March 30, 2008 @ 09:42
Thanks for all the kind words and wishes over the past few days everybody, but I'm sorry to say my dad passed away on Saturday.
Don't feel sad for me; be happy that the world got to have such a great man for the better part of 83 years. We feel blessed that we got to have him so long.
Back in September Dickie's diabetes started to gang up on him. It affected many things that resulted in him having to be hooked up to oxygen twenty four hours a day.
If you knew my dad, you realize how punishing that was.
This was a man who loved to "putter" right up until last summer. He loved to plant his flowers and walk his dog and jump in the car and go wherever at a moments notice.
All of a sudden he could do none of that and it just wasn't fair. In the end, we welcomed his passing because no one who did so much for so many others deserved to suffer the way he did. It was hard to let go, but his time had come.
What a man he was.
At 12 years old he'd work all day Saturday for 75 cents, and then go right to the butcher shop to buy a roast for his family's Sunday dinner. He was adored by his three sisters who all claimed he was their best friend.
He gave not only to family but anyone else who came into his life and needed help.
Friends, relatives, organizations, societies, food banks and his fellow veterans, Dick was always there to offer his time and lend a hand.
The Wexford Hockey Association, the Milton Legion, the Stayner Horticultural Society, it went on and on. He raised pigeons and canaries and rabbits and dogs. His green thumb was legendary and his friendship was worshiped.
I never met anyone who didn't inevitably say, "Your dad's a great guy."
He was a great husband, a great father and beloved Papa Dickie to seven grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
Big Dick had the ability to fully appreciate the simple things in life and from them get great pleasure. It's just one part of his legacy that I will try to focus on and learn from.
I know a lot of you out there are probably wondering about Junie P.
She's doing OK, as well as can be expected.
She and my dad started going together when they were barely teenagers and last year celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. They made a great pair and that's why Junie spent a good portion of yesterday wondering how she'll go on.
But she will. She's a strong old bugger and like the rest of us she couldn't stand to see Dickie suffer any longer.
I'm sure we'll spend a lot of time crying over the next few days, but through the tears we'll talk about all the wonderful things he did and how much better the world is for having had Richard Joseph Patterson in it. And we'll smile.
As for funerals and memorials and all that kind of stuff, it wasn't Dickie's style. He left strict instructions that no fuss be made after he died.
Instead, in remembrance of my dad I ask you to pay it forward.
Do something nice for someone. That's all he'd want.