Dear Friends, as kind Liss informed you, my beloved father passed away last week after a long illness. I can’t tell you how much I’ve appreciated not only the inimitable Daydream Lily and all the other bloggers who stepped in to keep this site going, but also all the expressions of affection and support you have left here. I feel so fortunate to be part of this wonderful community.
Before I resume regular posting next week, I want to share with all of you a few thoughts on my remarkable Dad. He was born in rolling hill country along the Kentucky-Ohio border, where his surviving sisters live still. For 35 years he worked for General Electric as an aerospace engineer. He held several important patents for his inventions, and if you’ve recently flown on a Boeing airliner, chances are he’d devised the engine seals that kept you airborne. He loved his family and New Mexico, where I grew up, but his private passions were painting and sculpture. My home is filled with his art and every time I look at one of his paintings or sort through his watercolor portfolios, I’m reminded of how his character combined, in equal parts, an engineer’s precision and a gifted artist’s sensitivity and intuitive insight.
I will miss that very much.
One of the benfits of being formally jobless during his last illness was that I enjoyed the unexpected blessing of being able to spend a great deal of time with my dad. He’d always loved our moments together and looking back at how much we both enjoyed just going out for coffee and talking,
I so wish we’d done it more.
The hours we spent together during his final year and, particularly, during this past month are something I’ll treasure for as long as I live. I had that rare privilege of hearing my father assure me of his unconditional love and of his great pride in the woman I’d become. I vividly recall how my heart soared when he called my daughter Isabella, his only grandchild, “your marvelous girl.” It was his last gift to me–and one of the most precious among so many.
After he died, I asked my mother for his paint brushes and I’ve arranged them in vases about the house, each one a flower of memory, a reminder of the gentle but skilled hand that once held it. In one of our last conversations, my father said to me, “You’ve always been my shining star.”
I know now that, if I glitter, it is with the light he gave me.