June 30th, Remembering my dad
It’s already after midnight, it’s now July 1st. However my thoughts are still on my dad. My dad died on June 30, 1989. I was 18. He was only 67, had angina and died of heart failure that was brought on by a heart attack (one of many that he had had in his life). I was there by his side when he died, with 2 of my sisters. My grandmother (on my mom’s side) was buried the day my dad died. It was difficult week, especially for my mom losing her mother and husband the same week. I was set to join the Marines that July.
Dad had been on a trip for almost a year, maybe longer; he wasn’t there for my High School graduation in June 1988. People always told me how much I resembled him, but we weren’t really close. He never really seemed very supportive of things I liked to do, unless it fit his mold of who I should be. I suppose parents and grand parents can be like that. He had only been back for a month when he died. For me it seems as if he is still on that trip and I am waiting for him to come back home again. I don’t remember the exact date but the last thing he did with me was to take me for some ice cream at Dairy Queen. It’s memorable because it was a rare thing for him to do; to spend time with me.
That year during his absence I had questions as a teen becoming a man. So I wrote to him. Something rare for me to do because I did not like writing during that period of my life. I preferred phone calls. Now I wish I had the letter I wrote so I could really put into context his reply, which I have included below. All I can do is think back and try to remember what I was thinking about that prompted me to actually take time to write him. He gives a couple hints. I wanted my own car, but couldn’t afford it; neither could he. I think I was asking what could I do to speed up the process of getting my own car? Would he co-sign a loan for me? Also, I had reservations about my future. There were so many “ifs” in my life.
Dad didn’t know it, but he left me a treasure trove of advice with his last letter to me. He starts with the practical advice on page one then speaks from his heart on page two. He also included inspirational quotes that he enjoyed but I did not include them in this post. I think his words of wisdom far outweigh the quotes he included.
The last line on page one of his letter to me gives advice that I didn’t understand then but firmly adhere to now: “I suggest the auto be put aside temporarily and you concentrate as long and as hard on the activities that will bring it your way.” (emphasis mine) I don’t think he realized it, but he was basically teaching the Law of Attraction. It’s also a Biblical principal: “…Faith without works is dead.” James 2:26. When you want something you work towards obtaining it.
I am sharing with you his last letter to me, from 25 years ago. I hope you can find inspiration and some sound fatherly advice. My children never got to meet their grandfather. They at least have this letter as one way to get to know him. I miss you dad.