About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Au Revoir Papa

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)

Two weeks ago today, my Dad fell and broke his hip. Miraculously, he survived the surgery he needed to fix it. And also miraculously, God gave us two more weeks to share in his life. Today at 12:05 p.m. God took him home. Dad is finally at peace and reunited with his beloved wife, my mother, whom he had missed terribly for over 5 years.
I received a call from the care home at 10:05 a.m. telling me that Dad was not doing well, his breathing was very laboured, and I should come. I was there at 10:35 a.m. and as soon as I saw him I knew this was it. The nurses told him I was there and I spoke to him, saying, "Dad, I'm here. It's Leslie. It's going to be all right now." I asked him to squeeze my hand to let me know he knew I was there because he couldn't open his eyes. He squeezed my hand and also was able to indicate to me that he was in no pain. When the nurses left us alone, I told him, "It's okay to let go, Dad. I know you want to be with Mom, so go and be with her. I promise we'll be okay."

After a while, Dad's breathing eased off and he seemed to drift into a deep sleep. I kept holding his hand and his breathing got slower and slower. At 12:05 p.m. he just simply stopped breathing. And he was gone. Peace at last and with my Mom.

When we have the obituary done, I'll post it so you can all see Dad's wonderful accomplishments - from flying during WWII to being in the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame. Thanks to all who prayed for him and for me during these difficult times, especially since we're really just "virtual" friends. As you can see from the photo (taken last October) that he had a wild and wacky sense of humour, too. We're really going to miss him.

36 comments:

the walking man said...

My sincere condolences to you, your family and all others who loved him. May you all be at peace in his Passing Leslie. He sleeps now with his kin and is at rest until that day comes when the dead will rise to be one in the realm of that one who created all.

Peace

mark

geewits said...

It sounds like a peaceful passing, but I understand what you are feeling. My Dad's "deathaversary" is just two weeks away and although it has been 9 years, I still miss him every day. I'm so sorry for your loss. I look forward to your post to celebrate his life. Peace be with you.

Babette said...

Sorry to hear about your father. Take good care of yourself and each other.

wanda said...

i just e-mailed you, my prayers are with you and your family, the comfort that you were with him, and that he is now with your mom, will help ease some of the pain that you will have in the times to come as you miss him, God Bless you Leslie.
hugs
Wanda

Pennys from Heaven said...

Sending my sincere condolences to you and your family. The photo of your Dad is so precious!! I am so glad you got to be there and to let him know it was "OK" to go.

(((Peg)))

Susie said...

Dear Leslie,
My sincere sympathy on the loss of your beloved father.
I know your presence as he passed was a tremendous comfort to him.
He now rests in peace with your Mom..
((hugs))

Myrna said...

I have come over from Morning Glory's. I am sorry to hear of your loss. I have also lost a dear loved one in thepast week--my brother. I pray for you to have peace and comfort.

Josie said...

Leslie, I truly believe your mother came and got him to take him home with her. She visited him so many times in the past few weeks. They're together now, and they're both at peace.

My sincere condolences.

Josie

beachgirl said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this time. I know how hard it is to loose a parent. But the suffering is over and they are having a huge party up in Heaven with all their loved ones who are waiting for them.
You will miss him for sure. But he's with your Mom now.
Hugs your way.
Carol

leslie said...

Thanks everyone for the condolences. I actually slept pretty good last night - I guess it was God's peace knowing that Mom and Dad are together again.

My condolences go out to you, Myrna on the loss of your brother.

Josie Dad had had a shower that morning and the care aids told me that he was talking to my Mom then. Imagine! She probably came to take him home. And he was all clean, to boot.

Carol your comment truly put a smile :D on my face. Yes, I can just imagine their reunion and Mom taking him on a tour of the "facilities." lol Then they'll go play a round of golf before joining up with some others for a game of bridge.

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

I am not good with death I never have been. But it sounds as though your father and mother were (are) loved deeply and even more importantly knew that.

I am sorry for your loss as I am sure your life with be different without him. Yet, you know where and with who he wanted to be and you gave him the most loving gift.

He is always standing right by you, in that I am sure.

Baby steps,
Tara

Tara

SusieQ said...

My condolences, Leslie. I am glad your dad will be with his love (your mom) once again. It is hard to let go though.

Give yourself a year to go through the mourning process during which you will be spending time going over memories you have of your dear old dad...and your mom.

Talk to your folks. I do mine. Daddy died in October, 2000 and Mother died 12 weeks later to the day in 2001. Gosh, it seems like just yesterday that they died.

Canadian Bloggette said...

For Leslie,
Know that I am thinking of you and yours......
One of my favorite poems for you and yours, may you treasure all your kodak moments spent with your Mom and Dad
Warm hugs
Take best care
Cheryl xox

WHEN I AM GONE

When I'm gone from your side,
And all your tears have been dried ...

