My Dad died suddenly on a Monday at 10:17 am at his country residence in Wisconsin.
I live in Texas, a sister in Kansas and 2 in Michigan. By 2:00 pm our families were packed, loaded and Wisconsin bound from our respective homes.
By 1:30 pm on Tuesday the pull, tug and drag through the acquired items of his life, the grieving of my Mother, our grieving, notifying friends, receiving condolences and planning a memorial were well under way.
I have been extended family bringing food, guiding guests at the funeral home or providing muscle for the disbursement of belongings.
I have been the friend notified, sending condolences, offering “if there is anything I can do” to the grieving family.
This week I was the daughter dealing with the personal and private details concerning the passing of MY Dad.
As his grandchildren began to arrive the happy noise of great grand children bounced through the sadness.
The squeal of laughter from a 3-year old, the chubby arms of a 2-year old hugging your neck, the sweet gurgle and smile of an infant has the strength to lift heavy hearts.
Dad’s legacy was apparent and alive in in the candid chatter, running and playing of his youngest descendants.
A social event at the Legion; reciting his obituary, prayers of hope and healing, the Marine Honor Guard, playing of taps, presentation of the flag to Mom.
A spread of cookies and punch allowed an unexpected and impressive number of attendees the opportunity to honor my Dad with the sharing of their memories and sentiments.
Mountains can be moved with an agreed upon plan and many hands. My parents were 2 days into reducing their life of 20+ years in this location in order to sell their property and move.
It was in his beloved, 2000 sq ft garage cleaning and sorting that a cardiac event ended his life.
What was slated to take 1 month was achieved in 1 week.
By the time the last daughter and family were heading home the garage and house were cleaned out and ready for showing.
Mom is continuing with their plans only in a different reality.
Life goes on, a new normal will develop and the memory of my Dad will live on in our hearts and the smiles of his future generations.