This has been an unforgettable summer. My father passed away June 13, 2014, after only five days of Hospice care. He’d been diagnosed with Lymphoma two years ago. He opted to accept no treatment. On August 4th, we would have celebrated his 92nd birthday. Instead, on August 2, we will celebrate his life at his Memorial Service.
He bought a brand new white Ford pick up on May 20th and enjoyed for a few days; he put 700 miles on it. (Is anyone out there looking for a good deal on a brand new Ford pick up?) It’s ironic that we never know what will be our last words spoken to or the last time we will see a loved one. I selfishly never wanted a last time with my dad, he was always my rock, the one I could count on to be there for me with honest and steadfast support. He was one of a kind and we will all miss him forever. But then his health began to deteriorate rapidly. His
last ten days were increasingly horrible. We can rest assured that he is
no longer suffering. Our tears have been for ourselves. He touched many lives, though he never really recovered from Mom’s passing four years ago. The only thing I’ve written this summer was Dad’s obituary. If interested you can read it at www.rvburnsfuneralhome.com. (Dad’s name is Robert Leroy Himes.)
My two sisters came for a weekend two weeks ago. It had been too long since we had spent real time together. The last few years most of our interactions have been focused on our parents. Though, to be honest, we spent a few hours planning the Memorial Service. I gave them both their birthday gifts since their birthdays are in July. They were appreciatively gracious, then looked at each other and nodded. They both requested I write their obituaries for next year, leaving a blank space for the date of death. To me that was the supreme compliment.
Also as a post note, since Dad passed on the day I was supposed to go to my Creative Writing residency week, I ended up driving through the night and arriving on the third day. One of the last things he said to me was “finish.” I met the requirements and received my Master’s Degree. It was with a sigh of relief. I received hard earned excellent grades and my only regret is that I didn’t do this years ago.
Ironically one of the last things my mother said to me was, “Life is too short for bad books.” And I feel cheated every time I invest my time or money into a book that makes me seriously wonder why in the world did a publisher ever get behind this book? During the last few weeks I’ve read several books, but only one that merits mention. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, it is a nonfiction amazing story.
My review of Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night by Barbara Taylor was on WPSU Bookmark last week. To hear it, click on: radio.wpsu.org/term/sing-morning. I loved this book; it reminded me a bit of To Kill a Mockingbird. It is one of my all time favorites.
Till next time, keep reading my friends.