My name is Patty, and this picture was taken when my father and I were in Hawaii. My dad and I have many happy memories of warm sunny days, blue skies, and beautiful beaches. When we returned to the mainland last August we had a plan to go back to Hawaii by December of 08.
But as fate would have it, my dad was diagnosed with a blocked carotid artery and had to schedule surgery in November of 08. He was extremely weak after surgery and never regained his health. We had more tests run and the MRI was indicative of a stroke and a brain tumor As of 1/9/09, my Dad has been diagnosed with a brain tumor that has already progressed to stage four.
He is a very special man, and I love him dearly. He raised me after my mother died when I was a young child, and he became both mother and father to me. Every life he has touched remembers him as a kind, sweet, gentle soul who never had a bad word to say about anyone.
I have been looking for ways to support him, and calling for inspiration to let him know how many people love and adore him now while he is still with us. I love poetry, so I was looking in a book called Guidewords An Anthology Of Inspiration And Humor to find the perfect poem to let him know how I feel about him. The poem is by Elizabeth Barrett Browning and it is called Sonnets from the Portuguese. I would like to share this poem with all of you.
How do I love thee? let me count the
I love thee to the depth and breadth and
My soul can reach, when feeling out of
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints-I love thee with the
Smiles, tears of all my life!-and, if God
I shall but love thee better after death.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 1809 - 1861
Thank you for being my father, and for all of your loving kindness while raising me daddy.
Your loving daughter,
I would like to share a few responses I received when I e-mailed my friends a tribute to my father.
Patty: yesterday was the one year anniversary of my dad's death. I know what you are feeling right now. But know that the greatest gift anyone can give another person is love - and you gave him so much and he gave so much back. After a year, the pain lessens because it is in the order of life, but you will never cease missing him as I have not stopped missing mine. My heart goes out to you. I hope he passes quietly like my father. Thank you for the awesome love you spread around to all of us because that is ultimately what matters. Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart and the second greatest commandment is to love others with all you heart. You have done that.
I found another beautiful poem in a book of poetry by Patricia Duncan. The poem is called (These Gifts) They are for you DAD
If some gifts I were to give thee
these gifts would surely be
A STAR within the heavens
of perfect symmetry
to glow and glisten brightly
when darkness swallows thee
A Rainbow I would give thee
as a symbol of
all the joy and laughter
present in our love
And then I'd want to give thee
a golden old OAK TREE
to shelter and protect thee
from life's uncertainties
To thee I'd give a RAINDROP
to save in chystal rare
and all I ask in return
is that thee love me equally