The day we said goodbye

(Day 14 in writing101, our assignment is to recreate a single day. I chose the day we said our final goodbye)

Our dad did everything his own way. No wonder that his favorite song was “My way” by Frank Sinatra. He always used to say “no chicken will peck me”, doesn’t translate very well from the original Dutch but it means the same: I did it my way….

Our dad was proud and headstrong, and always totally himself, never hiding behind a mask. He could be strict, but first and foremost he was very loving to us. Nothing was ever too much for him, he always helped us and and did little DIY jobs for us, even when we had left the house to live on our own. He used to say: “If I can’t fix it, it isn’t worth the trouble”.

Our dad loved the newest trends, there was a time for instance that we had to take his handmade bread with us to school for lunch because he had tweaked his bread recipe again. I still remember the thick bread crusts, that you could hardly swallow. Or he made yoghurt with a little yoghurt plant. Later he wanted the latest in electronics. He had a computer fairly early on, and an iPad too. I must admit I did sigh at times when called again that he had another problem with it, like losing his password.

Our dad wasn’t much into emancipation, he was of the generation that a woman took care of her man. I guess that was one of the few things that we argued about, as he felt I was corrupting my mom. It didn’t always agree with him either, like when he had to pack his own suitcase for a short holiday in Brittany in France. He forgot to pack any shoes, except for his old sneakers. I guess he wanted to be hip, but you can’t leave rubber soles exposed to heat and drought for years and his old sneakers had been laying in the attic all that time.This proved all too true when we went to the beach: he was standing in a bit of salty water and next thing he knew he was left with no shoes. We had a good laugh at that!

Our dad had a good sense of humor. Walking together in the streets of Gran Canaria when we were on holiday, arm in arm early mornings to go and buy bread, and whistling songs aloud. Or making fun when he found a hat in a clothes store while my mom was checking out new clothes. Until a man tapped his shoulder and said: “I’m sorry sir, but that is my hat”. And we laughed so much about the used handkerchief he had left in a pants he had tried on to buy, and didn’t buy in the end. Afterward he searched all his pockets for his handkerchief, until it occurred why it wasn’t there anymore.

One thing that stayed with me was the time when I called him during a work-diner, because they were babysitting my daughter. He asked if I was having a good time, and I said I wasn’t at a very good spot of the table, not much good conversation. And he answered : ” well child, we put up our own decorations in our life”. And that’s exactly the way he was. When we got the awful news about his lung tumor he said: ” a lot can be attained by being positive, for now I will strive for my 80-th birthday”. Unfortunately he didn’t reach that, at almost 78 we had to let him go. And now, the end is near, and so I face the final curtain….


  1. What a beautiful blog. I love the way you brought out your dad’s personality and how he looked at life. A wonderful way to remember someone you lost is to remember the good times spent with them.

    1. I agree. Not easy for me to bring such a personal blog forward, but I felt like I had to. Two weeks ago I lost w very dear gaming friend, and it all brings it back again. I guess that’s life..

  2. Oh… this is touching. I know you love your dad alot because your words are proof of it. 🙂 I have written a post about my dad too and I am glad that we both have great dads. 🙂

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