[I started this six months ago, on the occasion of my Dad’s passing.]
My Dad moved on to a higher Reality, either last Friday when brain activity stopped, or Monday morning when everything else stopped. He was a month short of 85. He spent his first 40 years in the Salvation Army, which calls such an event being “Promoted to Glory.” Dad always liked that phrase, and I do too. His promotion was not unexpected.
It’s always a time of sorrow, remembering, and nostalgia. But this will also be a time of celebration, and a mild family party time. He would appreciate that. So we’re heading off to Lawrence KS for all those things.
He called me last Wednesday night and we had a nice chat, including topics such as computer software, and the relationship of mind and brain. His last words to me were, “Stay busy. Stay young. Take care of your eyes. Give my love to Connie.” (The “eyes” thing is because we were both readers and writers, and he was much burdened by the increasing loss of vision over the last few years.)
The funeral was actually “fun” in its way. Three of Dad’s grand-daughters played a string quartet version of the Largo from Dvorak’s 9th Symphony (New World) as prelude (Dad’s choice). Awesome. My brothers and I sang “Oh That Will Be Glory for Me”. (Not quite so awesome.) We each talked a bit, as did several of the grandkids. I emphasized how Dad and I might not always agree on theology or politics, but whenever he stood up to speak he had done real homework and had something from the heart – that’s why his output was so consistently appreciated. That is unfortunately not a common standard, and it is one I personally admire very much. He had chosen the first movement from Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony for the postlude. (Reminds me: I have to get a cd of that; my old reel tape version is no longer useful.) Working class evangelical Republicans can be a real blessing when they are in touch with their truest values.
I don’t imagine he’s missing this world. It’s easy to visualize him in very attentive awe trying to soak up every aspect of the new reality in which he is now resident.