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November 5, 2011 / Linda Hartong

A TALE FROM THE HEART

This is a story each of us will experience during our lives – the death of a parent. My father passed away last week in his home. He was 97 years old and until about 4 months ago was still “sharp as a tack”, able to drive and enjoying life. He followed the local and national news every day and could talk politics with the best of them.

His heart finally refused to cooperate with his spirit and gave up. 

We all continue to learn from our parents, no matter what our age. I watched him deal with the death of our Mom, caring for her day and night. I watched him stubbornly refuse to get the handicapped sticker or use the walker or the hospital bed until it was absolutely necessary. And then he did it with good grace. 

Hospice made it possible to care for him at home. They came day and night – always with sensible advice and comforting words.

He was appreciative of all we did and always had a “thank you” for us. He thanked our Mom for every meal  she prepared for him and always complimented her appearance.  They both taught my brother and I the “give and take” of a successful marriage. 

He was a homebody but my Mom was a little Kansas farm girl who yearned to see the world. So at age 75, when she finally retired, he found himself traveling the world. They took the train across Canada, cruised Alaska, visited the Orient, climbed Machu Pichu, and hot-air ballooned over Africa. Imagine starting these travels when you are 75 years old! 

He cared for his dying father, honored his mother’s request to care for his brother who suffered central nervous system from the flu epidemic, was the last of the horse cavalry in the Army during WW II and a loving Dad , Grandfather and  Great Grandfather. 

On my birthday this year, I received a card from him telling me how he waited on the porch of the hospital while I was being born. “It was worth the wait”, he wrote. 

 

18 Comments

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  1. janet bishop- magina / Nov 5 2011 3:27 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss Linda. What a wonderful eulogy you have written for your Dad, a man among men and seemingly very much like my dad who is 94 and just recently beginning to “wind down”. Sending my thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

  2. Vickie H. / Nov 5 2011 3:33 pm

    Blessings to you and your family, Linda, at this very difficult time. You were so lucky to have such a wonderful father and for so many years! I am keeping all of you in my prayers.

  3. Linda Floyd / Nov 5 2011 3:48 pm

    It is never easy to lose a parent, especially one that loved, and was loved…as is evident from your appropriately named “Tales from the Heart” blog. Memories are miracle pain pills.
    Thinking of you,
    Linda Floyd

  4. Priscilla / Nov 5 2011 4:07 pm

    Lovely tribute to your father.

  5. Bonnie Dean / Nov 5 2011 4:57 pm

    Sorry for your loss, Linda. You and your family are in my prayers.

  6. Gretta Faun / Nov 5 2011 5:35 pm

    I am very sorry for your loss, dear Linda. Your post brought me to tears. I am sending love and comfort to you and your loved ones.

  7. Annie Westlake / Nov 5 2011 9:51 pm

    Not what I expected when I went to your blog today, but I am moved to tears by your wonderful tribute to your father and the exemplary life he lead. You were blessed by having the parents you had, which has made you the extraordinary woman you are today. God bless you and your family and please accept our sincere condolences for your loss.

  8. Susan @ pinkportugueseroses / Nov 6 2011 12:30 am

    May the Lord comfort you in your loss. You were so blessed with a loving Father.
    Thank you for sharing his and your story with us.

    Susan

  9. kathysue / Nov 6 2011 12:34 am

    Linda, Your Dad sounds like such a wonderful example of what a man, husband and Father should be. I am so sorry for you and all that love and will miss him. Hold onto your sweet, sweet memories, xo Kathysue

  10. Mary Jane Rossi / Nov 6 2011 2:54 am

    So sorry to hear of your loss. My prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time.

  11. Briana / Nov 6 2011 4:36 am

    Please accept my condolences on the passing of your father. He sounds like a wonderful man. My own Dad is approaching his 90’s. He is still in good health, but I know there is a time limit. I am glad for the time you had with your Dad.

  12. miranda / Gwendolyn / Nov 6 2011 5:44 am

    Dear Linda,
    Your father will always live in your heart and the hearts of all those who love him. How wonderful for your family to have had him for so long. Keep those great loving memories close to help you through the sad moments.
    And just think, he’s gone on his next great adventure!
    Thinking of you and sending warm kind thoughts,
    Miranda,
    SF Bay Area

  13. Nita@ModVintageLife / Nov 6 2011 11:13 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss…but oh…what a wonderful life he had and to be at home when he died. I would give anything to have had my father till 97. My father died in an accident at 62. Just as he was looking forward to times to finally travel and enjoy a retired life. I know there is great pain in not having him any more…but oh how lucky you were to have him for so long. My Dad was the very best…but I do have to say your father sounds like he was above and beyond loving and caring.

  14. Ruth / Nov 7 2011 12:41 pm

    Dear Linda,
    I sympathize with you regarding the death of your father. We only have one father and he only dies once. Your father was an exemplary man and I’m sure his loss will be felt. I pray you will be comforted by your wonderful memories of him and knowing he led a full, rich life.
    Blessings to you,
    Ruth

  15. Sonia / Nov 7 2011 1:38 pm

    Sorry for your loss Linda, I still miss my father. we lost him when he was only 64 years old. How wonderful that your father lived a long and wonderful life. Will have you in my thoughts and prayers!!

  16. Jacqui / Nov 7 2011 2:19 pm

    So sad for your loss Linda, what lovely memories you have of your parents to savour though.
    Hugs
    Jacqui

  17. Ruth Malone / Nov 8 2011 4:00 pm

    Dear Linda,
    What a lovely tribute to your father! He sounds like a wonderfu man and I am sure you have many great memories! My father passed away in 1999 at the age of 89 and I miss him so every day! He was a gentleman and always thanked my mother for her wonderful homecooked meals. What a wonderful legacy we share. Thanks for sharing…and May God bless you and your family!!

  18. Linda Hartong / Nov 10 2011 1:58 am

    Thanks to all of you for taking the time to read about my Dad and offer your sympathy and your memories and experiences.

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