Goodbye Dad, I Will Love You Forever

It’s hard to believe that in just under six weeks I have lost two incredibly important men in my life – one somewhat expected, the other a complete surprise.

My brother died of renal cancer which he had fought for almost eight years, but my dad was playing golf with friends and walking on the beach just days before he became gravely ill. They were both anchors in my world, and their deaths have made me cherish life with all its ups and downs.

(Dad was captain of the ‘All Conference’ Pomona College basketball team his senior year)

My dad’s death, in particular, has changed me in permanent ways. He lived by example more than preaching, and that was true of him to the very end. Some lessons I learned from my Dad include…

  • To Be Honest: Dad said, “if you are honest in life, you will be able to sleep well at night” – and he slept very well. In a world where little “slips of the truth” are accepted and often applauded, Dad was defiantly honest. Through him I learned that by being honest and consistent with others many bridges can be built between people.
  • To Laugh Through Life: Everyone has hardships in life, my arthritis diagnosis at age 11 was one of my toughest. It’s a painful disease, especially at first, and my dad was always there to help me see the comedy in some of my toughest situations. Through him I learned that laughter makes anything bearable and often fun.
  • To Live with Humility: Dad never sought to be the brightest object in the room (even though he often was). He was most interested in lifting other people up. He genuinely cared for and about other people – especially his family. Through him I learned the joy of learning about, and cheerleading for, other people.
  • To Stay Faithful: Dad was not an evangelical Christian by any means, but he was very firm in his faith. He knew who his Lord was and never wavered from Him no matter what the societal pressures of the time. His calm confidence in God was a testament of faith to me as I navigate the sometimes murky waters of this world.

The grief that tries to shackle me now I know I will get through somehow because my dad was all about living and enjoying life. Me not pushing back with smiles and optimism would be disrespecting him, and that I will not do. Goodbye Dad, I will love you forever, until we meet again.

(Dad as a kid, so handsome!)

(Thanks for all the laughs, Dad. You made my life so special.)

24 thoughts on “Goodbye Dad, I Will Love You Forever

  1. Another loss for your family so close together. We are so sorry and praying for peace and comfort. Sounds like your brother Bob was very much like your Father. Both men of strong values and integrity who made the world a better place.
    Mike and Lynne Askey

  2. Sherry your tribute is beautiful. Your dad always made me feel part of the family. Always getting me a class of wine or a Ramos fizz. He was such a special man. I will miss him. I’m so sorry for you and your family. You all were truly blessed to have such a great dad.

  3. sherry, this is so beautiful and accurate. i doubt there’s a soul who has met your dad who didn’t love him. he was a very bright light on masongate. love and hugs to you.

  4. This is so beautiful. Your dad truly was such a sweet and giving man. It seems like your mom and dad really knew how to live life. Probably why they raised such great kids 🙂 My love and deepest sympathy to you and whole family,
    Holly

  5. I am so sad now that I never got the chance to meet him… I know I would have instantly loved him… what a wonderful testament to the man he was… you are amazing and I am so blessed to have become your friend… your Pappa taught you well, because you’ve reinforced all of these gifts in me. Love and miss you so, my friend. Holding you close & keeping you in prayer as the days move forward. HUGS!

  6. I know this was hard to write, but what a beautiful tribute to a wonderful man. We will miss him very much. He set a great example and could fill a room with such kind, good energy. I’m so glad we were able to spend more time with him over the past 2 years. That was a gift.
    I’m so sorry for your heartache- I know this is so hard, but he will always be with you & him guidance & love will live on.

  7. Such a beautiful tribute to your dad! He always wanted to learn about the things and people around him in such way that he came across as curious and never intrusive…like you stated, he truly cared about other people.

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