As most of you know, it has been quite some time since my last update. Unfortunately, there is a good reason for it this time.
68 years old and healthy as an ox, we watched my father go from a stout 200 pounds to less than 125. He slipped into a coma on October the 6th and passed away the next morning.
I could, and may at some point, write a book about my Dad. We had our share of disagreements and triumphs but in the end, I had the opportunity to tell him how I really felt about him. For that, I am grateful. Some folks do not get the chance to say goodbye.
I got to apologize for some of the major disasters that I brought into his life; A motorcycle wreck that cost him thousands and nearly cost him a son, a divorce that cost him a daughter-in-law. Stress and strain that I am sorry I burdened him and the family with, but part of life. I took the time to tell him how I felt about his parents and siblings and what they meant to me. In general, just some things that should have been said long ago and it was good to be able to share that with him.
Dad kept his sense of humor as much as possible. It helped to be able to joke with him and tease him a little. As his mind started to slip he would go through the motions of things that he loved. I sat him up on the side of the bed one morning and watching his hands fidget, I realized that he was fishing. So as I sat there with my arm around his dwindling shoulders, I asked “are you fishing?” he nodded. I asked “bass or trout” and in a weakened voice he replied “trout”. I asked “doing any good?” he nodded. I thought it really great that in horrible health and a miserable situation, God would take him to his favorite things.
As I tucked him back into bed one night, I asked if he ever thought 40 years ago that I would be tucking him into bed instead someday. He just replied “no”. I let him know in no uncertain terms that I was proud to do it and felt privileged. I meant it. What an honor to be able to take care of someone who dedicated so much time and love to me over the years.
One lesson that I learned from all of this is that all the manly crap of not needing to hug your dad anymore except on special occasions was wrong. When it came down to it, putting aside the macho stuff and giving him an extra hug or a kiss on the cheek was great. In thinking back, I used to give him a kiss on the cheek as I left for school up until I was a teenager and then I was above it. Just didn’t need it anymore or whatever. If I could back up a couple dozen years, I would have never stopped. I certainly would not have waited for a special occasion to give him a hug.
As they removed my Dad’s body from his home for cremation I wanted nothing but to touch his face one last time. Knowing I would never have the opportunity again, it would have been less painful if someone would have just reached inside my ribcage and torn out my heart.
We have to move forward and I know what Dad would expect me to do now. Not a doubt in my mind. Opening day of deer season is fast approaching and he would expect me and my brother to be on our stands by . Last season was the 30th season the 3 of us deer hunted together. I know where I will be opening day. Might even pack his old 06. Worked with it on 10/19 a little and think I could do the job even though I still don’t care for the caliber. He informed me a few weeks back that if the grandsons need it, it is theirs. Don’t know yet if any of the 3 grandsons will be with us opening day but the gun will be ready. Found the instruction book for it this week. Remington 700 ADL printed 1967.
In remembrance of William R. Wade Sr. 1934-2002
Thanks for taking the time to read this and Lord willing, the updates will come a little more frequent now.