Memories are Treasures

Flower with thin blue petals against a background of leaves. Wordage in blue: Happy Monday.

Yesterday, Easter Sunday, while talking with one of my sons, the conversation moved from talking about guitars and guitar players – one very talented one I recently met on Twitter Matt Steady – to my father – a talented player himself – to my father’s dementia from Alzheimer’s.

Whew! That’s one of the longest, disconnected sentences I’ve written in a long time. 🙂

Anyway the conversation brought back wonderful memories of my father, who died on April 1, 2010. The day he died, my sister, who’d been his caretaker the last years of his life, called to give me the sad news. First thing she said was, “This is no April Fools Day, Joke, Maryann.”

Then she went on to tell me that Daddy had suffered another stroke and died.

It was the passing of a man so important in our lives for so many reasons:

He loved parties and enjoyed playing his guitar for a sing-along.

He was a dedicated musician, playing by ear, and if you could sing a few bars of a song he wasn’t familiar with, he could start an accompaniment.

He was a hard worker.

He wasn’t perfect, but he always did his best.

And he instilled in me, and my siblings, a sense of integrity, compassion, a strong work ethic, and loyalty to family and friends.

Smiling, silver-haired man sitting on a red chair. Woman in a bright green shirt leaning in to him as if saying something secret.

The last picture I have of me with my father. We were at a Father’s Day celebration for him when he was 90.  That was two years before he died. 

These are some of the things I shared about my father at his funeral. I’ve published this before on the blog, but it bears repeating. Lessons for all of us:

It was my father who told me so many years ago that it is not so foolish to pursue a dream.

It was my father who told me that I should make choices in my life according to what would make me happy, even if the world doesn’t approve of my choices.

It was my father who told me to give an honest day’s work for an honest day’s wage.

It was my father who told me to consider any stranger a potential new friend, no matter color or ethnicity.

It was my father who told me that it’s not what you are that’s important, but who you are.

And above all, it was my father who told me that while he didn’t have much to show for his life; no big house, no fancy car, no grand retirement spot where he could spend his social security in luxury, he had us, his children, to stand as monuments of accomplishment. He considered himself a rich man.

It’s no surprise then, that family is my greatest treasure.

Rest in Peace, Popso.

It’s now fourteen years since Daddy died, and I’m so glad I have the wonderful memories to temper the sadness of grief that still lingers on this April Fools Day.

Hope you have a wonderful day and a great start to the week. Don’t get caught in too many jokes. Be happy. Be safe.

5 thoughts on “Memories are Treasures”

  1. Beautiful, heartfelt words from a son who obviously revered his father and who still respects the man that he was.

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