Timeless Soul

Our vessel is made up of blood, guts, tissue, and muscle. It breaths, digests, and it moves – all for us to live and function. Sometimes, something happens, like when my step dad got Polio, and his leg stopped working. Or possibly, it’s a disease that takes hold. Cancer eats away, hearts fail, or even the brain betrays inducing a stroke.

Either way, something is working against your body. It could be slowly, or it could be quickly. But despite what happens to your physical body, your soul lives on. It lives on in those you love…..forever.

Friday, December 4 was not just my Grandma’s birthday. It was my Dad’s too. I’m not sure which made who more special? I think they were both special. My friend Ron shares the same birthday, and his favorite character Jethro from Beverly Hillbillies does as well (can you tell he is a big fan?). He is a very funny guy, and Jethro was too. In conclusion, it has to be the birthday.

Grandma was cracking jokes at 90. Her body may have betrayed her with a blood disease that weakened her physically but by God, she could still laugh with all her soul.

Dad laughs with his soul. The things he says in birthday cards. His always humorous comments decorating it, getting me tickled. I don’t know how he comes up with it. It’s a gift. One of Dad’s favorite things to do is watch the local TV station. They had this “garage sale” type show on the weekends. It features table, after table of (usually) damaged products. They would hold each item up, and explain what it was, plug it in to show that it worked, or point out it didn’t. It went something like this (keep in mind this is rural Oklahoma with a very heavy accent), “This here is a fountain, as you can see here, nothing wrong with it, and we plugged it up. It works just fine. Now it’s missing the hose is all. But we are gonna guarontee it.”

Inevitably, one of use would holler out, “Yeah, it’s GUARANTEED NOT to work!”. Then laugh hysterically. You kinda need a hose to get a fountain to work. Just sayin’. Sometimes they would get shocked plugging something in. Sometimes they would fumble stuff and drop it. Going from guaranteed to as is, live on the air. Sometimes what they were selling was so broken, it gave us great guffaws. One of my all time favorite things to do, watch this show with Dad, and (literally) laugh my butt off.

Daddy lived a rock star life. He was a musician when he was only sixteen. A garage band called, The Monuments. It was his cousin, and a few other schoolmates. He played guitar, and sang. They got good enough, and popular enough with a hit single that they were invited to go on tour and open for the Beach Boys. Yeah! You can still find their hit on an old garage band CD. They didn’t end up opening, most of them signed up for the Army. The Vietnam War began cutting many youthful dreams short.

My mom fell for the rocker. She said he had a voice like an Angel. But he had demons too. The alcohol for one. He had an astounding shyness. The alcohol was the only thing that let down his inhibitions (to perform). Then it masked the horror of what he experienced working in the burn hospital during the war. Of course, that led to an almost lifelong battle with alcoholism. The alcoholism led to their demise, and divorce when I was only three.

She remarried to my step dad when I was five, and if you haven’t read my story about this wonderful Father, please do. He was my Father. Dad was my Daddy, my Daddy-O.

I always bragged to all my friends. I have TWO Dads! Yeah, take that. I always found the good in divorce, even as a child. Most weekends we spent with Dad, except when he was deployed to Germany for several years. Most times he lived in town, or at his house a few hours away. He always had interesting things at his place, like pet snakes (hog nose snake). He was fascinated with animals. For as long as I could remember, he signed me up for an animal magazine subscription. Plus, he worked in a toy factory for a while, which was super Dad status to a kid.

Dad just about killed himself drinking. In my teen years, I would do anything not to go see him. It was painful. He didn’t want you to leave. He got whiny, and sad. He was bitter about Mom taking his kids away. It was just easier not to go there, than be subject to that. Of course, I saw him. Not as much as I would have liked had he been sober.

He finally cleaned up about ten years ago. He stopped downing a fifth of Vodka every few days. Then, a few years after that gave up his prized More cigarettes. He smoked three packs a day, so this was HUGE. His ability to put those down after almost fifty something years of smoking, COLD TURKEY, and never smoke again was the fire that fueled ME to quit in 2006. If I had a craving, or wanted to just buy a pack, and have a smoke already. I remembered him and I told myself, if my DAD can do it, then so can I. And I did, Thank you Daddy.

I was very, very proud of him.

When I divorced for a second time, I got to tell my Dad, “Guess what? I have your last name again.” He got quite a chuckle out of that. I did too. My maiden name was always my most favorite, not to mention the easiest. HA.

He had a stroke, and heart problems in recent years. But like always, he snapped back. Giving up his precious Tony’s pizza smothered in mozzarella cheese for awhile. Eating fish, and olive oiled fried chicken. He would almost lose his gut, but then again, he couldn’t quite give up his sugar cookies in a tin.

Dad was born an OU fan. Christmas shopping was easy, anything OU. Being an OU fan gave him life. I surprised him and my brothers by driving to Ada for the OU vs Texas rivalry game. We had a blast. I, also, had to confess to him my boyfriend lived in a house trimmed in orange, with a longhorns curb marking. He was gravely disappointed, as he shook his curly brown head. His only redemption was being a Marine.

