Monday, May 30, 2022

I love you dad

Hands down the best tomatoes I’ve ever eaten were grown by my dad, here in his garden.

I lost my dad last Thursday morning. 

I took that garden photo over the weekend. It’s amazing how quickly the open rich soil he cultivated for years was taken over by weeds.

I can’t say he died of a specific disease. Or an accident. Or even old age. Although he was old. His 80th birthday gathering was the first thing COVID cancelled, back in late March 2020. It’s been said by many, including me, that our healthcare system is broken—but the Veterans Administration healthcare system is on an entirely different level of wrecked.

I last saw him on April 27th, it was a great visit. His days weren’t always good, but the man I spent time with during that brief stay was my dad through and through. I will be forever grateful for that.

My dad was one of the good ones, I got lucky. He was always there and put family first—a quiet, firm, presence in my life. He wasn’t afraid to say I love you, let us know when we’d done wrong, or to give a strong hug. He taught my brothers and me the value of family, taking care of the things you had, and to not ever stand too long with the refrigerator door open—after all he wasn’t paying to cool the entire house. 

Dad loved the outdoors; I remember as a kid learning what it meant to “play hooky”. He’d called in sick to work, I got to stay home from school (and maybe a brother did too? I don’t remember how old I was) and we all went out somewhere hiking. I think that’s when I learned the importance of taking a mental health break. 

Speaking of, I’m taking a little time off from the blog, instead I’ll spending time in my garden, remembering the man I called dad. I’ll be back in a week or so. 

I love you dad. I can't believe you're gone.

37 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry for your loss. Hugs to you and everyone who is grieving.

    ReplyDelete
  2. AnonymousMay 30, 2022

    Loree, he sounds like the dad we all wish we’d had. I’m glad you did. Sending love.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sorry, that Anonymous comment was from me.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Loree, I'm so sorry. I was worried when I didn't see a post from you this morning. Hold Andrew, your mom, and the rest of your family tight. Take refuge in those memories. Give yourself the time you need to mourn, whenever the mood strikes.

    ReplyDelete
  5. AnonymousMay 30, 2022

    Really sorry loree really sorry

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh Loree, I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. All I can offer is sympathy and virtual hugs. I've lost both my parents, who also taught me to love gardening.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Loree, I am so very sorry for your loss of this incredible person in your life. Hugs to you my friend.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Lovely remembrance. And I believe that fridge comment was favored by dad’s of prior eras.

    ReplyDelete
  9. AnonymousMay 30, 2022

    Heartbroken for you.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your father Loree.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Gillian MathewsMay 30, 2022

    I’m so sorry Loree - he was obviously a wonderful man and father . Take careπŸ’šπŸ’š

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh Loree - I'm so very sorry to hear this... Holding you in my heart and sending lots of love your way.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Sorry to hear of your loss Loree.

    It's lovely to read your memories of him.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Kylee BaumleMay 31, 2022

    Loree, I'm so very sorry. Losing a parent has to be incredibly difficult. I haven't yet experienced that, but it looms large in my mind as my own parents approach 88 and 90. My dad has had some difficult challenges in the last few months especially. It sounds like our dads are similar and we both know how blessed we've been to have them. Sending much love to you, and know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I’m sorry to read about the passing of your Dad, Loree. I bet he was proud to have passed down his green thumb and love of nature to his daughter.

    ReplyDelete
  16. AnonymousMay 31, 2022

    What an absolutely wonderful dad. You were so very lucky to have him. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself. When you come back to your blog, I'll still be here. And like everyone else, I am so sorry.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm so sorry for your loss. ♥

    ReplyDelete
  18. AnonymousMay 31, 2022

    I'm sorry for your heart breaking loss. No matter our age, it's difficult to lose a parent. Your dad will continue to live on in your memories and soul, and maybe in every juicy, delicious bite into a ripe tomato.
    Chavli

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'm very sorry, Loree. Keep all the good memories. They will help.

    ReplyDelete
  20. So very sorry, Loree. Many hugs.

    ReplyDelete
  21. This is so hard, and so disorienting We talked a little about this -- "I can’t say he died of a specific disease. Or an accident. Or even old age" -- and it kind of gnaws at you. And the healthcare and professional support systems available -- yikes! What a beautiful relationship you had with your very special dad. I can't even imagine a dad cool and savvy enough to rope you into playing hooky! So glad you wrote this. What a guy, what a daughter!

    ReplyDelete
  22. AnonymousJune 01, 2022

    I’m so sorry Loree. I’m an RN for Providence hospice, and please know that grief support is available here in town. The health care side of this just complicates the grief, but try to control what you can, especially your own health. For now keep it simple and eat and rest if you can, and hug your spouse and family. Jim, N Tabor.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Mike HochsteinJune 01, 2022

    Keep those memories in your heart. They will be sweetness - like those tomatoes- for you in the many years to come

    ReplyDelete
  24. AnonymousJune 01, 2022

    Loree....I lost my Dad 3 years ago (my Mom 6 months later). It hit me very hard (and they were in their 90's). It is HARD. I cried every day for a long time, now not as much, but still miss them every day. Life is loss, but it's especially disorienting to lose parents. I'm glad you had good ones : ) Sherri

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'm very sorry for your loss, Loree. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  26. PlantPantherJune 01, 2022

    My condolences. He sounds like he was a great dad (and his refrigerator advice was priceless).

    ReplyDelete
  27. What a sensitive, lovely and loving tribute to your dear Dad. And the photo of his spent garden is so symbolic - what was once so vibrant and flourishing - now no longer is. The space that is left feels so empty, but it is filled with great Mystery. Blessings.

    ReplyDelete
  28. AnonymousJune 01, 2022

    Sending deep condolences for your great loss. Thank you for sharing what a special man he was in your life. His love will always be with you.

    ReplyDelete
  29. This is a lovely tribute to your dad, Loree. It makes me feel like I knew him a little bit. ❤️ I’m so sorry for your loss.

    ReplyDelete
  30. AnonymousJune 01, 2022

    Oh Loree ...so so sorry . Hug πŸ•ŠπŸ€ x

    ReplyDelete
  31. My condolences Lori. Your father sounded like he was a great dad and was a positive influence in your life. Take refuge in your many happy memories to help get you through this difficult time.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Such a loss is so difficult, Loree. I am thinking of you.

    ReplyDelete
  33. My dad was a gardener too-though all ornamental-pretty sure that's where I got it. I was in my twenties when he died. Your Dad was taken away but nothing can take your memories away.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Dear Loree I am so sorry for your loss. Your father sounded like a wonderful loving force in your life, you are very lucky to have such good memories and such a wonderful teacher of life and what is important. Yes, time in your garden will help .. I know it helps me. Gardeners are lucky people that way.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I have read and reread every one of your lovely comments. Thank you so much for honoring my dad with your thoughts. I am still having trouble accepting that he's gone. Such is life when you live so far away and are only able to visit rarely. I feel like he's there waiting for me when I visit next. We'll tour his garden and I'll admire the amazing tomato vines. Thanks again for taking the time to comment.

    ReplyDelete
  36. So sorry for your loss dear friend. Your dad obviously did a great job raising such an amazing daughter. Sending you love!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to comment. Comment moderation is on (because you know: spam), I will approve and post your comment as soon as possible!