Do not stand at my grave and weep,

I am not there, I do not sleep.


I am a thousand winds that blow;

I am the diamond glints on snow;

I am the sunlight on ripened grain;

I am the gentle autumn's rain.


When you awaken in the morning hush,

I am the swift uplifting rush

Of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft star that shines at night.


And when you stroll in the evening hours,

And smell the aroma of beautiful flowers;

There'll be no need to sob and cry ...

I am not there, I did not die!


~ Author Unknown ~

leslie said...

Cheryl that is beautiful. I will treasure the words forever. Thank you.

leslie said...

Tara and Susieq Thanks for your kind words of condolence. I was pretty good yesterday, but this morning I awoke tired, as though I'd had a busy dream life. But I'm going to church to be with friends there and then lunch with one of my best friends. They will comfort me, I know, as do your sympathies.

leslie said...

Why do families get so at odds with each other when one member dies?

Just received a phone call from one sister saying that the other sister has already been way up the mountain to a chapel there and got information for Dad's service.

However, neither of my sisters are "religious" or even "spiritual" and the older one is taking over, insisting that it not be a religious service in any aspect.

Has anyone ever been to a funeral where there hasn't been someone from some sort of religious affiliation to speak? I haven't, but maybe there are services like that.

I suggested that if there wasn't going to be any mention of "God" that why bother having a formal service? Why not just invite friends and family over to my sister's house for a get-together and eat/drink/be merry? Talk about Dad and our lives with him and Mom.

I have to meet them on Tuesday to discuss this issue of a service. Any suggestions from my "advisors" (as Josie refers to all you guys)?

Ruth said...

Leslie, sounds like a very difficult situation and I wished I had some answers for you. It is very sad when the children don't agree. Can I ask you, was your father religious? did he believe in God?

Josie said...

Leslie, you are affiliated with a church who has been very supportive of you throughout your trial this past spring, including with your father. My suggestion would strongly be to have them give the service for your father. The service, after all, is to give comfort to those who are left behind, and your church has been a great comfort to you. This is the time for you to tell your sisters that this is the way it is, and that's that. I'm sure at the end of the day, it will be a lovely service, and your sisters will agree with you. Best of luck to you, and please keep me posted. I have been thinking about you.

jmb said...

Leslie, I just saw this. I'm so sorry for your loss. Apparently it was time for him to go and he had a peaceful passing. What more can you want for a beloved parent?
Take care of each other, you and your family.
jmb

Ruth D~ said...

Oh, Leslie. I'm so sorry. My father dies two years ago, and I feel like he is still here. I have learned so much about him since his death, too. You will mourne, and then you will find that he is still with you.

jmb said...

Leslie, I am probably the one who has been to the most funerals of your "advisors". I have been to Catholic masses, Anglican religious services (where the dead person has been very religious and where they have not, Unitarian services (quite nice actually), even a life celebration by a non religious funeral celebrant for a non believer (which was lovely, by the way and suited the dead person perfectly), afternoon tea remembrance celebrations which were very nice too. I think it depends on the beliefs of the person who died and the family left behind. The one thing I think is have some kind of remembrance. The families of those whose loved one didn't have a celebration at their request always regretted it. The celebration of that person's life is for the living. Remember that.
One of the nicest things of the modern celebration of a person's life to my mind is a slide show of photos from their life. I love these and learn so much about them that I often didn't know before. I have written a post about Funerals here in which I talk about these slide shows and other aspects of funerals I have attended.
Religious is your father was religious for sure, even just slightly. Stand up for yourself but hopefully you can all come to an agreement.
Take care
jmb

leslie said...

Thanks everyone for your advice. To Ruth who inquired if my Dad was "religious." Well, I believe he was in the meaning of he did believe in God. He was able to articulate that he knew Mom is in heaven and he had to die to be with her. Ergo, I believe that he believed in God and a heaven where all would be reunited. He was involved with the Salvation Army as a youth but never went to church with my mother or us kids except for special occasions. And he did tell me once after Mom died that he'd thought about going to my church for the Xmas celebrations but then thought he probably couldn't manage there. I'd have taken him if I'd known. So, yes, I do believe he wouldn't mind a service that had a bit of religion in it. I will express my feelings to my sisters on Tuesday, but knowing my older sister, we probably will have to bow to her wishes. Hopefully, we can come to some sort of compromise.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

What a blessing it is to have the peace and be ready to leave this world and to return to God's bosom. A further blessing to have one's loving daughter, you, there to send him on. May the peace of God that passes all understanding be with you at this time.

the walking man said...