I saw my Daddy this Saturday, he had surgery the week before. He had a hernia that perforated part of his bowel and caused a blockage. Now, my Dad has taken a lickin’ and kept on tickin’, too many times to count. He had a ruptured bowel about 20 years ago. They called us to come up, and say our goodbyes. He was laid up in the ICU with a morphine drip on the brink of death. I said my tearful good-bye. They had basically gutted him to clear it all out. His recovery was UNHEARD of, but recover he did. Twenty years ago!

This time wasn’t as traumatic. When I talked to him on his birthday, he sounded very weak. His recovery was slower. He had gone to solid foods, but relapsed. I felt I needed to see him (just in case). He was asking for me. I, of course, did not have time. I had so much to do, errands, chores, and many other things to cram into two days. I went anyway.

His color looked good. He was in a lot of pain, but watching college football which was a good sign. Jason, Sydney, and I brought him an OU blanket, and a little stuffed crazy fan window sucker. It had wild hair and face paint, covered in OU tattoos. He really got a kick out of that. I also got him a Christmas fern. By God, if he was stuck in the hospital during the holiday season, he’d have something merry.

I hugged him, and kissed his cheek. “I love you Daddy-O. I wish I could take your pain away.” In his weak raspy voice he replied back, “I love you, my baby girl.” I had no doubt, he would use his ninth life. Recovering against all odds, like he always did. I was glad to see him, but this was not our final adventure.

But that was not to be, my daddy passed on a little after midnight last night. He had a heart attack and his weak body could not withstand it. He went quickly and mercifully. He no longer suffers. Just sweet peace, for my man Pops.

Daddy-O, I know how much you loved me. I knew in every hug, smile, and laugh. Your spirit and soul will live on in my life, and many others timelessly.

27 thoughts on “Timeless Soul

  1. This is so beautiful and made me cry.

    I am so so sorry for the loss of your dear father.

    I hope he is eating as many tins full of the sugariest sugar cookies they have in heaven, munching them nonstop while leading the All Star Angel fans in a big chorus of OU cheers.

    God bless you, Angelia and give you peace.


  2. I started following your blog a few weeks ago and find it to often be one of the highlights of my day. my heart goes out to you. on December 2nd last year, one of my college acquaintences lost her battle with cancer. December is tough month. your father sounds wonderful overall. he is with you always. i’m sending much love and healing your way.


  3. You really have a way of hitting someone…like, emotionally…and I mean that in a nice way 🙂

    So, with that: I am so sorry!! Your dad sounded awesome…I’m actually jealous, as I do not have that kind of relationship with my dad…


  4. Peggy Nolan


    I am so so so sorry. I am sending you all kinds of love and prayers right now. What a beautiful post for a loving, caring, Daddy-O.

    Blessings, prayers, hugs, love…



  5. Jae

    I’m so very sorry. I did not know Gary that well or see him that often but reading this helped me learn more about him and he seemed to love you very much. He will be very missed. I love you!


  6. I’m so sorry for your loss. I hope you’re holding up okay. I don’t know what you’re going through, really, but I hope you know there are many people out there thinking of you!


  7. Angelia,
    I’m praying for you and your family. You have such a love for life, such a love for those who have been a part of your life. Angelia, know that I am your Daddy-O is in a better place, and that there is no more pain…

    Peace and love,


  8. Suzicate-I was so tempted not to spend 6 hours of my Saturday driving. In the end, I just wanted to see for myself that he was okay. I am SO glad I did. I will never forget that good-bye. It was precious to me!

    Blond Duck-I was loved by my Dad and my Step Dad. I was more loved, and cherished than is possible. He was a dear man, thank you for your comment.

    Jannie-Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. Your words touch me deeply. I am honored. I can see him leading the Schooner of Angels! Shouting, “Boomer!”

    Belleringer-My heart goes out to you, and the loss of your roommate. The loss is always amplified this time of year. Joy and pain seemed to intermingle, it is bittersweet. I know her memory is honored by you. I can’t thank you enough for your comment and kind words to me. What an honor it is that you read my blog. Thank you soooo much!

    Jessica-Thank you, many people don’t have Dads like what I had. My brother Jay hated his Dad, but he loved my Dad. Our family was very different and I don’t know how the formula worked. I know you have Tim and his family. I know they make up for a lot that you missed. Thank you for the condolence, and for your comments. I think if you sent me a picture of Lexi, and Maddie it’d make it all better. 🙂

    Peggy-I feel the prayers and love all around me. So much response has been touching and humbling. I am honored by the community I have, which is very dear to me. Xoxo, you have blessed me with the wonder of it all.

    Erin-Thank you Erin! Thank you for your comment. I appreciate it!

