Footprints On The Sands Of Time


Today is my Dad’s birthday. He would have been 87 years old, but we lost him thirteen years ago, way too young. Almost all my family migrated to Seattle this weekend to be together to celebrate his birthday (May 7th), my brother’s birthday (May 6th), and to mark the day my Dad passed away (May 5th). It’s always a tenderhearted three days, but we had birthday cake, laughed a lot, and shared many memories. The sun shone, the temperature was perfect, the flowers all around were gorgeous, and it was a lovely family weekend. Dad would have loved it.

He was a gentle soul, with a wicked sense of humor. A much-loved college professor for 39 years, with a degree in English and Literature, and an advanced degree in Sociology (but a librarian at heart), he was always immersed in reading and writing projects of one sort or another. His study/library was the heart of our home. When my mother decided it was time to give up the family home a few years ago and move to a retirement home, the most difficult parting for me was with Dad’s study.His most precious project was our “Family History.” Being that passionate librarian/historian/keen-observer-of-the-human-race person, he became the ultimate “scrapbooker.” His project eventually filled over 40 binders with photographs, letters, and a written narrative of our family. He set our family’s story into the historical context of the times, and included local, national, and international events along with the daily happenings of his growing family. The volumes are now housed in the University Library, but before they were archived, my son and daughter-in-law (with help from my brother and his wife) scanned each volume so that we all have access to this family treasure.

As I sit here trying to think of ways to describe him, to give you a glimpse of this gifted, wonderful human being, I chuckle remembering that he loved to enter 25-Words-Or-Less contests. Keeping it short, simple, and right to the point, you will just have to take my word for it that he was a very special person who touched the hearts of many people and left some mighty big footprints on the sands of time. We really miss him.

Advertisements

11 thoughts on “Footprints On The Sands Of Time

  1. Nan

    Oh, Robin. The photo appeared first, and I thought that it was of your husband and child, and I was all set to write, what a kind, kind face and what loving eyes.

    What an emotional few days for you. He did what so many of us wish we had done. I love the idea of compiling photos, news, etc. together as he did. What a gift to all his descendents.

    Thinking of you, fondly today.

    Like

    Reply
  2. Robin

    Thanks for your kind words and thoughts, Nan. It was so nice to have so many family members together again for these special days. It wasn’t quite the entire family, but most of us, which is something we haven’t been able to do for many years.

    Like

    Reply
  3. Bellezza

    I feel the very same way about my dad that you do about yours. Of course, they are very different in their interests, but very dear in their daughter’s hearts. Forever.

    Like

    Reply
  4. mom

    How beautifully you told that story, Robin. The family will appreciate the way you expressed our feelings. The tears have dried but not today, not reading what you wrote so very nicely. He always chuckled at his own joke as he declared you his favorite daughter. Never mind you are his only daughter.

    You put into words what I felt today; melancholy, tenderness having to part with loved ones I won’t be able to see for a good while, appreciation for the effort all of you made to make it possible. Again I have to say you put it into words so beautifully. Thank you, Robin. Thanks, too, Curt for sharing your birthday with us.

    mom

    Like

    Reply
  5. iliana

    Ah Robin what a sweet post. I’m sure your dad knows just how much you miss him. My dad passed away almost 6 years ago (his anniversary is coming up) and there are days that I still can’t believe it. Hugs to you and good thoughts for your family.

    Like

    Reply
  6. Robin

    Bellezza, you said it so nicely…dads are very dear to our hearts!

    Iliana, thanks for the hugs. The time just doesn’t compute, does it? How can it be 6 years…or 13?

    Mom, it was a lovely extended weekend. I’m so glad we were able to spend it together.

    Like

    Reply
  7. Bigbro2

    Thanks, Rob, for the sentiments. The photo of dad so captures him in a moment of joyful connection with one of the grandkids! He was SO SWEET with them all. Thanks, too, for the wonderful weekend. You and B are generous and welcoming. -Big Brother #2

    Like

    Reply
  8. Elaine Magliaro

    How fortunate you were to have such an outstanding man and role model as your father. It’s odd how memories can bring us sadness and joy at the same time. I’m glad your family is able to celebrate your father’s life.

    Like

    Reply
  9. Robin

    Elaine, I do feel so fortunate to be his daughter, and to have been raised by such gifted parents. You’re right, the memories are bittersweet, and it was especially nice that we were able to celebrate together this year.

    BigBro2, it was really special to have you all here. Everyone is so busy with their own lives and schedules…we missed having the east coast family with us, too, but hopefully next time.

    Like

    Reply
  10. Gentle Reader

    Such a lovely post–thanks! It reminds me to try and appreciate what we have when we have it…think I’m going to go call my dad…

    Like

    Reply
  11. Robin

    Gentle Reader, that’s such a nice thought. I hope you had a very nice conversation with him. I miss those simple, daily kinds of things.

    Like

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s