Thursday, December 4, 2014

Very special letter from Vernon: June 2011

I wanted to write a short note to thank each of you for a wonderful memorial service for dad.  It could not have been more perfect!  Such a wonderful day to commemorate dad in Mesa and Virden and then to bury him in the setting sun.  Someone mentioned how fitting to bury dad in the sunset and to resurrect in the morning of a new day.

Dad’s legacy now lives on in us (and our children) and I commit to being a better person because of him.  There are things dad and mom taught that I am not doing well enough and I commit to change.

To Mom, Thanks for helping dad be all he could be.  You gave him time to spend with us.  You gave him time to write poems.    You cared for him so well at home for so long without complaint.  We will always remember this service to him clear up until the end.  We thank and revere you mom for all you have done and continue to do for us. 

To Miriam, Thanks for spending dad’s last week with him and for offering a very fitting memorial talk at his funeral.  You have always been a great leader and example to me.  And it is a great credit to mom and dad to have raised a wonderful, responsible oldest daughter that was by mom and dad’s side every moment to comfort them in need.  These qualities live on in your children and it is glorious to see. You are his legacy.

To Marlene, Thanks for the years of service directly to mom and dad.  In my opinion, dad could not have stayed home without the Arizona children helping at every step. In my opinion, your calm, loving personality is the closest match to dad’s personality. I am eternally grateful for you.  You are his legacy.

To Rauna, thanks for the years of service directly to mom and dad.  Thanks also for the wonderful musical arrangements (using verses from dad’s poems).  It was a great way to show our love to dad and mom by singing both by children and by grandchildren.  Singing with family is one of my best recollections of my childhood.  Just as dad communicated through poetry, you communicate through music.  Dad is very proud of you. You are his legacy.

To Joann, thanks for spending time with mom after the memorial service.  There is plenty of needed time of service and I am grateful you are by mom’s side.  You’ve always been able to see the need of the individual and I am grateful.  The picture dvd was priceless and made the viewings of high quality as we remembered our dad.  And thanks to Robert for taking the pictures so we didn’t need to worry about them.  Both of you have always been willing and able to give. You are his legacy.

To Ray, I am so grateful you have spent so many hours at mom and dad’s side.  You have taken care of so many things that they needed.  I am grateful for your willingness to serve so selflessly, never asking for anything in return. Thanks for being worthy to bless our dad in his final days and pronounce blessings upon him. .  Thanks for your fine memorial in Virden.  I just kept thinking how fitting it was to ask those in the audience who had been seen by our dad, the dentist.  That was very clearly a direct manifestation of his service.  I’ve been thinking in my own life, who would raise their hand as being served by me.  Our dad left a fine example to follow.  Dad always has been and continues to be proud of you – he once told me that.  Please always remember that.  You are his legacy.

To Kenneth, you dove in this past week on many of the funeral arrangements, the program, the funeral details, the mortuary details, etc. etc.  I am so grateful for you and your talents.  Thank you for taking a lead role in this.  And thanks for taking the past week to be right next to Dad and literally, directly blessing him in his final moments of need. You are his legacy.

To Margie, you bring so many unique talents to the table and are able to focus on things that others don’t see.  My boys and I are so grateful for your passing out dad’s ties – that will live on as a memory.  I am also grateful for the picture frames you worked on for the viewings.  They were wonderful.  Despite your distance from home, I know your daily calls to mom and dad have been a major blessing to mom.  This has been a great source of strength and joy to her and dad during these difficult years.  I am grateful. You are his legacy.

To Melvin, I know for many years you have blessed mom and dad directly with frequent calls and visits.  The life sketch given of dad was very well written and delivered (and had many comment on it).  It was a fitting tribute to dad.  I also know the past week, you literally left work (even though you were expected to be there) to be at dad’s and mom’s side.  I am thankful for this service to them.  I am also grateful that you repeated texted and allowed me to see video of dad – that kept me connected to the process.  Thank you!! You are his legacy.

To Dean, thanks for coming and bringing your beautiful bride.  I enjoyed spending some time with Jennifer and gladly welcome her to the family.  Dad is proud of the good things you are doing.  You are his legacy.

To Amy, of the children, you gave the most to dad.  When I spent a week with dad last year, I could never quite shave his face like you could!  I know dad delighted in you.  And would always tell me you had just the right disposition to work with others.  You are his crown jewel. You are the most direct example of what dad’s love could do and you have shined.  I am very proud of you and I am very thankful for you. You are his legacy.

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