Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas, and farewell to Dad...

Our Dad, our favorite person, died Sunday morning. As Megan said in her Instagram "Heather and I want to scream from the mountain tops that the world should be morning the loss of our incredible father."  We want to use our little platform here to share a bit about our Dad , because we feel everyone should know and care. Our hearts are broken. I keep trying to think of a stronger word for love, but can't come up with the perfect way to describe my love for him. 



We are in shock by his passing. 6 weeks ago he was visiting Megan in Virginia, then onto NYC where he walked 8 miles a day, in perfect health. We have never known him to be sick, always strong and healthy. He started to look a little jaundiced mid November. On November 15th he went to a doctor, and they found a tumor in his pancreas. Then everything got bad quick, but because the tumor was small he qualified for a Whipple procedure. This was to give him 2-5 years on average. Megan and I were distraught at this lifespan. But would take it. The Whipple procedure was done about a week and a half ago, but the day after they found a large blood clot. They were able to remove it, but he was sedated after the procedure, until he passed. After several surgeries and complications, our father passed last Sunday the 22nd. His wife and all seven children, were able to be with him as he passed. He died painlessly and peacefully.

We are angry, bitter, sad, feel cheated, we didn't even get the average months one would get if they were not to have the Whipple procedure. We didn't even get to start fighting the cancer. My brother gave me some peace about this, he said some people have a "farewell tour" when a loved one gets diagnosed with cancer, spend loads of time together, vacations together, etc. He said we wouldn't have done anything different. We are a very close family, 5 of 7 of us live within 15 minutes of each other and our parents. We were already doing everything together. The boys go on several "boy trips" a year, Dad always went, he wasn't invited to be nice, they wanted him there. For 7 years I have lived by my parents, my Dad and I would often go to lunch or dinner, sometimes 3 hours long just talking. He loved to talk. I would do a dinner date with my Dad anytime over dinner and movies with a girlfriend. All the kids consider him their best friend.  My Dad was the life of every party and made everyone special. The prefect phrase is "To know him is to Love him." If you were lucky enough to meet my dad, you loved him.

Megan here...just to add to what my sister has said. I simply adored my dad.  Every word I (or my siblings) are speaking of him now in his death would have been said the day before his diagnosis.  He was incredibly loving and caring.  I would never wish this sadness or sorrow upon anyone.

The past 5 or so years I've moved around since my husband has been in school.  My parents have come to visit us often.  Those precious weeks with my dad are forever mine.  My children love him.  He is funny and so much fun to play with.

I write this in my parents home, sitting at his table.  It feels as though he'll walk in any moment.  I think I am still in shock.  It was too fast.  We were cheated.  My life will never ever be the same.  I miss him dearly.  What I would give for one last bear hug.

Megan and I will take the holidays off, try to find some peace, and hopefully the blog and quilting will be the distraction we need to help us through some of this grief.

Love you Daddy

If you want more info, or more detail, here is the blog we set up to update people when this all started. Geoff Lighten blog.

Photobucket

120 comments:

Kat said...

So sorry for your loss. Sending love and ladybug hugs to your entire family.

Not sure if you have ever read the poem "His Journey's Just Begun" but it's me of my favorites. You can find it here:
http://www.sliwa.com/kb/index.php?View=entry&EntryID=97

SewSara said...

I am in tears. I love you girls so much and hate that you're in such pain. And that he was taken from you so suddenly. I met him a few times and I know that all you said is true. What a great man. I'll see you tomorrow. Xoxo

SewSara said...

I am in tears. I love you girls so much and hate that you're in such pain. And that he was taken from you so suddenly. I met him a few times and I know that all you said is true. What a great man. I'll see you tomorrow. Xoxo

Susan said...

I just happened upon your blog tonight, of all nights. My heart ached for you as I read of your dad's passing. You are in my prayers this evening!

Heidi Staples said...

Praying for you all...you've been on my heart constantly since I heard the news. Give yourselves the time you need to grieve, and give yourselves grace to get through the moments when you won't be able to hold it all together. Hugs to you both...

Dora, the Quilter said...

I am so very, very sorry for your great loss.

Linda Ruskauff said...

I am so sorry for your loss, he sounded like a wonderful dad.

Linda

Debbie said...

so so sorry to hear this news...bless you as you go through this difficult and heart-breaking time...

UKMUMINUSA said...

So sorry for your loss. Big Hugs for you both and your family.

Sharon - Lilabelle Lane said...

My heart aches for you all. Loosing anyone is hard, loosing a parent so suddenly is hard to comprehend unless you have been there. You have been blessed with many years, made many memories and even got to share your children with him. Hold those memories close, they will see you through this and the years ahead. hugs xx

Hilary said...

I am so sorry for your loss.

Deb said...

