Savoring Life

This past weekend, I celebrated the life of my father. He passed away a week ago and the void he leaves behind is enormous, but one his memory will fill with time. I was fortunate to spend time with him before he died, quality time, meaningful time, and it is without regret or words unspoken that he moves on.

Throughout the course of his funeral service, I was struck by the number of lives he touched during his seventy-six years. Born with a defect in his heart — Tetralogy of Fallot, also known as Blue Baby Syndrome — my father wasn’t supposed to live beyond the age of ten. It was a prognosis his mother would not accept and searched relentlessly for a doctor that would help her son. Her determination was rewarded when she found Dr. Alfred Blalock. A pioneer of modern-day cardiac surgery, his innovative methods saved my father’s life–and are depicted in the movie, Something the Lord Made. Dr. Blalock was the miracle my grandmother had been praying for. His success also proved to be inspiration for my father’s lifelong career as a Cardiothoracic Surgeon.

As I listened to the many tributes to my father, heartfelt comments shared by friends and family, I was struck by the incredible outpouring of love and gratitude. I couldn’t help but think about my own mortality and what it means. Personally, I feel there is a very fine line between the physical and the spiritual. I haven’t lost many people close to me, save for my father’s mother, so my experience is limited, yet despite her passing, I’ve felt her presence in my life in very real ways throughout the years. I expect the same will hold true with my father. When you share a special connection with someone, it can never be broken. In fact, I’ve already received several signs from him to reassure me of this truth.

feedin catfish with Gampa

And while I mourn his physical presence, I celebrate his memory. He lived life to the fullest and taught his children to do the same. Fear nothing, experience everything and love deeply. It is this lesson that I take with me going forward. Focus on making connections from the heart, do not succumb to fear, and try everything (most everything!) once. I will embrace this thing called life, and I will love those with whom I share it. It is the connections we make here on earth that carry us beyond.

Posted on January 26, 2015, in Blog Posts. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. I’m sorry you mourn, Dianne, but I am very glad you love.

  2. Peace to you and your family, Dianne. I lost my father fifteen years ago and something about losing a parent really stirs up thoughts of our own mortality. All you can do is live life to the fullest and cherish every day–even the not so good ones. I’m so very sorry for your loss.

  3. “Fear nothing, experience everything and love deeply.” I love this, Dianne. What a legacy your dad left behind. Thank you for sharing his story, and please accept my deepest sympathy for his passing.

  4. I’m sorry for your loss, but your words about your love and your father are eloquent and touching. I lost my father when he was only 44 years old and I was 21, but today, 27 years later, I find I think of him nearly every day. The smallest details will trigger a memory, and I’m glad for it. I even see him in the grandsons he never met, my two boys.

    I wish you and your family all the best in this time of loss. Take care.

  5. Beautiful post about your Dad. We were blessed to have my Dad until 3 years ago when he died at the age of 94. I cherish the memories of my time with him. My prayers are with you in the days ahead.

  6. This is a beautiful tribute, Dianne. I am so sorry for your loss.

    My dad has been gone almost five years now, and you’re right, powerful and loving memory fills the void at times, and there is a spiritual awareness of him more times than not. For that I am so thankful.

    Love and hugs to you and your family.

  7. Thank you all… 🙂

  8. My condolences, Dianne. Losing a parent is one of the hardest things we ever go through. I’m glad you have such happy memories to sustain you. Your father sounds like a wonderful man.

  9. I am so very sorry for your loss, Dianne. Hugs to you and your family.

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