A little tardy in putting this post together and it's been a struggle to decide how to present it. For various reasons, my wife and I were unable to attend the memorial service for my father. The service was being held on Lake Michigan where his cremated remains were to be spread at one of his favorite spots, Holland State Park, Michigan.
Since we couldn't be there, it seemed appropriate to participate by being on the lake ourselves. And that's what we did. While our relatives up north were out on Lake Michigan enjoying a spectacular summer day, we paddled out to the island in the middle of Lake Arenal to celebrate along with them. We also had a spectacular day, some clouds which is pretty normal here, but also lots of sunshine. And a peek at Arenal Volcano while spending a few moments on the island contemplating life.
My father had been battling with lung cancer since being diagnosed sometime last November and passed away on June 5, 2008 while still living at home. He was 83 years old and by all measure had a good life. Working as a school teacher he and my mother raised 5 children. Most turned out better than me fortunately. He built the house we grew up in out in the country and continued to add onto the structure as the family expanded. His example and patient teaching ignited my own interest in building and carpentry.
I guess if I had to come up with a word or phrase to describe my Dad I'd say "teacher". He was always teaching whether it was school subjects like mathematics (his major), carpentry, fixing tractors and farm equipment, or gardening. Despite holding down multiple jobs to support his brood, he still had plenty of time to teach all of us about life and self-sufficiency. I would say that is his legacy.
So, this article is to honor the memory of my father and celebrate his life. After all, if it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be here...