This is such sad and tragic news. I am so very sorry to hear about your dad's passing. Thoughts and prayers to you and your family during this awful time.

Phyllis said...

He looks a sounds like a lovely man. I am so sorry for you all.

Nancy said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Your dad sounds like a wonderful man. You are so fortunate to have such wonderful memories to hold onto and share with your family. My thoughts and prayers are for your family at this time.

Smultronbo said...

I'm so so sorry for your loss. I'm glad that you and your family has so many fond memories to cherish and carry with you always.

Lisa said...

So sorry for your loss. I know you feel cheated would he want you to? Sounds like he would not want you to grieve but be happy you had him! Your family is in my prayers

kathysnest32 said...

Your dad is not in pain. I know at this time that is not alot of consolation, but it might make things a little easier. you are in my prayers.
Kathleen

Red Quilty Girl said...

I am so sorry that you had to lose your Dad. May love and good wishes go with you through this difficult time. xx

Lisa said...

I'm so very very sorry for your loss. He sounds so wonderful, I know you have been blessed beyond measure to have had him so active in all of your lives. My 26 yr old daughter was diagnosed with colon cancer on 12/20 and I know you will join me in "I HATE CANCER".....

Lisa Akin said...

I wish your family the grace and strength to overcome your grief. With time the memories of your dad will replace the pain and hurt of his death. In this way he will be with you always. The best way to honor him is to live life fully and happily...you will get there. My condolences.

Lorna McMahon said...

Sorry for your family's loss. And praying you will find comfort and peace.

Beth said...

My heart goes out to you. I lost each of my parents suddenly, at Christmastime two years apart. Although the world is a different place once your father has passed, I want you to know that someday it won't hurt this much. The same memories that are so painful they can bring you to your knees right now will someday warm your heart. It may seem impossible, but it happens. Until then, I hope you are wrapped in the comfort of your faith and your family.

verykerryberry said...

So very hard for you all, much love

Esther F. said...

My heart goes out to you. May you find solace, love and friendship amongst each other to give this great loss a place in your hearts.
Esther
esthersipatchandquilt at yahoo com
ipatchandquilt dot wordpress dot com

nuria said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.I pretty understand how do you feel right now because I lost my mum suddenly in 9 days and only three years later my dad passed away....only when the time goes by your heart wont hurt you much.....nothing is the same but we have to life for our famlies...
My prays are with you...

Amy said...

I pray for you and your family to have peace, strength and comfort.

Erin @ Why Not Sew? Quilts said...

I'm sorry to hear about your loss. Your father sounds like a wonderful man. I'll keep y'all in my thoughts and prayers.

Joanie's Trendy Quilts said...

So sorry for your loss! Time will heal and memories will become sweeter! May you be comforted and know God's peace! He sound like he was the best kind od Dad!

del said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I'm sorry you had to lose your dad so suddenly. Please take comfort in knowing that the way you all remember him means he's always with you.

Dorian said...

My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. I'm so very sorry for your loss.

Sharon said...

Oh I am so sorry to read this..I know the pain that you all are feeling and I know to say that time heals all wounds is not right but what I can say is it becomes more bearable as you start just relying on all the good times you had....Please know that I am praying for you all and your family..

barb said...

i am sorry for your loss. i know the pain is terrible and the loss is traumatic especially this time of year. i lost my only child my daughter who died in my arms. the pain will become bearable but for now, remember all the good times and share them with others. you are in my thoughts and prayers. barbara

Lisa Walsh said...

I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved Dad.

SIMPLESEW said...

I feel cheated for you to have lost such a dear father, your poor mom and family.....You will find a way to honor him because he loved you and thats what he would have wanted.

Sandy@UpstairsHobbyRoom said...

Thank you for sharing your Dad with us today,! I have tears running down my cheeks, feeling your pain. The world needs more men and fathers like yours!! Stay close to each other, cherish his memory

Melia Mae Quilting said...

So terribly sorry for your loss! I hope that quilting and the blog give you the solace you and your sister need. Praying for your family!

Brenda said...

So sorry for the loss of your dad. I am praying for your family. I, too, know the pain of losing a dad.

Svetlana said...

oh, I'm so sorry for your loss. Your dad sounds like an amazing person.

Rosa said...

I hope you find peace and serenity with your family.

Michele T said...

I am so,so very sorry for the loss of your father and especially that he was taken so suddenly. It simply is not fair and only time will ease the pain and the emptiness that you are feeling. You and your family members are tight and are there for each other, this is incredible and you are all so fortunate! This is a gift from your father... he is within each of you! Cherish every memory of him!

Melanie said...

This beautiful tribute brought tears to my eyes. I had two infant nephews die suddenly and found myself jealous of people who get to say goodbye. It's such a shock. I'm so sorry you're going through this and hope you find peace as you mourn. Prayers for you and your family.

