My Daddy is home! In the early morning hours of September 28th, 2009 my beloved Daddy went “home.” Dr. Luke, as he was affectionately called by most was born on July 24th, 1926. His childhood was filled with all the joys that a small town can offer and I like to think that he did have (for the most part) a happy childhood. He was raised mainly by his Aunts and a very sweet Uncle (all of whom were not married) and his parents. Back then it was much more common to have several unwed siblings sharing their childhood home and that was my Dad’s situation. His Uncle was a doctor and my Dad decided that being a doctor was his calling as well. He graduated from Med school and after his residency, came back to practice with his Uncle and there he stayed until he retired in 1997 at the age of 70. To say that he was a great doctor seems so lacking. He touched so many lives and actually delivered a lot of my friends. I think he especially loved being able to deliver babies, treat them as their family doctor and as a special consequence, watch them grow. He met my beautiful Mother and they married in November of 1962. I soon followed in October of 1963 (yes, the Aunts were doing the math in their heads!!! Hehe!! ) and then my younger brother (who was to beautifully shape my life) came along in August of 1965. To say that he loved us would be quite the understatement!! We were his life and although he was not perfect and did have his fair share of “demons,” we never doubted his intense love for us. He was absolutely devoted to my Mother, thought she hung the moon and would have done just about anything for her!! I think that is one of the things that made the end of his life so incredibly hard. He suffered from (among other things) Alzheimer’s and that is one bad ass (excuse me) disease. As it progressed he began to doubt Mom, would constantly ask to go home and thought Mom was keeping him from his “home.” We tried and tried to figure out which home he meant and, of course, I don’t think he was speaking of an earthly home but we so wanted to be able to physically take him somewhere that would give him some peace, so we tried. That was so difficult for me. How horrible to want to go home and feeling as if you were being kept from that home. To not feel at home in the house that he had lived in and loved for so long, was heartbreaking to me. I know now that he was preparing himself and maybe us as well.
Daddy also suffered from glaucoma, another bad a__ disease. He finally went totally blind from it and would awaken each and every morning to the realization that the lights were indeed on, he just could not see - which meant he could not see his grandchildren anymore or his beautiful bride. He wanted nothing more than to be a Grandfather, which thanks to my oldest, turned into Gada!! We joked later with him about being careful what you wish for!! He longed for and waited for years for a couple of grandkids and ended up with 7 in 11 years!!! They were his pride and joy and he was always his happiest when they were around. The one thought that I am finding the most comfort in right now is the fact that Daddy can now finally “see” his beloved grandchildren’s faces again. I don’t think he ever was really able to see Lizzie well and he was so attached to her and she to him. Lizzie was always there to take Gada’s hand and gently guide him from chair to chair or to sit with him and talk to him even when he wasn’t really able to have a conversation. Well, he can finally “see” her now and hopefully hold her hand and guide her from time to time. The kids have their very own guardian angel watching over them now and I find comfort in that as well.
Dad sometimes had a bit of a tortured soul but he always had a big heart for his family and his friends and his patients and in his later years for animals! I love the fact that he eventually took up one of my causes. I give all of the credit to a scrawny, sickly, beautiful, rescued cat named Murphy who just wrapped himself around Dad’s heart and was with him in spirit up until the very end!! I think that was one of the things that tortured my Dad so, just desperately wanting to take care of everybody and everything, especially those in need. A trait that I am grateful for but struggle with myself. At least I know that I now have a “partner in crime” to aid me in my efforts to “save the world.” Hehe!!!
My Daddy was a remarkable man who was loved and respected and who is probably fishing right now with Murphy at his side. Your chair is very empty tonight, Dad, but I know your heart is full because you are finally “home
The Gorgeous Couple!!