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Archive for June 15th, 2014

Dad and mom on our wedding day

Dad, you are so much always on my mind and in my heart as Father’s Day draws near. It is always the same. Never different. I can hear your voice and feel the flutter of your energy you always stirred up when you were “in true form.” I always feel the sorrow of your having left us so young (age 62), suddenly and unexpectedly. The hole in my heart has not mended yet, all these years later when, I myself, am age 71.

The photo above was taken on Tom’s and my wedding day. You were a happy man, but of course, for the photo you are looking into your beloved’s eyes — your second and precious True Love, Marion.  The only mother I knew.

For at the tender age of 29, shortly after giving birth to me, your first love, Doris went back to heaven. It seems God and the angels lent her out only a very short while.

Why we could never speak of this together, as father and daughter, I have never understood. Just know that when I do think of this I hold you in my love as I have great compassion for a man even younger than 29, suffering this loss and having a son and daughter  in his family without his beloved wife.

And you set about loving, taking care of and providing for little Dave and little Sue with a hole in your own heart bigger than a cannon ball, I’m sure.

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What I do know of mom and you comes from many black and white photos and mostly loving conversation with my cousin, mom’s niece Diane. This was invaluable to me. Your only sister, Aunt Kate also has shared stories with me.

Diane’s mother, Aunt Resh, gave me mom’s wedding dress, which she had kept from 1940s up to sometime in 1980 when she told me it belongs to me and she mailed it to me.

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You enjoyed and were proud of your service on the Eau Claire Wisconsin police force and repeatedly retold stories of yours and Scotty’s adventure and giving chase to the bad guys. Medals won, local fame attended you.

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Always the cut-up and Irish life of the party, you had found your audience and fun in Doris.

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Ta Dah!

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Tip me over and pour me out.

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Totem pole building — fun at the lake.

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I’ll follow you anywhere, and I am sure mom would have.

I am so happy to have been able to see the fun you shared together while Doris was still here.

Then, God blessed you with a second love, in which, once again you truly became One.  Marion was given to you and became the only mother I ever knew from the age of two.  “Tony and Marion”, you hardly heard one name without the other. You each took upon you the top responsibility of providing for your family which grew to include one more son to you — John.

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Spending our grade school years in Sycamore Illinois, John and I played together more than big brother, Dave (and got in more trouble together). But Dave has been protective and loving big brother to me all these years, dad, and you would be proud of him and the love and respect he has today for our family.

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In this photo, dad, I was going to the “big” St. Mary’s Eighth Grade Dance, with my first “date”, John Rogers. None of us kids knowing how to date at that time. It was a bunch of kids getting together and playing and as I remember once we got there, mostly the boys stayed with the boys and the girls huddled together. I remember the feeling of the soft pink dress I wore. I liked it. I don’t remember why you are so dressed up but I think it is because you drove us to the dance and picked us up. Pretty nifty driver.

Dad, I know you carried photos of your family when you traveled your salesman job on the road and your sales associates knew as much about us as they did you. I know you traveled home mid-week Wednesday because you wanted to be with mom and check in on the family.

You were a good dad, dad.  You stirred things up and later settled them down by crooning Irish lullebyes. You worked very hard at all your jobs, for less pay than you should have accepted and less notice than you should have been given.

What sums you up completely is this: You were a man of Faith and a family man. You lived this and I am sure when you met the Lord, he said to you,
“Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Dad and mom on our wedding day

June 19, 1965.  Forty-nine years ago, I walked out of our family home, married Tom and went down the road to our first home in Lexington Kentucky. Dad, you liked Tom from the first time you met him, and very soon loved him and his whole family. This was a wonderful thing for me. I loved the times you were with us with Tom’s family. Tom and I shared great times with you and mom in the Virgin Islands and those times have become the highlight of our vacation memories.

You live on in your beautiful heritage of children and grandchildren. Laura, (your “Lauri”) and Kathleen  (your “Katie”) have wonderful husbands and you have 3 great-grandchildren, Devon, Andrew and Amy. You would have loved tussling with every one of them. Also, the Irish red continues.

Happy Father’s Day, dad. There are times I know you are still very present in my life, I cannot miss it. Laura also shares that sometimes Grandpa Heffron visits her. I am grateful for that.

I know that you know you are loved.

 

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