Tuesday, July 10, 2007

My Dad
As most of my loyal readers (and Casey's!) know, my dad passed on to another phase in his soul's journey yesterday morning. Although in some ways the past three months since his cancer diagnosis have gone by quickly and it doesn't seem like we had much time, as his family, we are relieved that we knew the end was coming so we could spend the last bit of time with him and say goodbye. We are also relieved that he went as quickly as he did, and did not linger in pain. It's so weird, how an immenent death brings people together to spend the quality time with each other that maybe they should have before the person was dying. I've gone all around with this one in my mind. Sure, there is some guilt that I didn't try harder to know my father once I become an adult, but I know it is misplaced and useless. Mostly I can reconcile this with knowing that when we were both healthy, it was both of our responsibilities to make the relationship better, but once he was unable to get out of bed, I was the only one that could do anything, so I did what I could. If I was dying, I know I'd want my children around me, and I know he appreciated me visiting and being around until the end. It was good for us both. (Please note, we did not have a "bad" relationship, just not a well-developed one.)

This is my dad, about a year ago, with the kids and me. It's not exactly the way I remember him, since in my mind he'll always be younger, and not have the stiff posture of his last several years since breaking his neck, but still, it is Dad:

My dad was a huge Johnny Cash fan. During his last days, whenever I was in his room, I played a Johnny Cash CD that I'd brought in from my car. I'm not much of a country music fan anymore, though I have had my phases. This is a CD I enjoy though, and bought sometime in the past year mostly because it reminds me of my dad. It's a great CD called "The Legend of Johnny Cash" and it spans his entire career. I know he would have liked it, and I hope it gave him comfort as he was preparing to leave. I know it comforted me, since it reminded me of listening to Johnny Cash with my dad when I was a kid. Johnny and my dad are inextricably linked in my mind, something about the music and the powerful voice and personality, and some other essence that I never will be able to explain, nor do I need to.

I found a video of Johnny Cash from the mid-90's. I wish I could post it here, but since I can't, here is the link: http://youtube.com/watch?v=OP_r03gxrqs

If you've got an inkling that you might enjoy a short Johnny Cash song, listen in on this, and send out some good thoughts for my dad, wherever he is now.


Heather said...

I just lost my father back in Feb. i can understand how it feels

PT-LawMom said...

(((HUGS))) I'm praying that you find some peace in his passing.

SJayneI said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your father. I know you have a lot of emotions going through you right now. Please take the time to feel them and allow yourself to grieve. My thoughts are with you and your family. I recomended this book to Casey when her mother died.....it is awesome. It's The Grief Recovery Handbook by John W. James and Russell Friedman. It's actually a book best gone through with a partner. You guys should do it together whenever you're ready. I postponed mine a bit; It's been 8 months since I lost my mother and found that it's still too soon to delve in so deep. Anyway, take care of yourself and each other.

yankeegirl said...

Dakota- My Dad was a big Johnny Cash fan also. I am too especially since I saw Walk the Line. Awesome movie- you might enjoy it Take care.

Quirky said...

I'm sorry about your dad but also glad that he went quickly and peacefully. I know how hard an extended illness can be on a family. And I'll be listening to Johnny Cash in your dad's honor today. I'm also a fan.

Also - no fair making me cry at my desk at 9:10 in the morning.

Sending you lots of good thoughts and peace.

Holly said...

Thank you for sharing with us. I'm sure the music made your father as content as he could be.
I hope his passing was as painless and peaceful for him as it could have been and I'm sure you being there made it more peaceful for him.
I am so sorry for your loss and will keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayers.

patti_cake said...

I am so sorry Dakota.
You all were wonderful with him at the end (from what I read).

I love Johnny Cash & Loretta Lynn.

Shannon said...

I'm so sorry, Dakota.

Law said...

I'm so sorry.