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.

18 comments:

Vicky Akins said...

My heart is with you. My ears always ready to listen when needed. I love you, sweet lady. My heartfelt condolences on the loss of your dad. This is a beautiful tribute to the love he carries with him on his new journey. xoxo

Michelle Phillips said...

Sandra,
What a beautiful tribute to your father. I never met him, yet know that you are very special and the nut doesn't fall far from the tree. I love you and have you and your beautiful family in my prayers. I am sorry for your loss, yet happy that you have gained an angel. Michelle

Anonymous said...

So sorry for your loss. I feel your pain and your sense of pride in a father who gave endless love and support to his cherished family. I lost my father this year also, and Christmas was his favorite too, he would beat the grandkids to the tree to open presents. My entire family is looking forward to this holiday with many blessings and happiness that we will all gather again at my mother's house, but sadness for the loss of my dad not being there. Please know you are in my prayers.
Amy Ausman.

Momma Footay said...

Just beautiful. My heart is with you Sandi.

nationallawforum1 said...

Very Sorry for your loss. Many blessings to you and your family.

Carrie Oliver said...

Sandi,

I'm very sorry that you lost your dad today, my warmest thoughts and hugs are coming your way. Your tribute is beautiful and endearing and no doubt, your father has moved on knowing exactly how loved he was and will always be.

Carrie

Lucille Canesa said...

Dear Sandi,
I know how much you loved your Dad and all you did for him the last two years he was sick. I know it wasn't always easy for you and you never gave up. You are a wonderful daughter and I know your father knows how much you loved him and tried to make him comfortable and give him quality of life. Have peace in your heart knowing you did all you could for him and that he died with your love in his heart. My thoughts and prayers are always with you and your family.

With love,
your friend Lucille

duongsheahan said...

Sandi,
What a beautiful refection & love for your father. I can only imagine what an amazing man he was after having met you. His legacy lives on through all of you. My prayers are with you and your family right now. God bless you all.

Big Jim said...

Sandy
There is never a right time for our parents to leave, and this time of the year makes it even harder. I always take time to spend with my parents that have passed they hold a special place in your heart I will pray for a time of healing for your family and you as you grieve in the days ahead and just look foward to the time when you can be together again Love Big Jim

The Roaming Boomers/David and Carol Porter said...

Sandy,

Technology can do many things, but I can't send you a big hug through the Internet.

I so appreciated your tender heart, a glimpse into your father's heart, and wish you all a time of tender healing mixed with the joy of this man's life.

We'll be thinking and praying for you and yours.

Dave & Carol

LoriMoreno said...

He created a beautiful daughter, inside and out. Love you big time! Sending you love, hugs, prayers and great memories of your Angel.

xox

http://twitter.com/LoriMoreno

Julie Gallaher said...

He must have been wonderful, to have a lovely daughter like you.

I'm sad for you, but glad that he and you got to share his last days at home. My Dad passed 25 years ago surrounded by his family and it has turned out to be a happy memory.

I love you - if you need anything, please call.

Julie

Middle-aged Diva said...

Sandi, how wonderful that you and your family had your father with you and that his passing was such a joyful one. What a beautiful photograph of him and a lovely tribute. Although you'll miss him here on earth, he is in a happy place now, he'll be watching over you all and you will be reunited one day. My thoughts and my prayers are with you all. xxx

Susan said...

Sandi,

I am here for you whenever you want a shoulder to cry on, someone to crack up with over something so trivial and stupid that it does not make any sense, and there to "guide" you down the road of "Firsts". My heart goes out to you and your family as you transition towards the path that you will soon be embarking on. This story brought a tear to my eye, and I will make sure to show it to Cary. xoxo

Terry SImpson said...

Sandi,

Our sympathies- there are no words that can ease the loss or sense that you won't be laughing with him for a while. But we are as far away as the thoughts in our hearts.

AgingBackwards said...

I love this story and even more, LUV the Santa Snuggie! I'm so blessed that I did meet your Dad a few times and I remember what a "lively" fun man he was!!! Love you, J

Babette said...

Sandi... I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. Love you!!!!

Up2DaRack said...

Sandi, I know I'm late reading this news, but I want to extend my deepest sympathies and my heartfelt condolences to you and your family on the loss of your dear father. Your words speak of love and devotion, although not nearly as strongly as your actions in caring for him do, enriching his life as he did yours and your family's as well. What a wonderful example for all to see how a family can share love among each other, and by doing so, multiply it. God Bless.