Saturday, June 2, 2012

A Man of Principle

The Road Ahead
photo copyright V. Bridges Hoyt 2012

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I have not known what to write or how to write this. There is no best way. I just need to say it. 

The night was restless. The sleep spanned two or three hour segments, breaking just before rem sleep. Without my knowing, it was the last night Dad would sleep in my house. The next night we would be back at ER. Once there, the ball would roll downhill faster and faster to a few days hospital stay, respiratory distress, and then four days in a hospice in-patient facility. He had a strong will to live to 100 years, but after days of struggling to breathe with a heart and lungs not fully cooperating, he settled for 96 years 3 months 10 days on Earth, and then he joined my mother, his sister, two brothers, his parents, and other family and friends who had gone to Glory before him. Dad took his last breath 45 minutes into the day on May 20, 2012.

My dad lived his passion and stayed true to himself for his lifetime. Dad's passion was raising cattle and farming the sandy loam of East Texas soil. His big adventure away from the farm was as a Navy Seabee in World War II in the South Pacific, the Guadalcanal campaign included. After coming down ill with Malaria for the second time, he was released after three and a half years with an honorable discharge. He returned home to follow his passion on the land where he was born. I have placed photos of Dad at the top of my last blog post with a Memorial Day tribute.

I have asked myself over and over again if there was something I could have done differently to help him reach his goal of 100 years. I can find nothing. It seems that once the ball starts rolling downhill, there is no way for man or woman to stop it.

Dad gifted me with his last four months by choosing to come live with me. I miss his presence in the house. I miss him much. He was strong, smart and a man of principle to his last breath.

Pave the way, Dad.

Thanks for following my ramblings at Texas Sauce Art Life.
V. Bridges Hoyt