    Jenera-Thank you so much. Your hug is felt through cyberspace. It means a lot that you took the time to let me know. The holidays can be very hard, but I will keep my head up, and hope to honor his memory. He loved Christmas.

    Wilma-I questioned writing it within an hour of hearing about his death, but in the end it was all I could do. I really do hope it does him proud. He had so much harshness in his life, to leave mercifully, after seeing his baby. It was a blessing.

    Jae-I took you to see him one time when you were a little girl. He always got the biggest smile out of seeing Jay and Deedy’s children. He always felt like your dad was his. He loved you all. It was just the alcoholism that caused so many rifts before he cleaned up. I am glad you got a glimpse of him. He was a very neat guy! I love you!

    Peedee-Pain free, that makes me very, very happy. I can’t stand to see someone hurting, especially my Dad. I know he is entertaining them all. What a nice picture. Thank you so much!

    Karen-Thank you for the kind thoughts. That is very special to me and my family. We are hanging in there. I know he is in a better place, and that makes it much easier. I appreciate you!

    Lance-The warmth of your comment reaches out through the screen. What he overcame in his life powers my zest of it. I had two wonderful Dads who did so much for my spirit. I can THANK them both in heaven for their contribution to my life. It is very meaningful to me. And thank you for your thoughts and prayers. They mean the world to me.

    Holly-He will indeed, Holly. Your words ARE enough. That you care enough to comment and reach out, it is deeply moving. I appreciate it so much. It does make it easier when the blogging community rallys in support. He and my Grandma had the same birthday. She died last year three days before their birthday. He died this year, three days after their birthday. She loved my brother and I, and HE loved her grandchildren and had a big part in raising them. I don’t think these are coincidences. These are lives changed and honored, and it is amazing!


  9. I can’t see what I am writing, tears clouding my eyes.

    I am so sorry for your loss.

    This is my greatest fear, my dad has also been bouncing back and I know one of these times he won’t. Hopefully I will have that little voice nagging me to go see him. I hope!


  10. I’m so sorry for your loss Angelia. Please extend my sympathies to the rest of your family as well. I’m so glad you got to see him though. Again, you’ve done a wonderful tribute to someone who’s passed on.

    My husbands father is also an alcoholic. Unfortunately, he isn’t as strong as your father and can’t seem to quit. And while he’s still a good person, my husband has a hard time forgiving past hurts. I’m glad you were able to get past that and have some quality memories with your dad.

    Wishing you strength and comfort,


  11. What a lovely, loving post – I am so sorry for the loss of your Dad. It’s especially hard this time of year.
    We lost my Dad to cancer in January after he was diagnosed on my daughter’s 4th birthday, days before Christmas. This Christmas will be tough, for so many reasons. I wish you and your family peace and much love. Your Dad was very lucky to be so loved.


  12. Angelia – honey, I am so very sorry for your loss as by your words it appears it was a big one. Your father, though he was unable to fight this fight, was a survivor through and through. I also have a father who lived through fighting in the Vietnam war only to come back and drown away his pain with alcohol. He’s been sober for almost 25 years and I know how hard that was for him! You hae written a beautiful testament to the man your father was – your Daddy-o. I’m praying for the healing of your soul and spirit.
    Take care,


  13. Heihei Angelia! What a beautiful and at the same time sad story… Your blog is one of a kind! It makes my day when I pass by and read your entries…

    Greetings from Germany



  14. Heather-Thank you for your comment. I like to think our sixth sense kicks in. I had a sinus infection and a million things going on, but I went anyway. I guess somehow I knew. Just see him as much as you can!

    Spot-Thank you so much, I did and I appreciate it. My sister did not make it through the trenches. She couldn’t handle his alcoholism. She missed the last twenty years of his life. She missed out on a lot. Alcoholism is really tough, it is a prison. Hugs to your hubby, I know that hurt is painful.

    Daphne-Thank you Daphne. I appreciate your kindness. It is heartwarming.

    Chelle-Thank you, for the hugs, and the comment. That means the world to me that you would stop by and extend that care to me.

    Karen MEG-It is always so much harder around the holidays and especially around birthdays. You are torn between being happy and sad. I’m so sorry for your loss too. Big, big hugs as that anniversary arrives.

    Peggy-Thank you, I know you were there. It brought me great comfort. Such wonderful support across the miles.

    Mindy-Thank you! I am thrilled to read your father overcame Vietnam and alcoholism as well. I can’t imagine what they went through, their strength to overcome is astounding.

    Deia-My lovely, sweet German friend. Thank you so much for your comment. That really makes my day. You know what else? My dad was stationed n Germany many times through the National Guard. He spoke fluent German. I got the biggest kick out of hearing him speak it. He loved Germany very much. So, it is extra special to have you visit. It honors him greatly! Thank you!


  15. I can feel the love as I read and I feel your pain in every paragraph.. May you find strength that will hold you up in those hard times where you wanna run to him.. He sounds like one of the best daddies ever and I really do feel the love. Be strong.


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