Would Haves…

Leading the way...

Leading the way...

It’s hard to believe it’s been fifteen years since we lost my Dad. The years since that sad morning have been filled with a lifetime of “would-haves,” as I call them … Dad would have loved this or would have enjoyed that. We have a list a mile long by now! We still miss him, and this time of year is always bittersweet for the family.

He was an extraordinary man. His view of the world was formed by his first hour in combat in World War II, when he somehow cheated death. “If we only have assurance of life day-to-day, we should also have daily incentive to live well and appreciate deeply.”  Out of the cauldron of war, his simple credo was:

Try for a little honesty,  a little courage,  and a little love.  

He believed in the power of love and compassion. “I believe that the hope of the world rests in healthy individuals in supportive environments.”  And he reminded us often that “The differences which divide mankind are inevitable and are relatively superficial compared to our similarites…”

It was very difficult to say goodbye to this courageous, gentle man fifteen years ago, and that empty space was and still is huge. But I keep in my mind the image of him wearing that hat, leading our family along the paths of Yellowstone… and along the paths of life with humor, pathos, and keen intelligence.

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16 thoughts on “Would Haves…

  1. Amanda

    That is beautiful and what a tribute to your father! I lost my dad eleven years ago when I was 17 years old. I have so many “would haves” since then. Thank you for this post.

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  2. Robin Post author

    Thanks, Amanda. I can imagine how long your would haves list must be from the last 11 years! And you definitely lost him too young. *Hugs!*

    Thanks, raidergirl3.

    Thanks, Chris. He really was a gifted and extraordinary person … and I know I wasn’t the only one that felt that way about him (his only daughter!). My mother will still occasionally run into someone that identifies himself, or herself, as a former student of my dad, and they always tell her what an impact he had on their lives.

    Thanks, Anna. Ten years is a long time without your dad. Hugs to you, too!

    Thanks, Nan. I really had (and still have) extraordinary parents.

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  3. Bookfool, aka Nancy

    I know that feeling far too well. 2010 will mark 20 years since my father died. This year, 19. I don’t miss him any less today than I did 18 years ago. Nobody can ever fill the hole a great father leaves in your life.

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  4. Les in NE

    Oh, Robin. This is simply beautiful. I am still blessed to have my parents (and step-parents), but I do know about loss and all those moments of “would-haves.” Not one single day goes by when I don’t think about our daughter.

    I love the quotes you posted here. Your dad sounds like he was an incredibly intelligent and loving man.

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  5. Robin Post author

    Thanks, Jessica. Even though I’m his only daughter, and he’s my hero, he truly was an amazing, gifted person.

    Nancy, you’re right in both ways — that no one can fill that hole left by a father, and we don’t miss them any less as the years go by. *hugs*

    Thanks, Nymeth. You can tell it’s been a tenderhearted week.

    Thanks, Les. I think the “would haves,” as bittersweet as they are, keep them close to us. I will be keeping you and Rod in my heart during these next few weeks, because I know what a difficult time of year it is for you.

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  6. Lee

    Thank you for sharing that. I still think of my dad every day, often many times a day. I have held back from mentioning that to anyone, afraid that others would think that I have father issues or am living in the past. You made me realize that I’m normal and shouldn’t be hung up on the opinions of others.

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  7. Robin Post author

    Lee, I’m so glad you still think of your dad every day. Those memories are precious and to be cherished, no matter what anyone thinks.

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  8. Shanra

    Robin, what a beautiful tribute to your father. Thank you for sharing his memory and some of his sayings with us. He sounds like an absolutely remarkable person.

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  9. Robin Post author

    Thanks, Shanra. He really was a remarkable person.

    I’m so sorry you never got to meet him, too, dearest Silvia. You would have loved him, I know.

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