Leslie,
My mother died a year ago May. Her Body went to a funeral home for three hours(not to be viewed but stored)until the medical school called and said they were ready for the cadaver to be transported, no service at all just an announcement of her passing in the paper and a family get together at my sister's house.

My father dead 25 years now was the same way except there was a memorial service for him at a Catholic church in the parish where we lived...but there was no casket, the body was already at the school.

The important thing to figure out between the elder surviving siblings is to

1. Decide what dad would have wanted and go for that.

2. If no compromises can be reached then the decision should be decided by the executor of the estate, even if no one agrees to it.

3. If he died intestate (no will) then I say let the oldest decide and everyone else live with it.

4. Let the one who wants the most expensive memorial offer to pay for it then everyone else be quiet about it.

5. Donate the body to a school of medicine, I do believe they except bodies that have been embalmed and they would appreciate and treat his cadaver with dignity. There is no cost for this and they are always in need of cadavers for different reasons, some will harvest bone and others will be used for student dissections either way he will continue to be giving after his souls had no more need of the mortal flesh.

Peace

TWM

leslie said...

twm - I'm pushing for your #1. Dad wanted no service, so I am suggesting that we have a family get-together at my eldest sister's house. We all knew he didn't want anything, so hopefully we can all agree on that and move on. Finances were all taken care of a while ago, so not much to do regarding that. Thanks for the suggestions.

Anonymous said...

I won't say anything to the aunties (it's not my place) but I think if you have a service at a chapel, you should expect some religion in the service. If you don't want religion, don't use a religious building.

Daughter #1 (and grandchild #3)

leslie said...

Whew, we have agreed. A celebration of Dad's life will be held at a later date. We're going to have an Open House at one of the golf courses where Mom and Dad both golfed. (depends on what's available) We'll have hors d'oeuvres, punch, and an open bar and we'll have 3 tables of photos, etc. One will memorialize Dad's time in WW2, one will memorialize his life in sports (soccer and golf), and one will memorialize his family life from a child to his death. We'll also have one huge floral arrangement and at some time during the celebration, we'll pause to let anyone speak about any memories they have of Dad. I'm so glad we're all in agreement with this as it turns out my elder sister is more distraught than my younger sister and I realized. So, thanks everyone for your input and your kind words of sympathy. Life goes on, and so must we.

Ruth said...

So glad it is working out for your family, for it is a celebration...

HeiressChild said...

hi leslie, i sent you an email so you already know you and your family are in my prayers. i'm glad you all came to an agreement on how to do the service. i keep saying i'm going to do a will so there will be no guessing about what i want.

thanx for wishing karyce a happy birthday. i did get to go out to california when she was born. i think i hadn't planned on going because of school, but my daughter ended up having her 2 months early, and her husband called me to see if i could come out and help since my daughter had to stay in the hospital for a while and he was just starting a new job. i had my finals that saturday and flew out that monday.

the walking man said...

Did you say open bar? If I fall off the wagon in Canada does it count? If not then let me know where and when so I can shop William Shatner for the best airfare.

I am glad though seriously that you all finally did the Beatles thing and came together.

It's a difficult enough time with out having all of the all to typical bickering.

much Peace to you and yours Leslie

mark

wanda said...

I just thought I would stop by to check on you to see how you are,
if you should need to get ahold of anyone to just chat e-mail me and i will give you my home phone, i make a great listner..
just wanted you to know i am thinking of you today,
Hugs,
Wanda

Janice Thomson said...

My condolences to you and your family Leslie. How wonderful your Dad passed so calmly. Glad all has worked out in regards to memorializing him. Take care

leslie said...

twm LOL You're more than welcome! Dad was quite a socializer and enjoyed a good stiff one occasionally. (And we'll probably need one that day, too.) However, only once in my life did I ever see that my Dad had imbibed a bit too much. I was a teenager and he'd been golfing but spent too much time on the 19th hole. When he came home, he fell UP the stairs heading for bed. I remember us all laughing so much after we got over the horror that DAD WAS DRUNK!!!

beachgirl said...

jqdzbrHow are you coping girl? I see your back on line and trying to get a little normalcy back into your routine.
Just give it one day at a time.
Have a better day today than yesterday.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Carol

beachgirl said...

Hi Leslie,
I'm glad your family came together for a final tribute for his life. I do believe some sort of gathering is needed. When my Grandfather dies. I got a phone call. No service. He's still in an earn under the tv. Grams says the same will be done for her.
I'm not a big fan of funerals. My Mom's was huge. It was nice to see how loved she was by others, not just us 6 kids. Her Mom was still alive so we went with whatever Nana wanted. So Nana and her brothers took over. Which is what Nana needed.
We lost Nana less than 2 years later.
Now my kids already know I have no desire to be buried. Nor do I want a funeral. A nice family beach day works for me. Just like we live our lives.
Have a blessed evening.
Carol

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