are buried. The wake was this past Monday, the funeral Tuesday. I gave the eulogy, which was absolutely the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life.

My dad was an amazing guy, I could not believe how many people came to the wake, they put us in a room so big that it is usually split up by 4. By crazy co-incidence, we were put in the "Walnut" room, the street I grew up on was Walnut. People said so many wonderful things about my dad, I knew he had a lot of friends, but I had no idea how many. He was loved very much.

Here's what I said at the funeral:

Dad was special. Yes, I know that's what people are expected so say at a time like this. But for Dad, it is true. Over the past week I have seen how many lives he touched. I have heard from you all how much you will miss him, how he helped you, or made you laugh, how much he loved us kids and mom. He was an amazing father, he was our cheerleader and support system.

In each of my brothers and sister, I can see my dad's influence. In John, it's in his sense of humor, Dad was always ready to laugh with us, or tell a bad joke. John has that, he makes us laugh. He asked me recently if I thought Dad was "an idiot" like he is when Dad was younger, meaning did Dad do goofy things with his friends like John does. I told him that I was sure he did. I remember the Walnut Road Hockey League and the silly trophies he built with Mr. Lynch, his telling our friends that when he was a teacher the kids called him Mr. Mean because he used to spank them with a 2x4 with a nail in it. ( And none of them believed it) and the horrid green bermuda shorts, his Lawn uniform, that he wore while mowing the lawn. My my mom had a terrible time trying to throw them away, since Dad kept getting them back. I think he wore them just for the comedy effect. I remember hearing stories of the goofy things they did on their trips with his State Farm buddies. He liked to laugh with us, never at us. We always knew that a family get-together would involve a lot of laughter and joy. John does that, he has a way of making everyone feel welcome and included.

In Jeto, what I notice is how much he is like my father in how he loves his children. He is their cheerleader and support system. He inherited that special gift of being a "dad". Kelly and Sean are lucky that Jim had such a wonderful example. They will know the love the four of us did, that our father was there for us at all times, that he loved us unconditionally. He expected a lot from us, yet he would also forgive an honest admission of a mistake, provided we learned from it and moved on. I see in Jim's face, when he looks at Kelly and Sean, the love I saw in my dad's face when he looked at us. Paul B. told John and I about the time when Paul was 8 and Dad spent time catching for him to practice his pitching. He said that showed what kind of Dad he was, not many men had time to play catch with their own sons, and Dad took the time even for the neighbor kids. I am sure Kelly and Sean and their friends will tell these kinds of stories about Jeto, he is a "dad".

In Alison what I see of Dad is her patience and organization. I see in her his sense of order and ability to handle difficult or stressful situations. That is probably what makes her such a wonderful nurse. She has his cool, his control. Dad was always able to marshall a sense of order when things were spinning wild. He planned well, took care of us and made sure things were in control. He had the patience every summer to take all of us on a vacation and endured 4 kids cramped in the back of a station wagon for hours, bickering about being "over the line" or "he's NOT touching me", and yet he never drove the car into a wall. Ali seems to have that ability. If something is crazy, she is always cool-headed. She makes lists, plans, worries and soothes. Her patients and their families are lucky that they have her to guide them through the difficult times they face when they are in her hospital. I know she has helped many many people deal with a loss just like this, she certainly was a comfort to mom. Dad gave her that good sense and cool head.

There are so many other things I wish I was able to remember or say. I can't think particularly straight at the moment, this has been a really tough week for us all. But, while trying to think of things to say, I came across a couple sheets of paper in my desk that I saved from my dad's retirement party. While Ali wrote this, I think it applies not only to her, but to all of us, and I can't think of a better way to remember him. It speaks of everything I said earlier:

I've learned many things from my dad over the years. I was lucky enough to work for him during the summer while I was in school. It was that summer that I developed my fire-proof work ethic. Along with that, hopefully some other qualities of my dad, like honesty, integrity, patience and a good sense of humor rubbed off on me as well.

I have for you a list of the Top 10 lessons I've learned from my dad...

