The Greatest Man I Ever Knew is Gone

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by TNTRAILERTRASH, Sep 28, 2020.

  1. TNTRAILERTRASH

    TNTRAILERTRASH Supporting Member

    I had no idea how much he impacted other people's lives. People that weren't blood relatives. People he didn't know. Dad was a very charitable man who worked with the Masonic lodge doing fund raisers to help local people who fell on misfortune. People that needed tuition help for college. His brethren who were indigent in their old age.

    My step neice's husband who was a real fucktard back in the day who was mean to his wife came up to me at dad's memorial service and told me what dad talked to him about on their first meeting. Dad told him how to treat his step grand daughter. Also encouraged him to go back to college. Told him how to be a man. This guy wasn't raised with a father. He screwed up a bunch after that talk. My BIL raided this guy's house and busted him for dope years back. When him and his wife split.

    He came to me and my brother and praised what dad had told him. He now works 2 jobs, umpires little league games, cuts grass as a side business, and owns several pieces of rental property. We were floored when he told us.

    Dad helped all of my step mom's kids, their husbands, and the grand kids. Even one who on the surface really despised him. She was crying on Saturday at the cemetery. I think it was genuine.

    Dad had it rough in his last days. Alzheimers started kicking in at 79yo. It progressively got worse. My stop mom had cancer and passed away in 2014. He was living in Oklahoma. My oldest step sister and her husband helped him immensely. We packed dad's stuff up several months later and moved him to Florida. My sister built him an apartment to live in at her house until he got really bad. We put him in a memory care facility near her house. First class brand new place. Luckily dad had long term care insurance.

    My brother and I took dad to lunch when we were in town. Spent time with him there at the facility. I would walk for hours with him there at his pace and listen to him. Last time I saw dad was in late February.

    She took him to movies on some Saturdays, church once or twice a week followed with lunch. She also took dad to lodge every other week and her friend would help dad around in lodge.

    In March he tripped and broke C1 when he hit his head. We paid for him to have 24/7 in place quarantine in his room with private duty nurses.

    No visits were allowed inside to see him. For the rest of his stay there. He didn't understand. They would open up his window and roll him to the screened in window and sing to him.

    Back when my Oklahoma family was visiting him I was there. My sister's youngest is quite the musician. After we packed dad up I found dad's Martin mandolin in the attic. A fairly rare piece. He told me, "you keep it." I overcame my greedy thoughts and had dad give it to my nephew the next time I went to Florida. He tweaked the fret board and made it ring.

    My nephew brought it to the home and was playing some tunes. Then he looked at my and said, "sing with my picking." He struck up Steve Earle's "Copperhead Road." It was great fun. Dad was tapping his feet and grinning ear to ear.

    Dad had been restricted to his wheel chair as walking was next to impossible. He tried to get out of it Tuesday 2 weeks ago. He hit his head. Broke C2. He couldn't swallow at all. He was moved to hospice where he died peacefully with my my nephew, my sister, and his lodge brother that took care of him while at lodge in his last days.

    The Ft.Myers Beach Masonic lodge did a great memorial service for dad last week. My cousin who is a Methodist minister also spoke. My grand father was the master of the lodge there a few times. Dad began his "entered apprentice" degree there. I wasn't there for the memorial. I stayed here in TN. I arranged for his burial in Texas, and his memorial service in Oklahoma.

    I asked one of his best friends to perform the Scottish Rite Rose Croix ceremony. Dad was an Honorary 33rd degree. (last year I go him a new 33rd degree ball cap to replace his ratty one.) Few get that honor. It was a very moving service.

    His final resting place is in Sherman, TX next to my grand mother and his dad. He is directly behind my great grand father who died in 1909.

    My sister found this poem dad had in his things.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Think1st

    Think1st Supporting Member

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    The real mark of a life is how much one did good by others. It sounds like your dad had one heck of a life.

    I think a lot of us understand that being set free from the body is a good thing when the time comes for it. What's tough is when others we care about get set free before us. We'll see our loves ones on the other side, though.
     

  3. It sounds like your dad was one of the good ones. Sorry to hear of your loss.
     
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  4. TNTRAILERTRASH

    TNTRAILERTRASH Supporting Member

    Back in the day when I was in the 7th grade we had a 21ft tri-hull Glastron. It was cold, overcast, and windy on the Gulf of Mexico. Small craft warning flags were flying. Grandpa, dad and I were out there taking a ride.

    The boat was called a "Vagabond Camper." Full top from the windshield to the stern. Side curtains with screens and roll up covers with vinyl windows.

    8-12ft roller waves. Dad was talking me through it when I was at the helm. Grandpa was nervous. He was a former merchant marine guy from WWII. Dad had me taking night classes with him when I was in the 6th grade with in Akron Ohio with the United States Power Squadron.

    3 weeks ago I relived that day in a dream. There was large chunks of ice in the water. Grandpa jumped overboard to "clear the ice out of the way." I knew it had something to do with dad dying soon. I am sure my grandfather was in that room when dad died.

    In 1975 I was in college in Missouri. I was really upset and crying because my grandfather was dying in the hospital in Florida. I prayed for God to end his suffering. After the prayer that night I was relieved, and happy.

    The next day mom called me. I told her he had died, and right to the minute. She was shocked to hear what I knew.
     
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  5. The world is not better off with your Father gone in my opinion. The Earth is either a better place with us in it or better off without us. It sounds like he made it a better place. I hope he made it to the paradise of God.
     
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  6. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    Condolences.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
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  7. gambler

    gambler Member

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    Sounds like a great man, may he RIP.

    My condolences to you and your family.
     
  8. moona11

    moona11 King of you Monkeys Lifetime Supporter

    Sorry to hear that. Prayers for you
     
  9. histed

    histed Supporting Member

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    Sounds like a great man, Trash. My condolences - been where you are.
     
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  10. retread

    retread Member

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    touching story and very nice poem.
     
  11. OldOutlaw

    OldOutlaw Supporting Member

  12. TNTRAILERTRASH

    TNTRAILERTRASH Supporting Member

    I do appreciate the thoughts and prayers. The idea came over me on Saturday night. I didn't type it until I got to a real keyboard and I was home. My step sister posted these pics on facebook
    [​IMG]
     
  13. TNTRAILERTRASH

    TNTRAILERTRASH Supporting Member

    20200926_114143.jpg

    Dad always had a time with speaking and conveying his thoughts. When he became a Mason he had to face those fears. He said it was a good thing for him. This is a ring he picked out a few years ago. I thought it might have been my grandfather's. Just dad's.
     
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  14. It sounds like your Dad was a really good man. I'm really sorry for your loss.
     
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  15. Sorry for your loss, TNT.
     
  16. Rerun

    Rerun Supporting Member

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    Condolences.

    eldar
     
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  17. James St. Patrick

    James St. Patrick Member

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    Sounds like a good man. You have his memories and teachings, so he will forever be with you!
     
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  18. TNTRAILERTRASH

    TNTRAILERTRASH Supporting Member

    True. I have people in my life that have passed. Yet I remember a lot of good things, things they have said. Still hear their voices saying memorable things.

    Damn! I'm getting old! :)
     
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  19. MaryB

    MaryB Supporting Member

    Sorry for your loss...
     
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