Monday, July 9, 2012

In Memoriam


My father passed away in the wee hours of the morning today. His last week was a valiant struggle against multiple health problems: COPD, a broken clavicle and a collapsed lung. He was 82 years old and frankly his release from this world was a blessing.

I have a terrible need to do something, say something. So, I will do my best here.

My Pops grew up very poor in Louisiana yet he rose in ranks consistently through his service in the Navy, which included a stint in the US Embassy in Venezuela, then on to several executive positions in companies like Memorex and Avantek. Somewhere along the way he reached the level of Vice President - this from a country boy whose high school graduating class consisted of eleven kids. He never went on to college.

He cut out of the corporate world at the age of 49 and became Lord of “The Property”, the 40 acres my folks brought outside Sutter Creek, California when I was just a kid and turned into a hilltop residence over the years. He bulldozed away many a day, on his DC8 Caterpillar, mending roads and spotting rattlesnakes until my mother and he took up garage saling which led to an overflowing garage of their own and ultimately a business. The pair have been in the antique business for the past 23 years.

He was an ordinary guy, blessed with smarts and charm. He had a 63-year love affair with my mother, Nancy, that began with a declaration on the day he met her that he was going to marry this girl. He wrested her away from her date that day and never looked back.

I’m sure that the remembrances that will be spoken over the next few weeks will be varied and cover many aspects of the man I knew as my Pops. The one shining thing I would hold up in his memory is his ability to forbear, to never give up and fight the good fight until the end.

As other authors will understand – here are a few “tags” for my Pops: handsome, honorable, patriotic, committed, athletic, country, lovable, flirt, romantic, smart, stalwart…

Fred Tully Bryant – Dec. 25,1929 to July 9,2012 - A Life Well-Lived

27 comments:

  1. Dear Kathy: A lovely tribute to a beautiful life well lived. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. In the last seven years, both of my parents have died. I wish I could say it gets easier, but the loss is always there. You simply learn to live with it. Much love, The Fey Queen

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  2. Thank you so much for your kind words. My mom's still here and I'll do my best to cherish her.

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  3. I'm so sorry for your loss :( That was beautiful writing. My thoughts and prayers are with you also. I'm currently dealing with a cancer situation with my Father and it's scary. Life is so short and sweet.

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    1. Wishing you and your father the best. Life is absolutely precious. Thank you.

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  4. Kathy,

    I grieve with thee. There are no others for the pain you are going through. Your post was a beautiful tribute to the Pops you so loved. :-) if there is anything.......

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  5. There are no other words..... should be how that is supposed to read. Arrrrg lack of sleep.

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  6. Well said! My condolences on your loss, but my tribute to a life that sounds well and fully lived.

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    1. As a writer you just ache to say something that fits. Thanks Jason.

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  7. Kathy your father sounds like just the kind of man with whom I would have wanted to spend all my time. Your eloquent eulogy makes me miss him, and I didn't e4ven know him. I fell, though, like I do now. I would ask God for a life as well-lived for all of us. Please kiss your mother for me and tell her I so feel her loss. And will pray for her to heal. Thanks for sharing this personal beauty and love with us. Rob

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    1. What a sweet response. Thanks, Rob. He really was a good guy.

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  8. Nicely said, Kathy. He sounded a lot like my father. A life well-lived. Blessings for your whole family.

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  9. Thank you for that - he's going to be missed - big time.

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  10. So sorry for your loss - my condolences. - From your tribesmate Bicultural Mama

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  11. I am so deeply sorry. I lost my Dad in 2001 when he was just 73. You were blessed to have your Dad for a nice long time but no matter when it happens it is never the "right" time. That sounded stupid as heck but I think you know what I mean.

    Your tribute was wonderful and I am certain he is smiling down on you from Heaven with pride.

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    1. It doesn't sound stupid at all. I totally get what you mean. Thanks so much.

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  12. What lovely words about a man I would have liked to have known. It is a hard time to make a start in life without help and it does show the metal of the man that make a success of his life. Perhaps the greatest tribute to Fred is the ones he left behind-- like a loving daughter that will carry his memory for many years to come.

    As a man who's realizing his age I think of what I will leave behind and by far the most important thing I can think of is the memories my children will have of me.

    Here's a big hug, sweet Kathy

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    1. Hug received, Dannie. Thank you my friend.

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  13. Kathy, biggest hugs and deepest condolences. I am so sorry you have lost your father. He sounds like he was a wonderful man. I know you will miss him dearly. Thank you for sharing a bit of him with us.

    Sending TLC,

    Ardee-ann

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    1. My friend Ardee-Ann! I don't know how I missed this one. Thank you.

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  14. So sorry for your loss. I lost my father more than ten years ago. My mother is 88. I need to go see her. Thanks for the reminder of how short life is.

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    1. Oh, that is possibly the best thing about having done this - someone was moved to reach out to their own loved one. Yay.

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  15. I'm sorry for your loss. My father was here seeing his new grand daughter until today and I already miss him!

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    1. Angela - Congratulations on your new daughter and I hope your Pops gets to see a lot of her.

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  16. KLH, I am so sorry for your loss. Even though it was time for him to go, I'm sure that his death is still devastating. I hope that both you and your family are healing and finding peace.

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    1. Kelley - It was so nice to get this message. We had his memorial on Saturday and it was wonderful, but after 3 weeks of preparations and planning, I feel like I've been hit by a truck. Your note was really helpful. Thank you.

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