Sunday, December 19, 2010

My Dad ... Forever in my heart

At 3:10 am this morning, surrounded by family, embraced by love and laughter, my father passed away.

It has been a year of many ups and downs highs and lows. There were so many times that the doctors had little hope that my dad would pull through yet somehow he always managed. This year was a "bonus" round, a blessing in every sense of the word.

We learned to work together as a family, four generations under one roof. Not an easy task, but it was such a privilege to have my dad at home with us. Our common goal of his well being and comfort far outweighed any of our personal differences.

He was a man of courage and extraordinary will. He reminded me of the Incredible Oz. Only until you looked behind the curtain, did you realize truly how frail he truly was.

Kenneth David McKenna was a husband to my mom Betty for 59 years. He was a dad, grandfather and great-grandfather. He lit up a room and had a sense of humor that was larger than life. As a family we laughed a lot and he was the conductor. Good times and bad we always managed to see a silver lining.

So in his last hours we remembered the good times. As we sat at his bedside we all shared funny memories and the laughs we had throughout the years. He smiled. We smiled through our tears, laughter and love filled the room as we said our good-byes.

Losing someone you love is never easy. Today, my heart is heavy, and I'm overwhelmed by sadness and an endless stream of tears. This isn't the end of my father. He shall live on in our hearts, our memories and in the stories I will continue to share.

His favorite time of year was Christmas. He always did it up big. So we couldn't pass up the Santa Snuggie we found last week. It only seemed fitting. It was his last photo taken just days ago, with a smile that could light up a city block.

I love you dad.