My Dad

J. Gall

“Yo!” For the last several years, that was my dad’s first word when he’d walk in the door after being gone for a few hours. While it was just one word, it encompassed a statement and a question, “Hi honey, I’m home. Where might I find you in the house?” I heard him say it just last week when I was visiting he and my mom in California. I just had no idea it would be for the last time.

But it was.

I have been incredibly blessed to have both of my parents alive late into their 80’s. And though I knew it couldn’t last forever I was hoping for a few more years. I am happy for my dad’s last few moments on earth. He was sitting in his car, by the ocean’s edge, reading a book when he had a massive heart attack. While it was a shock for us, it is exactly the same way I want to pass from this earth into eternity.

My dad was famous for many things. Well, famous might be a stretch, but ask anyone who knew him and they’d tell you he was “often in error but never in doubt.” Some might say I inherited that trait. I will never forget his capability to tell us exactly what was growing in the fields we’d pass by on road trips. He may have been wrong but I certainly wouldn’t have known the difference.

“Don’t take any wooden nickels” was advice my dad doled out to all of his kids and grandkids. However, my nephew pointed out during my dad’s Celebration of Life service, “I have no idea what a wooden nickel even looks like nor have I ever been offered one.” I, on the other hand, was pretty excited the one time I received a wooden nickel. Not that I was ignoring my dad’s solid advice but hey, how many times would I actually be offered such a treasure?

Anyone in my family could tell you these stories about my dad but there was one thing that was mine alone. My dad was the only one in the world who called me Nanny. Once in awhile my nephews would call me Aunt Nanny but mostly it’s only ever been my dad. Sure, I was “Nancy Louise” when I got into trouble but most of the time it was Nanny. I will miss that. I will miss him.

Do me a favor, next time you hug a loved one goodbye, hold on a little longer. You won’t regret it.

9 comments on “My Dad

  1. Dianne B

    Beautifully written. So sorry for your loss Nancy! How blessed you were to have such a wonderful father, to know his love and to be left with a lifetime of happy memories! Of course, the best part is the promise that you will see him again someday!

  2. Jane Doran

    Nancy, I was hoping to get your blog this morning and I was not disappointed!
    You Mom said you wrote the “In Memory Of” and it was great!
    Well done good and faithful Daughter!!!

  3. Karen Holte

    Nancy Dear – I am so so very sorry to read this. I had no idea! I think we’ve been on another planet! We hosted a team for 11 days and then scooted over to SA afterwards for the final medical stuff . I’ve only been on FB a second here and there. Ooooh how I wish I could give you a big hug ! I loved seeing the photo of your dad – and I can see where you get your wonderful smile! I have so many questions to ask you but the most important one is – how are you ? How is your heart ? Your tribute to him made him touchable. Thank you for giving us a peek. Hope to get an email off to you soon. With sympathy and deep love – Karen

  4. Dorothy Lee

    Nancy, You were indeed blessed not only with laughter but love that goes on giving. You are a witness of his love and compassion as you have been greatly gifted with sharing through your blog. Thanks to your and your precious father. May you continue to bless us all.

  5. Becca Groves

    Oh I am sorry to hear this news. I think it is a very sweet gift that you were out there just the week before he passed, but what a shock. You will be in my thoughts and prayers, Nancy.

  6. Kandy Stevens

    Oh my dear friend – this is such a beautiful tribute and honoring. I, too, have a name that only my dad calls me, but I will NOT share it on the internet. When I see you and give you a big hug in person, I will tell you. My heart aches for your loss and celebrates your most recent trip to spend time with your parents. My prayers remember you and your family and the love of one amazing man. Love you!! Kandy

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