September '14. He hadn't been feeling well for a couple weeks. I asked him to go to the doctor. He was a man. He postponed. I made a "deadline" in my brain. He just barely beat that deadline. I wish now I'd pushed harder, but at the same time - it wouldn't have made a difference in the diagnosis. To be told your Dad has leukemia one Saturday, and him to be gone the next - there are no words. I liken it to him being in a car wreck, or some other accident. There was no time to process the information before we lost him. I've typed and retyped a few sentences/paragraphs regarding his last days, but the words keep turning to anger regarding his first team of doctors. This is a subject I have to somehow eventually let go of, but haven't made it there yet. So instead, I'll just say God Bless Dr. Martin (and team) with the West Clinic those final days for the work they did. The genuine care and attention they showed him and us meant more than they'll ever know.
The days and weeks after his death are kind of a blur, there was so much going on. The one thing that sticks with me though, is how many people reached out to us. Being a Daddy's girl, I always knew how awesome *I* thought he was, but the outpouring of love and support during those days just showed how many lives he truly touched. My Mom & I went to his church the day after he passed, and even typing this I'm getting choked up. To walk in and see your Dad's choir robe sitting in the chair he always occupied... extremely emotional moment. And beautiful tribute.
His memorial service was another example of all of the people who loved him. The sanctuary was full, and the service was beautiful. I wish we'd thought to video it, as it was filled with music and laughter - just as Daddy would've wanted.
All of this feels like it was just yesterday. But somehow, here we are, creeping up on a year. That just blows my mind. I can still hear his voice, picture him laughing, feel his hugs, and especially hear him sing. I hope I never lose that. I was blessed to have him as a father, and a friend.
So the final leg of my road trip was to Rockwood, where Daddy grew up, to spread his ashes. Daddy expressed for years that he wanted to have his final resting place on the lake, where he (and we all) had so many fond memories. His favorite place in the world. Disclaimer: *technically* he expressed that he wanted a Viking funeral on the lake, but I think there are probably safety regulations or permits involved with that...
We rented a boat, and all thought happy no-rain thoughts (it called for t-storms all day long, and the clouds were looking to deliver on that forecast). I even wore my sunglasses and sun hat to bring all of the sunshine vibes I could our way. We got to the marina, and lo and behold: BLUE SKIES WERE PEEKING THROUGH!
While we did hit a little rain here and there, for the most part it held off and we spent a lovely day on the water. We went by the cabin our family used to own, told stories of our memories there... the awesome swing, the family summers, the time I almost drowned... good times. Haha
We drove all around the lake, stopped at one of the marinas for lunch, and just generally did what Daddy loved to do - enjoy the water and the beauty of the lake and hills. God's Country, he called it. And it's pretty hard to argue.
In Loving Memory of
David John Roberts