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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I SANG FOR MY FATHER ~ PRECIOUS MEMORIES

MY FIRST CHRISTMAS WITHOUT DAD

Dad and my son on the lake that dad made out of a corn field and a natural spring.

Dad around 1954

I was in a play called I Never Sang for My Father years ago. But I did. I sang for my father. When he was alive.
We sang together, too. And I have sung for my father since he died seven months ago. There was something special that I had with my father. And now my feelings for him have become even more precious.

I was not allowed to see movies when I was growing up. Not counting the Disney movie, Bambi, that I finally was allowed to see after much debate with my second grade class on a field trip, the first real movie experience I had was when I convinced my parents to let me go see the movie The Sound of Music. My parents went with me and my dad loved Julie Andrews in the movie.
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The Lendler

Uploaded by ArtHistory101

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The Sound of Music movie locations
Uploaded by r2djannes


And then in November 2005, I visited Salzburg and walked some of the very places where the movie was shot. How cool is that!

When I was in Villach, Austria, I stayed at a very nice hostel and one night a birthday party was being celebrated at the hostel. I was walking by the room and heard this fantastic harmonizing singing ~ it sort of blew me away. We have lost that in the USA. We used to sing the National Anthem at events ~ now we mostly just stand there and let someone else perform it without any audience participation. That is sad. Music is such a community thing. A joy we could give ourselves.

This is my first Christmas since my father left his mortal life behind. As sorrowful as I am that I was kept from him at the end of his life by my mother, I spent time with him on his last Father's Day June 18, 2006. When I returned home after visiting him in Indiana I wrote the following to him.

From your daughter Sandy, from Rhode Island

Dad

I will do the remembering for both of us.

I remember the first time you saw me and said my name, “Sandy”, when I surprised you, Sunday, Father’s Day.

I remember you closing your eyes, then opening your eyes, then your eyes looking into my eyes when I sang “The Old Rugged Cross” to you while you were
lying down in your room on Monday.

I remember the slow- moving pain in your eyes when I told you of the day I would leave you.

I remember the big smile that you gave when I showed you the words “Rhode Island” on your wall
and you saying “that will help”.
I remember you spelling the word r-o-a-d.

I remember my prayer to God that we shared in your room and you said “that was a nice prayer.”

I remember the time you were lying on your bed,
I mentioned your favorite song,
“Go Tell It on the Mountain”
And you starting singing the song by yourself
and I sang along with you.

I remember the day we were walking through all the halls on the way to outside and you telling me it was the wrong way, then telling me that I was right three times
as we continued walking on.

I remember you reading the road sign “Roanoke” when we were driving to Roanoke.

On my last day, it was hard on you, I could see.
But you stood and told me you loved me, we hugged,
you walked me down the hall.
You were being my Dad.

We don’t always get what we want in life,
but I still have you and that is my blessing.

You are still doing God’s work, teaching me.

We walked holding hands.
Thank you for that.
We kissed on the lips.
Thank you for that.
We shared love.
Thank you for that.
You needed my help
and I was able to help.
Thank you for that.

Thank you for the time we shared together.
Thank you for your heart that you shared with me.
Thank you for looking at me, eye to eye.
Thank you for saying my name, “Sandy”.
Thank you for the feelings that you shared with me.
Thank you for letting me love you.
Thank you for being so brave.
Thank you for trying so hard.

Your brain is not serving you well,
but your good spirit lives on.
I will have your spirit with me always.
I treasure our time together more than possessions.

I am so grateful to you,
Your Daughter “Sandy from Rhode Island”
Visit: June 18, Sunday, Father’s Day – June 23, Friday, 2006

Dad in the the hammock, my older brother Greg, me and my younger sister, Nancy .

My son and my dad in 1997.

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