Sudden loss of my father

by Ronnie
(Woodinville Washington)

18 months ago we moved my parents up to assisted living a mile from my house and work. It has been a blessing being able to help them. My dad is a pretty amazing guy. Academically accomplished with an engineering degree from Stanford, an MBA from USC and a law degree on top of all that. He flew helicopters in the Marines, worked tirelessly at Lockheed for something like 30 years and retired comfortably 20 years ago. My parents traveled back and forth between California and Alabama every 6 months. The suddenness by which my dad passed away is maybe the most difficult part. I was at his apartment the night before doing the normal routine of checking on them periodically. I gave him a hard time about him needing to take the dog for a walk so he wouldn't *ee on the carpet in the apartment. He said he didn't care if the dog went on the carpet. So I pushed him to go walk the dog as I had my bicycle shoes on and they were not conducive to walking on concrete sidewalk. So I watched my dad go outside where there was a assisted living "special dance event" going on. He made his rounds saying hi to people and keeping Tigger from jumping on everyone. He was in his element. Schmoozing and showing off Tigger to people. Tigger brought him much joy and life. He talked about him (and with him) like he was a person. I had to remind him often Tigger was a dog especially when he wanted to bring Tigger to the dining hall. I received a call at 8:05am Friday August 15th and they said EMT's were doing CPR on my dad. I rushed to where he lives and saw him there being worked on. I had a feeling this was it. I couldn't watch. I am left with memories of his smile and wanting to tell everyone we encountered about everything he was proud of... from Standford to football to his many years of marriage to my mom. As I let friends know what happened it is really neat to hear about their memories of my dad and how encouraging he was to them. He provided so many things to so many people over the years. He always had an open home to all my friends, he provided many steaks to eat for everyone, he loved football and talking about the game. My college roommate remembers all the nice dinners after football games that my dad would invite him to and the conversations we had. Dad you are missed. Dad loved giving people a hard time. Waitresses, servers and pretty much anyone he could joke around with. But the thing that stands out the most is wanting to take care of mom. If we had a difference of opinion on what to do about something with mom, he would insist that no one knew how to take care of mom better than him. No one loved her more than him. This was his purpose these last number of years, his number one goal was to take care of mom. Dad you did that. Now we will do that. We will fulfill everything you desired for her. I promise you that.

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