Remembering Dad

 Above: Daddy playing his ukulele at the beach.

Above: Daddy playing his ukulele at the beach.

On August 5, 2014, my dad took his last breath on his own and on God's time. Mom and sister was at the hospice care facility the night he passed. Dad was his happy self joking with them and other family members that were there. He grabbed his ukulele and sang his heart out not knowing that it was his final performance. Or maybe he did know. He sang "How Deep is the Ocean" written by Irving Berlin in 1932 and was popularized by singers like Frank Sinatra, Barbara Streisand, and Diana Krall. The song was written at a low point in Berlin's professional and personal life, and is among the select few of his numbers that were introduced on the radio rather than on stage or film. The song is a series of questions posed one after another, the only exception being the second line, "I'll tell you no lie." I never really listened to the words of this song until after my dad passed away. I guess that was his last gift and message to all of us. 


How Deep is the Ocean | Irving Berlin

How much do I love you
I'll tell you no lie
How deep is the ocean
How high is the sky
How many times in a day
Do I think of you
How many roses are
Sprinkled with dew

How far would I travel
Just to be where you are
How far is the journey
From here to a star
And if I ever lost you
How much would I cry
How deep is the ocean
How high is the sky


After my dad sang is song, everyone kissed him goodnight and said they'll see him tomorrow. My mom gave him a kiss and said "I'll see you tomorrow. Love you Dad". Dad responded "Ok, love you too mom." And so my family walked out and of his hospice room and drove home. 20 minutes into their drive sister received a phone call from the nurse and she said "Your father had just passed. You should turn around and come back". Mom said "We just saw him! Just take me home." I guess Mom just wanted to remember him when they said goodnight that evening. Sister dropped mom off at home and drove back to hospice. When she got there, each nurse station stood up with hands folded and heads bowed. Some veteran hospice patients who were sitting in the common area stood up and saluted while sister walked as fast as she could to his room. When she got there, dad was draped with a beautiful red, white, and blue patterned quit that had the American flag patterns throughout. He looked so peaceful and his face relaxed with a slight smile. He was finally home with our Lord and Heavenly Father. 

As time moves forward I can still hear him tell me "After I pass on, I want you to move on with your life. No worry about me." And so I have moved on with my life. My life now is different and although I don't associate and talk to those two siblings, my life is stressless from hearing their drama. The negative energy from them was expected and my parents knew that as well. So on this day I'm not sad. I'm happy that both of my parents are resting in peace. I hear them in my head everyday. Sure, I miss them...I miss them a lot! But I also look forward to the day when I'll see them in heaven with our Father. 

As children, we often don't want to do what our parents want us to do for them. We may not like it but if it's their wishes, we must follow the instructions that they leave us. Others may not like it and may not want to follow it but I always think of the commandment states in Exodus 20:12 "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may life long in the Lord your God is giving you." My advice to everyone is to love their parents. Spend as much time as you can. Give them a call and tell them you love them. 

I'm happy that my dad pass on his own and on His time, God's time. As for me, I'm honoring my dad's wishes by moving on with my life - drama free and happy.

Walter AfallaComment