Even when Life is Long, it is too Short!

It has taken me a while to write this post, but I needed to do it so I can start to move on. You know the old saying, life can turn on a dime? Well, it happened to me a couple of weeks ago. Early in July, I wrote a post about why I haven’t been RVing and what I’ve been doing instead. That “instead” was spending time with my dad and I’m so very glad I did. He passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on August 4th.

palm tree lined pond with text overlay: Even when life is long, it is too short!

It was so unexpected because he was a healthy, active and mentally sharp 97-year-old. He still drove and did his own shopping. He watered the yard and did some of the light yard work. Keeping fit was important to him so he walked on his treadmill almost daily and even lifted weights. We had awesome conversations, especially about politics. Thank goodness we had the same ideologies there and I was really looking forward to sharing the experience of the 2020 election with him. His goal was to reach his 100th birthday.

Dad and me at dinner on my birthday

The last photo of us together on my birthday in July

He was quite a fixture around the park where he lived for nearly 30 years. Twice a day, every day, he would make the rounds of the park – always in his golf cart in the morning and in his truck in the afternoon if it was too hot for the cart. Even if it was raining, he’d make his rounds in the truck. He would wave at everyone and often stop to chat. Everyone knew him and he knew everything that was going on in the park. The outpouring of sympathy and support from everyone who loved him has been so heartwarming.

One of our many trips around the pond at the park

He never liked his name, AV, as it always created so many problems for him. People wanted to know what the initials stood for and he constantly had to explain – nothing. He preferred to be called Buzz, a nickname he got from doing naughty things when he was a pilot. He always wore a ball cap when he went out – usually one with some sort of military insignia on it. Serving in the Army Air Corps, even before there was an Air Force, was such a source of pride for him and he loved it when someone thanked him for his service.

man and woman holding dog in golf cart
Army Air Corps ball cap

Eating was not a priority with him. Just a few bites could fill him up, except at breakfast. He always had the same thing – a breakfast bar with peanut butter and honey, Ensure and jalapenos! When I cooked dinner, he would eat some but not very much. Every evening he would enjoy a glass or two of white zinfandel. I attributed his longevity to the jalapenos but he was sure it was the wine!

He loved animals, especially his Yorkie, Jamie. His cat, Blackbird, died shortly after I arrived and Jamie died from kidney failure a couple of months ago. I know he missed his long-time companions tremendously and he was happy when my cats started warming up to him.

man in Santa beard with a Yorkie. Life is especially too short for our pets.
man on sofa with two cats

Even though he had planned ahead and prepared the big things pretty well for his passing, there are still lots of things to do. All those fairly insignificant things, like stopping the newspaper and turning off his cell phone. So many things that make me a little sad. My only solace is knowing he lived a long, full life on his terms. He was lucky to be so healthy to the end.

So, my friends, my advice to you is to cherish your loved ones, because no matter how long they live, it is never long enough. And take photos! As I was writing this post, I realized I don’t have nearly as many photos of my dad as I wish I had.

Cherish your loved ones, because no matter how long they live, it is never long enough. Click To Tweet

Once the dust settles and I get all of his affairs in order, I’ll be heading out on an extended RV trip. It is in the very beginning planning stages but I’m starting to allow myself to feel a little excited about getting out on the road. Dad was always encouraging me to take a trip, saying, “Don’t worry about me. Just go have fun.”

Army Air Corps baseball cap with text overlay: Cherish your loved ones because even when life is long, it is too short!

Until next time…

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11 Comments

  1. I’m so glad you were able to spend time with your father. He seems like he was a remarkable man.

  2. Your friends in Amador were so sad to see you move to Texas. In hindsight, it was mean-to-be giving you time with your father before you suddenly lost him. My heart goes out to you at this time. Hugs.

    • Thank you so much, Connie. I think about you all often and love seeing photos of you on Facebook. Yes, it’s funny the way things often work out. I’m so grateful for these few months with my dad.

  3. I’m so sorry to hear about your dad but he sounds like an incredible man and I loved reading this post. It’s awesome that you were able to spend this time with him recently and something tells me he’ll be following your upcoming RV adventures. This post also got me thinking about my own dad and how I don’t have any recent photos with him. We are planning to see him in a few months and I’ll be sure to extra cherish those moments and make it a priority to take some photos.

    • Thank you so much for your nice comments. I’m glad my experience got you thinking about your dad. Enjoy your visit with him and take lots of photos! Memories fade and photos can help you remember the good times.

  4. I am so happy you were able to spend time with your father too and how blessed you were to have him so long! Mine passed in 2001 at 73 years old. I loved this post. Sending my deepest sympathy and (((hugs))) of comfort to you!

  5. Pingback: A Recap of our Move from California to Texas - Christy Paws

  6. As I am just starting to catch up on the people I follow on their blogs, I just read about your father. So sorry for your loss. What a tribute to his long and adventurous life. Next time I am holding up a glass of zinfendel, I will think of the two of you.

  7. It is so important to spend time with family and we are so glad that this worked out for you and your Dad. We know he cherished that time with you as much as you did with him. Purrs and prayers from all of us

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