Thursday, January 07, 2010
Readers who have clicked through to my user profile may have understood that I have been spending nearly all of my time looking after my nonagenarian father over the last several years, and literally 24/7 over the last few months as his health deteriorated. He died peacefully this morning at home.
He loved sailing, and passed that passion on to me; he was also an officer in the U.S. Navy during WWII, serving in the Atlantic theater aboard a Destroyer Escort (which is why I use "Escort" in my nom de plume). Because of his history with the sea, I thought that it might be appropriate to share with you Alfred, Lord Tennyson's Crossing the Bar, which was published only 26 years before my father's birth.
Sunset and evening star,Rest in peace, Dad.
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.
Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For through from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.
Very sorry too and I'm way more feeble minded than feeblemind.
I admire you for caring for your father in the closing times of his life. I learned the importance of that by not doing as good of a job as I should have and by seeing from others how it can be done.
Thanks for sharing this with us.
You have a lifetime of memories which will endure as long as you do, and longer for those you pass on. I never met my great-grandfather, but heard enough stories about him.
I cherish the memorial services for my parents, which connected with people from my childhood and also with stories about my parents.
I hope you got to read him this poem before he set sail. For my dad and, it was a very emotional experience to read him one of the poems he used to read to me. I'm a little sorry they stuck it into a rugby movie.
There is no good time to lose one's father, but it is wonderful that your's lived such a long life.
Consider the Navy Hymn in his honor:
Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep,
Its own appointed limits keep.
Oh hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea! Amen.
Eternal Father, lend Thy grace To
those with wings who fly thro' space,
Thro wind and storm, thro' sun and rain,
Oh bring them safely home again.
Oh Father, hear an humble prayer,
For those in peril in the air! Amen.
Oh Trinity of love and pow'r,
Our brethren shield in danger's hour,
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them where so e'er they go.
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea! Amen.
I'm so sorry for your loss. You sound like a wonderful son who truly cared for his father - a father who served so admirably. I lost my father (a WWII Army vet) 15 years ago and my mother last year at the age of 96. These are losses you never "get over" -- but their memories stay with us. My sincerest condolences.
You have my deepest sympathies. My Dad died 23 years ago. Not a day goes by that I don't miss him. He was an officer in the USAR. As my father's doctor told me in 1987, be glad you had a great father to lose.
My condolences to you. It sounds like you served each other well. You would not have shown him such extraordinary love and respect had he not raised you with the same regard. The same gift given and received.
Your father will be with you in spirit for the rest of your own days, as a reward for your close and caring relationship over the years. I hope he is happily at peace, and while i am very sorry for the loss of your friend and father, I hope you too can find some measure of peace in the days and months ahead.
Like so many, my father wasn't a dad- too removed for that. I say it without bitterness- it's just true. No caches of memory or passed wisdom. So for those with close fathers, be grateful; you've been blessed. My response was to be a good dad for my children. It's the best gift I could think of.
TH's tributes to his father are always moving.
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Under the wide and starry sky
dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die
And I laid me down with a will.
This be the verse you grave for me;
"Here he lies where he longed to be,
Home is the sailor, home from sea,
And the hunter home from the hill."
It's been a decades since my father passed, yet hardly a day passes when I don't think of him.
Best regards in this hard time.
Sorry for your loss but thankful for his presence. Your tribute was terrific.
My father died three years ago and the days afterward were, well, the best I could say is disorienting. They still are but less so.
It's one thing to lose our grandparents - all of mine are gone - but losing one's parents is really difficult.
I am also saddened by your loss. Although TH himself beat me to the punch, here's a youtube version of Eternal Father. It always makes me tear up when the Mids sing it at the end of the USNA Chapel service.
What a lovely tribute to your father. He was blessed to have a son watch over him at the end. I remember a picture of your beautiful mother and handsome father and wondered where they had met. Happy New Year to you.