Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Rest in Peace, Daddy!

Little did I dream the photo Tom took just a few weeks ago of my father and me on Daddy's 90th birthday would be the last one we would take of him. Perhaps you remember it from a previous post. We had just put the cake in Daddy's lap and before Tom could take a picture Daddy took a lick of the icing. (The evidence is on his cheek.) How I cherish that photo!


Tom and I left the next morning to head back home with stops in Atlanta to see his brother and sister-in-law and then to spend a day at Shaker Village in Kentucky.  We got home late on Monday, November 7.

The following week we got the word that Daddy was steadily declining, so on Friday, November 18, Tom and I drove back down to Orlando, arriving there on the 19th.  During the next nine days we saw a steady decline with Daddy.  The last few days he remained in bed, and I would hold his hand and play music.  Although I played the music pretty loudly, I'm not sure how much he heard because of his hearing problems.  It didn't help that he had recently lost one of his hearing aides.

Daddy died the morning of Monday, November 28.  He always said that when it was his time he wanted to die in his own apartment.  Thanks to help from health care aides and hospice nurses (who came in the last couple of days), Daddy had his way, and we are all so thankful for that.

Here is the link to Daddy's obituary.

Daddy's funeral was Saturday, December 3, at the church where he had been Rector for 28 years.  The service was truly a celebration of his life!  While we miss him terribly, we know that he is now with Mother and other family members, and they are all at peace.  When my aunt called last night, she mentioned what a wonderful story teller Daddy was.  Perhaps he's now telling stories and jokes to others in Heaven.

Tom and I stayed another few days in Orlando to help my sister and brother sort out the things in Daddy's apartment.  We were surprised how much he had in his little apartment.  Among other things, he had all of his tax records dating back to 1949 and lots and lots of photos.  I must have gone through at least 40 albums and several bins of photos.  What family treasures!  We brought lots of photos back with us, but it will probably be spring before I get the chance to really study and organize them.  We also brought back other family treasures, and next week a moving van will be coming with several pieces of furniture, including my mother's father's dresser.  (I've promised Tom that no more furniture will come in our house until some pieces go out.)

Once we left Orlando, we stopped for a couple of days in Jacksonville to see Tom's father.  Then on Friday, December 9, we drove home.  Thankfully, the weather along the way cooperated, and we got home late that evening.

We're now trying to settle back in, but it will take some time.  I figured that by the time we got home on Friday, Tom had been home only 16 days (and me 18), since September 28.  In fact, Tom has spent nearly three months with family in Florida this year, and I was there only two weeks less.  Add in other travel, and we've been gone well over a third of the year.  This probably gives you an idea of the turmoil we've had in our lives this past year.  (Would you believe I haven't even held a needle in nearly four weeks?)

Until things settle down, I've decided to cut back on my blog posts and also on my internet newsletter for at least several weeks.  I'm also going to postpone the release of my two new designs, the Hannah Cummins reproduction sampler and A Quaker Needlework Box.  I hope you understand.

46 comments:

Phyllis said...

Ellen,
Extending my sincere sympathies to you and your family. Take care and enjoy all the memories. That photo of you and your dad is truly precious.

Stitchin' Sweet Sue said...

So very sorry for your loss Ellen, your pic is a wonderful treasure. Sending you heartfelt sympathy... wishing you peace, comfort and the love of family in the coming days...

Laurie in Iowa said...

Ellen,
My deepest sympathies to you and your family. I'm glad you were able to bring home family photos to enjoy this coming spring.
Of course we understand about the delay in publishing your new charts, blogging and newsletter updates.
It's time for you and Tom to take time for yourselves and enjoy the holiday season.
I hope you can get back to stitching soon... it's a wonderful stress reducer.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your father's passing Ellen, but I know he treasured those special moments you spent with him on his last birthday and you will too....what sweet memories....I wish you love and peace through the holidays.....
Tedra - Phoenix, AZ

Karen Seitz said...

Ellen, I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your Dad. I know you are glad to have been able to be there with him in his last days. Please take care of yourself and Tom, and enjoy the holidays with your sweet grandchildren.

Terri said...

I am so sorry for your loss! I lost my dad and my sister this past May, so I can really sympathize. Try to enjoy the holidays with your family and your needlework will be there when you're ready!

I do like the photo of you and your dad! :-)

Anonymous said...

Thank God, you will see your Dad again when it's your time. He has started his life in Heaven because of Jesus who made it all possible. My prayers are with you and all your family. What a kind and gentle looking man, love the icing, my Dad wore his food too until he was 93. Margaret

Bertie said...

My heartfelt sympathies for the loss of your dear father, Ellen. It's so hard losing a loved one. Good to hear he had a wonderful life.

Wishing you and your family a peaceful Holiday Season.

Nancy said...

Dear Ellen,
I am so sorry to hear about your Dad. That picture is such a wonderful memory, and you look just like him. Hopefully the special memories you have will overcome your sadness. Take care.
Love,
Nancy

dixiesamplar said...

Oh Ellen, I am so sorry for your loss!! He sounds like a wonderful father...one you can be truly proud to call your own. And your photo is absolutely lovely!! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family...

Sounds like you & Tom need to lock the doors, turn off the phone, and hide out together for a while...please don't worry about us; we'll still be here when you are ready to get back!!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year my dear!!

Pat T. said...

Ellen, My sincere sympathy to you and your family with the passing of your dear father. What a blessing for you to be there with him. Love and hugs.

