You would have been 87 today, a respectable age for any Ohio hobbit. Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s got hold of you. I still prefer to remember you in your younger days, where even my detractors in school looked up to you.
In January, 1988, Dad had a heart attack. He was saved by a new mediation at the time. When I received the call, I was stunned. I was in my third year of college. Since he was a train engineer, we always worried because it was a dangerous job. Not as bad as the steam days, but it had its share of risks. That he was in the hospital due to health rather than accident, stunned all of us.
The son of one of his coworkers cried when he heard the news. Chuck Griffey? Heart attack? The man who never stopped, strong as an ox, could build a house by himself from the ground up? It was quite a wake up call. It also softened his WWII era demeanor.
Nonetheless, by the early 00s, we knew something was wrong. By 2004 it was clear. His memories were fading. He lived long enough for my youngest to have a faint recollection of him. A month after he moved to a nursing home, he was gone.
He was a worker, and wasn’t prone to father-son things, but was always there for us. When my wife’s grandmother died on our first Christmas morning together, a snow storm hit on the day of the funeral. Without a moment’s hesitation, Dad drove down through the snow from Ohio to Louisville to help her family navigate the journey to Lexington. He was like that.
Anyway, I miss you Dad. God’s blessings and eternal prayers for you, and may God hold you in the loving arms that you demonstrated to us when we were growing up. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let the perpetual light shine upon him.