A Letter to Dad, Memory Eternal
It has been 20 years since the day you passed. I don’t remember the date, but it was Father’s Day and Pentecost that year. I marveled then and now at how you went out with such fanfare. Choosing both of those holidays in one day was so noteworthy.
As I grow older, I realize how many things you did that were so right. As a father you displayed leadership, integrity, love, compassion, and responsibility. Agonizing over maturity issues with three daughters could not have been easy. I remember how I asked to go to the prom in eleventh grade, and initially you said no. Eventually you trusted me, and I hope I lived up to that honor.
When I couldn’t find a job, you offered me one at your car dealership. Since I outsold the sales manager many a month, I learned that you were right that I could do it! No women were selling cars in those days. But you not only encouraged me—you helped me succeed. Through your example you taught me how to choose the right car for the each family and see their purchase all the way through. I am self-employed today and an entrepreneur, and I give you the credit.
As for Pentecost, I love that you chose this fitting day to leave the human world for the spiritual one. To Orthodox Christians, the feast of Pentecost is not just a celebration of an event in history. Pentecost is a celebration of the membership in our Church. We have lived Pentecost and received “the seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit” in the sacrament of chrismation. Since you were on the building committee for our second church, I can only imagine how hard you and others worked to see this dream to fulfillment. Celebrating our membership in the church through Pentecost is a wonderful way of showing love.
Dad, you have two beautiful grandchildren. Gavin is already 16, and Penelope is just 16 months old. They both have been baptized in the church and have wonderful, caring godparents. I feel blessed that we can continue this tradition. I adore my grandchildren the same way you adored yours.
Jim and I celebrated 36 years of marriage this past May. The many loving years of marriage between you and mom were a good example of respect and love. You and she both went to church every Sunday and involved us in youth activities, dances, and acts of charity. Our family continues these acts of lovingkindness through our involvement with various organizations. Thank you so much for setting this example.
I hope you know that I think of you often. Your laugh, tall stature, and love of God will always be with me.
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