Sunday, June 2, 2013

The strongest man I knew

I hope all of you are well and that life is being good to you. I am glad that I have been on a break from blogging and working on projects. Because this last month has been an emotionally and physically exhausting month.

My father had heart surgery in February and although the doctor thought he was strong enough, his body wasn't. He has been in and out of the hospital since February and this week his body finally said no more. I flew home last week and spent 10 days at the hospital with him and I am glad I had that time. It was hard seeing my father in that condition, he has always been very healthy and active.
I remember many morning waking up and he would be gone for his walk. I tried going with him a few mornings on his walks but had a hard time keeping up. He was a world traveller and had been many places and had lived in Florida many winters. He loved the outdoors and felt very much at home when he was up in northern Ontario where he was born and raised. My father was the strongest man I knew and seeing him so frail broke my heart. Even in this condition, when I would leave the hospital at night he would give fatherly advice, drive safe, be careful on the roads. And in conversations about our move home in a few months, he would caution about the expenses of buying a home. Always the caring father even in his final days.

It was not easy to say goodbye to my father this week, but having my children and grandchildren by my side helped to ease the pain. It was heart breaking to see my them mourn the loss of their grandpa, they loved him dearly. Having my siblings there to draw strength from helped me to get through this loss as well. My sister Karen and I are very close and I am glad we had each other to lean on. My older siblings and I have had our differences over the years, but when you are this heart broken all of those differences disappear. And you hang onto to each other and comfort each other, because all of those childhood memories come rushing back and the sibling bond repairs any breaks that were there.

There were a lot of family members at the funeral that I have not seen in years. Why does it take an event like this to bring family together. I vow when I return to Ontario to change that. I am going to make it my mission to have family get together more often.

My Dad behind him quite the legacy and we will all miss him dearly. But my father truly lives on in his children, grand children and great grandchildren.

It will be hard to fly home to British Columbia and say goodbye to my family. But I will be home in a few months and we will be together again.

There is a void in my life now, no one can replace my Dad he was one of a kind. But I am his daughter and all of his wisdom, kindness and strength are things that I know I have inherited. And I will make him proud by living the kind of life he would want me to live. And I will continue to try to keep my family close to me, as he would have wanted. And I will make it my mission to have all of his family keep in touch and get together. I know this is how my Dad would have wanted it.

My father Thomas Clayton
 Me and my children and grandchildren
My hubby and I
My oldest son Jarod and his wife Patricia
and my step grand children Joseph and Arlena
Me and my grandson Kyle
My son Jason and his wife Lynn
My grand children Justin Julie and Jaime
My adorable granddaughters Jaime and Julie
My daughter Jodie and my oldest grandson Casey
he is my Dad's first great grandchild  
Casey my first grand child
My daughter Stacey and her boyfriend Phil
My son Jake and his girlfriend Sarah
My father also has 5 more grandchildren from my sisters
4 more great grandchildren
Your legacy will live on forever in the family you leave behind
 Dad you were my rock a shoulder in which I could rely for whenever I was sad or when I needed advice or had lost my way you were the strongest man that I ever knew but when I saw you in that hospital bed I saw sadness and pain you were weak and tired and the strength was fading away "there's no chance" the doctor would say no matter what we could do we could not make you stay. unable to feel anything but pain everything that they could do would all be in vain. Stop all of this you asked, you were tired and wanted no more "keep him as comfortable as can be" as hard as it was for us we had to set you free. the next days and weeks slowly drifted by all that we could do was hold your hand tell you how much you meant to us and silently cry. for here is this man the strongest man I ever knew and I couldn't figure out how I'd survive in this crazy world without you. and as you took your final breathes tears formed in our eyes for as hard as it was for us to see you like that it was harder for us to let you go and say goodbye. God said it was your time so you slowly picked your hands up and held them to the sky you took your final breathes and just like were gone. I know your no longer in pain and you are in heaven reunited with loved ones gone before you and we will see you again see you and your smiling face laughing, and walking pain free we'll get to say our I love you we'll be as happy as can be. until then I'll miss you more and more each day no matter what I do the world is a far lonelier place without you. I love you Dad with all of my heart your daughter