May 27, 2011

He Aged with Simplicity

My dad and the wooden rowboat that he built in our garage.

This week's beauty is my dad who passed away ten years ago on Memorial Day weekend at the age of 82.

My dad was an metallurgical engineer, a sailor, a liberal, an avid reader, and a lover of nature who could frequently be found with a pair of binoculars around his neck. He thought the best thing about life is it's mystery, and the worst thing is people's cruelty to others. In 1999 I interviewed my whole family for a project I was doing called On The Brink Of A New Millennium. I asked each family member forty questions about their life. When I inquired what my dad's words of wisdom were he simply wrote:

Love people.

I miss his simplicity.

I miss hearing his voice,

and his sound advice.

I miss hugging him, and how he smelled.

I miss so many things about you, Dad.

At his memorial service I read a poem that I had written and given him for Father's Day the year before he died. It went like this:

      What You Are To Me

You are a wonderful father
who I could say most anything to if I needed.

You really have been quite liberal
and in your own quiet, unique way, very loving.

You have applauded when I have been responsible
and honest, and sensible
And you have been there for me to share my joy
when I knew that I was shining.

You are the intelligent man
The shy guy
The nature boy
The reader

The guy with the friendly blue eyes
who fiddles his keys and bites his tongue
in moments of thought or angst.

The father who more than anything I think
just wants his family to be safe, healthy,
happy, honest, and respected.

And as I have said before
you and mom have set the tone for my life.
A simple, beautiful, lyrical one of love,
that will be passed along for generations.

Papa, tonight's sunset is for you.


  1. The top pic says so much about the man- barefoot, carefreedom of a boy...sounds too like he has an amazing and generous spirit.
    Beautiful and loving lament, hope the sunset was as vivid as his life!
    Take care.

  2. oh truewonder thank you. i appreciate your comment.

  3. I so felt your love and longing for all things Dad in this post. Tender daughters are we who love our Dad's so hugely. They leave a massive hole when they go, don't they? but the most beautiful thing they leave if they did their job are the seeds of love that bloom there still - even long after they have passed. xoxoxoxo

  4. This was just beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

  5. CF and HA thank you for your comments. Monica I love what you said and it's so true:

    "The most beautiful thing they leave if they did their job are the seeds of love that bloom there still - even long after they have passed."

  6. Oh Lou, I looked at Fitch's photo and welled up...misty eyed reading this whole beautiful post. Your Dad was/is a "dear" in the truest sense of the word. What a sweet, caring, quiet, thoughtful man. Ahead of his time, in many ways. I so much love both your parents, always felt so comfortable in their presence. Peaceful and sweet. Thank you for sharing your touching words...what a gift to see his face again:) The butterflies are circling:) xoxo