I had a week that I cannot fully describe. I lost my father.
Dad touched many, many peoples lives through our large and close family, his school days, the military and veterans associations, his hunting buddies and long public service as the Wright County Recorder and President of the Iowa County Recorders Association.
Everything he did was done with care. From helping others at the office, to the building of our home. Even the fire wood was stacked so that it would cure correctly.
During the visitation time I had to correct my thoughts multiple times, thinking "Oh! I need to tell dad that I just talked to so and so..."
The vigil service allowed for some people to stand and tell stories of my dad's life. I didn't think I could tell any stories and be able to finish.
Here is what I would have shared were I able:
We all know dad was an avid hunter. I remember one duck hunt on the river bend near our home. We occasionally missed small flocks zipping up or down the river while drinking coffee and telling other stories, but this time one rounded the corner and came right at us. Dad made a quick shot and the ducks momentum carried it right at us. Without missing a beat dad caught the bird with one hand.
But that isn't the story I really want to share tonight. The comments on Facebook and the turnout here tonight show how much my dad was loved by the community, and how caring and helpful he was. This memory of mine is just one example of his concern for his boys (me and my brother). Our first dog, Rusty, a German Shorthair/Black Lab mix had been hit by a car the night before my birthday. We found our dog driving to my grandma's that day. We all were in tears as we saw Rusty lying on the shoulder of the highway. Dad happened to have an old rug in the back, which he wrapped the poor dog in. His face/head was pretty ragged on one side, but the whole entire time we took Rusty home and buried him, Dad never let us get an angle to really see how bad he was hurt. For us, the loss of the dog was heartache enough and dad did not want it to be any worse. This is just one example of how Dad showed his love and protected the tender hearts of his family.
Dad got to spend his last days at home. All of the family and grandkids got to be there on Easter together, and he was able to watch some turkeys that morning.
The morning after dad passed the turkeys were back, maybe saying their goodbyes as well.
But dad wasn't just a hunter, he was a conservationist and loved all of God's creation too. He loved birds and wildflowers. Many wood duck nesting boxes surround their home, as well as many species of wildflowers in a veritable museum of woodland species. The bird feeders and birdbaths were always full of a diverse and colorful mix of songbirds.
Bluebirds were often a topic of his Springtime conversations and they also made an appearance that next morning.
I can't even believe that this has happened yet. It just seems unreal. It hurts so bad.
I am grateful for the prayers, support and generosity of our friends and neighbors.
Thank you all!
Dad, I miss you so very much