Through The Eyes of My Father

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His eyes were light blue, filled with confidence and intelligence.  It was impossible to look at those eyes and lie to him because he could see right through you to the truth.  He would often hold you with his gaze and speak to you in a way that made you feel like the only person in the room.   My father was one of those people who even in life, seemed larger than life.  He had a quiet confidence that was never confused with arrogance.  Standing tall at six feet, he walked with his shoulders back and his chin up.

My father taught by example how to look the world with an open heart.  He encouraged us to learn, to travel, to read and be faithful.  He was without fear.  He was without pretense or vanity.  He would be the first to tell you he wasn’t perfect.  Yet, he was committed to his family and my sister, brothers and mother knew we were the center of his life.  He loved us well.

My father died years before my big lupus flare-ups began.  In some ways, I’m thankful he didn’t have to witness my health problems.  I’ve known many parents who had no choice but to watch their children struggle with critical illness and death.  I can’t imagine their pain.

My father lived for 19 days after he had a stroke in the spring of 1998.  He was awake and alert for several hours before the bleeding in his brain rendered him unconscious.  There was no fear in his eyes when the ambulance came to the house.  There was no fear in his eyes when my son and I arrived at the hospital.  My father accepted what was happening with a grain of salt.  His eyes could not lie.  He looked at us with love, knowing his fate, yet reassuring us that he would be just fine.  He smiled with us until he was too tired to stay awake.  Through the eyes of my father, I learned how to die with grace.

When I see the world through the eyes of my father, I know I will be strong.

When I see the world through the eyes of my father, I embrace life without fear.

When I see the world through the eyes of my father, lupus cannot claim my heart or soul.

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3 responses »

  1. Thank you for this extraordinary post. I don’t know many who so eloquently can pay tribute to someone regarding such a difficult topic.

    Following the death of a loved one we go and read their last will and testament. I can tell that your father left with you wealth beyond comprehension. He left you the most important gift of all, how to live when fear looms close. He left you a moral will that will serve you forever.

    You carry his strength with you and it will serve you as you continue with your health obstacles.

    I loved him very much. Thanks!

  2. Wow, what a wonderful post about your dad. I can so understand how you feel. My dad and I worked together everyday in the health food store we owned for 20 years. He died in January of 2000 of a massive brain hemorrhage. He was 85 and worked until 2 days before his death.

    My son is a heroin addict and I’m glad my dad is not here to see this. He loved his grandson and it would have broken his heart. I still have hope for my son but it is heartbreaking. I guess we all have a cross to bear. Thank goodness I have my daughter and her husband to live with and help me through this time.

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