My father passed away late at night on March 19th, 2012, due to complications from his quadriplegia. It's still pretty surreal, writing this post, as I figured he had much more time after his accident two years ago than he had
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I remember the last six months before his accident, the first six months I spent back in New England after moving from Indiana, as some of the best months with him I can remember. I drove out to western MA for cookouts with the family, went whitewater rafting for the first time and spent so much time laughing, and spent New Year's Eve with my family going to the movies and eating finger foods as the ball dropped.
My dad was positive, worked hard, and loved his job. He instilled in me a passion to find a job I love and to enjoy my life every day. He never minded taking phone calls on vacation, or helping people when he was off work. He made friends wherever he went, and he helped me get my first full time job as a web developer by striking up a conversation on the golf course with my eventual boss.
He loved golf more than he loved his job. He spent all his free time either at the course or perfecting his swing at home. He subscribed to multiple golfing magazines and watched golf on television as much as he could. He constantly bought and sold his clubs on Ebay, wanting to try the next big thing.
My father lived a life full of passion and hard work. He moved up in his career from a bagger at a grocery store to a district director in the same chain. (He was actually MY district director for a little bit of time when I worked at the grocery store in high school and college!) He understood the value of hard work, determination, and being personable. I always felt proud to tell him about my jobs and the people I met there.
Dad loved the Cape. He'd take us boogie boarding on the Atlantic side of the island and we'd take walks to the bridge with our dog, Chewy. He loved going to the flea market and seeing movies at the drive-in. He loved the time he spent with us
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He would have liked his funeral. My brother stood up and said a few words and shared a few stories about my father in a ceremony remembering and celebrating his life. We played a few songs by some of his favorite artists; a song by Chicago, "I'll Remember" by Madonna, "Shower the People" by James Taylor, and, the ultimate tearjerker, "Cat's in the Cradle" by Harry Chapin. (That song makes me cry when I'm NOT at a funeral.) So many people came to the ceremony and so many tears were shed. My family and I were touched by all the people choosing to celebrate his life with us.
I'll miss my father. I still can't believe he's gone.