Solstitches said...

I am so very sorry for your loss Ellen.
Lovely that you were there to celebrate your dads 90th birthday with him. That is such a nice picture of the two of you.

Margaret

LoriU said...

I am so sorry for your loss. What a lovely picture of you and dad. You are in our prayers.

valerie said...

Oh Ellen, I am so sorry for your loss. My deepest condolences to you and your family during this difficult time. That is such a special photo of you and your dad.

Natasha said...

Ellen,
I am sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you. It is never easy to lose a parent. It is wonderful though that you were there with him before his decline and then again to welcome him "home"
((HUGS)) Natasha

Margaret said...

Ellen, I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. I'm glad you were able to be with your dad during his last days and that he was at home too. We will wait patiently for the release of your new designs. Hugs.

Nela said...

Querida Ellen...
en este momento elevo una oracion por tu papa, y estaras en mis oraciones para que tu corazon este en paz... Disfruta cada dia.. vive cada dia... y por si no paso... Feliz navidad... y que el año 2012 este lleno de muuuchoooo amor en tu hogar...

Sheila said...

Ellen: So very sad to hear of the loss of your father.
But glad you were able to be with him in his final days and what a lovely photo of you both to cherish.
Hugs and sympathy x x

Nancy said...

So sorry for your loss...but so thankful you were able to be with him in his last days. Take care if yourself and we will be here when you are able to be more active again.

marly said...

My sympathy to you and your family. What a special photo to cherish.

Kerri said...

Ellen,

My most sincere sympathies on the loss of your father. I hope your memories of happier times will bring you comnfort in the coming days.

Please take time to rest and renew your spirit and we will all be here in spirit wishing you comfort and joy this season!

geeky Heather said...

{{{hugs}}} I'm sorry for your loss. But I'm glad to read this post and know that you have happy memories and some great photos to cherish for years to come. Enjoy your time at home!!

samplerlover said...

Dear Ellen, it is always very sad when we lose a beloved family member. I would like to offer my since sympathies to you and your family. It is lovely that you were able to share your Dad's last few days with him and your lovely photo of the pair of you will I am sure be cherished.

Jennifer said...

Ellen, I am so sorry to learn of your loss but so glad that you were able to have time at the end with your father. I hope that gives you comfort.

Just Me and My Shadow said...

Ellen that is such a lovely photo of you and your father. He looks like such a gentle man. You will enjoy looking through all those photos and I am sure there will be wonderful memories among them. My sincere condolences to you and your family.

Chrissie

Mouse said...

so sorry to hear about your dad and so glad you have those memories and photos as well ....those you can look back on and remember those good times ... love mouse xxx

Faye said...

Oh Elllen....It sounds like you have such wonderful memories to cherish of the times with your dad. I love that last photo so much..YOu both look so happy.

So sorry for the loss but know he is heaven looking down smiling on you.

Cherish his memories and remember the good times....

Always, Faye

Marilyn said...

My sympathies to you and your family Ellen. I'm glad you got to spend a little more time with your Daddy. We all understand about your delayed posts and releases.
Take care.
Marilyn

Jan said...

SO very sorry, Ellen, for your loss of your dear Daddy!! (((hugs)))

Teri said...

My condolences to you and your family.

Chris said...

So sorry for your loss Ellen.
Thinking of you band your family.

Catherine said...

Thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

Colleen said...

Ellen, A treasured picture of you & your Dad. I remember your post about his birthday and thinking how fortunate that you still had your dad sitting next to you. He will always be in your heart & you in his. I know your sorrow, I miss my dad after 12 years. Bless you, my dear.

Robin at The Primitive Hutch said...

So sorry to hear about your loss Ellen. May you find peace and cherish the memories.
Take care.
Prim Blessings
Robin

Jacqueline Korteland Boller said...

My heartfelt condolences...sorry for your loss and hope memories keep you strong.

dxponhs1 said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Thank you for your wonderful blog and our family is thinking of you. We wish you the best, Dawn

Katrina said...

Ellen, I am so sorry about your father! I hope all your happy memories of him will comfort you and what a blessing that he was able to stay in his home. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

natalyK said...

My thoughts are with you and your family. I am thankful you got to spend his last moments together. Hold dear the memories you have created together.

Roberta said...

Hi Ellen, I am so sorry to hear of the death of your Dad. What a full life he has lead. Love the photo of you both - what a wonderful gift of that photo for you. Do take care and have a wonderful holiday season and a great new year.

Anonymous said...

I am so very sorry for your loss, Ellen. It is hard on a woman when her Daddy dies. I'm so glad you have wonderful memories and photos to comfort you in the days ahead.
Katherine M. in Austin

Jackie said...

I'm not sure that I could come up with words to provide comfort but I want you to know that I'm thinking of you and your family.

krayolakris said...

Ellen, how wonderful that you were able to visit with your daddy. My prayer is that you will take comfort in knowing he is in heaven with his Savior and his friends. Thinking of you often.

Jean said...

Sorry to hear of your loss, your picture just beams with your love and his for you, now it will warm your heart. Take care over of you and blessings to you both during this holiday season.

Charlene ♥ SC said...

I send my condolences, and share in your feeling of loss as my Daddy passed the end of September this year, too. I wish your family a peaceful settling, and hope the happy memories will comfort you all during the holidays.

Siobhan said...

Ellen, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time. God bless.

Karoline said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I shall keep you all in my thoughts and prayers