#10 Don't knock it
#9 Watch your time
#8 Top Job can clean anything
#7 You can't go wrong with a vodka martini on the rocks with a twist and an olive
#6 Just to "be good" is gift enough. All dad ever wanted was for us kids to be good
#5 Striving to be a "big name" in whatever game you're in gets you places
#4 Don't even ask what's for dinner because the answer is gonna be "Hot snots and a bowl of puke"
#3 If you find a joke that works, use it over, and over, and over, and over.........
#2 Take the points against Notre Dame
And the #1 lesson I learned from my dad.....GO ALI

Although, I would change that last line to GO all of us
.

Goodbye Dad, I miss you, I love you. And I love you too, Mom, Ali, John, Jeto, Kelly, Sean, Bridget, Michelle and Greg. I am so glad the last thing I ever said to Dad was "I love you" when I saw him at Fox's before they left for Florida. Make sure you tell the people in your life that you love them. That's probably the most important lesson I learned from Dad.

Love.
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Last edited by PamelaLois; 11-26-2009 at 10:55 PM.
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Old 11-26-2009, 11:29 PM   #2
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Very sorry for your loss, PamelaLois. {{{HUGS}}} What an exceptionally sucky week, indeed.

Your words at the funeral were so beautiful, it's clear your father was a tremendous, super fun, and well-loved man.
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Old 11-27-2009, 06:59 AM   #3
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I am so sorry that lost you father. You gave a moving eulogy and I bet it comforted everyone. Take time just for you now.
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Old 11-27-2009, 09:06 AM   #4
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I'm so sorry for your loss PamelaLois. ((HUG)) Your father sounds like he was a really great dad. The speech you made at his funeral was really lovely and moving. Please take care of yourself. I'll say a prayer for you and your family.
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Old 11-27-2009, 04:34 PM   #5
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My condolences to you and your family on the loss of your father. He sounded like a great guy and I'm sure he'll be missed.

All the best

Dennis
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Old 11-27-2009, 05:09 PM   #6
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I'm so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

(((HUGS)))
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Old 11-28-2009, 05:24 AM   #7
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Pamela I am very sorry to read of the loss of your father. It does not matter how old we are, losing a parent brings a lot of heartbreak.

xo

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Old 11-28-2009, 06:46 AM   #8
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Pamela, I'm sorry for your loss. ((((hugs))))
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Old 11-28-2009, 08:20 AM   #9
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I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. My parents are both gone, so I know exactly what you're going through right now. Sending positive energy and good thoughts to you and your family.
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Old 11-29-2009, 04:27 PM   #10
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I am so sorry for your loss Pamela my prayers are with you and your family. You gave a beautiful eulogy and I know he is watching over you now, big hugs, Fran
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Old 11-30-2009, 01:47 PM   #11
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Thanks Everyone
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Old 11-30-2009, 02:53 PM   #12
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I am so sorry to hear it was such a sucky week in that you lost your Dad. Kind of strange he was able to predict where he would die. My Dad died this month as well so I have some idea how you are feeling this week. The eulogy was so lovely and I am so glad you were able to be there to give one. I was not able to get to my Mom's eulogy and Dad didn't want one. I feel like I never really said good bye to either one of them as you were able to do. Keep all the good thoughts in your mind as I have done and I hope the passing days somehow become easier for you especially during the Holiday. (((HUGS to you and your family)))
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Old 11-30-2009, 04:15 PM   #13
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((((hugs))))
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Old 12-01-2009, 10:26 AM   #14
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Oh, Pamela, what a beautiful eulogy. I think it's wonderful how you included your whole family, and even some friends, in describing your father's legacy. Although I didn't know him, and I don't even really know you, your words gave me some real insight into what your father was like, and what it was like to have him as a dad. Good job. You honored him wonderfully and were very generous in how you thought of everyone else in the family.
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Old 12-01-2009, 01:50 PM   #15
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Pamela, I'm so sorry to hear about your dad. I imagine that you probably feel like you couldn't get the words right in describing your love for your father, but hopefully the reactions from everyone here will reassure you that you absolutely did. We can all feel your love for him from what you wrote. You did good.
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