ConundrumChum said...

I am sorry for your loss. I wish you peace.

Sandy Rowe said...

So sorry for your loss. I think of my parents every day!

Sara said...

I am so sorry that you had to lose your dad girls. Sending you prayers and the strength to make it through the days ahead. It must have been tough to write a post up about this but thank you for making me realize that I need to appreciate my dad even more now than ever.

God bless

Lauren Deel said...

I am so sorry to read this and to know of your loss. Thank you for introducing us to your wonderful father. You are both in my prayers.

Amy DeCesare said...

My heart aches for you. I lost my dad about 12 years ago and still miss him all the time. Your dad sounds a lot like mine, and knowing he was loved will help you to heal. Someday you will remember him in happiness, and not in pain.

snausages22 said...

I am so, so sorry for your loss.
May you take comfort in the many happy memories you have.
Huggs,
Jacqueline Van Horn,
Pitt Meadows, BC, CANADA

Julie said...

I am so sorry for your loss! I feel your pain as I lost my Dad suddenly right before the holidays seven years ago. I too felt cheated. I hope you sweet ladies find peace and comfort in the days to come. He sounds like a really awesome man who loved you all. What a blessing that you got to spend so much family time together and knew of his love for you. It will be hard, I know you will continue to miss him, but at least you had a good run.

Kira said...

I am sorry for your loss!!
My father passed away when I was 12, it was a shock to us all! That day he kiss me good bye (like always) before I headed out to catch the school bus. That afternoon I got off the bus and was met by my grandmother. I was told he had died, I was devastated. He died from a brain aneurysm, no one knew - he didn't know. Life is so very fragile, always embrace what time you have with loved ones. Bless you and please find peace in knowing you did have time with your father even though it may not feel so now. Hugs xoxox

needle and nest said...

Oh, how I wish I could hug you both. Your tribute to your amazing father moved me to tears. I will be praying for you and your family. God Bless you and your wonderful father. xoxo

Stephanie said...

My deepest sympathy to you and your family. I lost my dad in 1975 and I think about him all the time. He was my best friend, confidant, sports buddy besides being my dad. I pray your blog and quilting help you get through this hard time but know that he would not want you to be sad! Bless you!

Beverly said...

Praying for you and your family. What a great testimony you and your siblings are to what a wonderful man and example he was. A comforting passage to read is Phil 3:20-21.

pcflamingo said...

He knows. He knows how much you each love him and miss him, even if you didn't get an "official" good bye. I just lost my father-in-law in early December without an "official" goodbye, but I know he knows. You describe a life well lived and a father well loved. You are all blessed by what you had.

Laura said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your father. My dad has dementia and we are losing him a little piece at a time. I don't know which is worse.

Emma's Daughter said...

I am so deeply sorry. Your father sounds wonderful. I, too, was blessed with a wonderful father and wish everyone could be so fortunate. May your pain soon be replaced with only wonderful, happy memories of the man who made you and your siblings who you are.

EmileeHope said...

So sorry to hear of your loss, at least you have each other to lean on-although I am sure right now you just want your dad back!

Beth said...

I am so sorry for your loss, he sounds like a wonderful man. I lost my dad suddenly 25 years ago and miss him each day. But I smile now instead of tears. I am praying for you and your family.

Kathleen OGrady said...

I am so very sorry for your huge loss.

Teje Karjalainen said...

Dear Megan and Heather, I am so sorry for your loss. I can say only that you were very lucky to have the best, loving and caring father. My deepest symphaty to you and your families. Teje

Cristina @ Pretty Little Quilts said...

I am so, so sorry for your loss. It brought tears to my eyes to read your story. My thoughts are with you.

Joan said...

So sorry for your loss. I can understand your pain and heartache. May your wonderful memories of your dad help in some way to ease your pain. Thinking about the both of you and your families.

Stacey Napier said...

My heart is breaking for you right now - I, too, am this close with my family and your loss is unimaginable to me. Peace be with your family during this time.

Irelle said...

So sorry for your loss. I loved hearing about how special he was to everyone in your family. You are truly blessed to have the close knit family you have.

Shannon Mower said...

Oh how I feel your pain! I had a family member die from Cancer just two days before Christmas. It is difficult--and was a similarly quick passing and diagnosis too. We love you and our hearts and prayers are with you while you are grieving. Your father will always love you!

Donna Phelps said...

In reading what you have both written about your Dad, I am truly moved and close to a real big cry. Your father was indeed fortunate to have such a loving family and you all blessed by love.Don't ever think that your Dad is not with you. He will forever be etched in your heart and in everything you do.You were certainly blessed to have had him in your life for the time you did.My condolences for your lose.

akainik said...

I'm so sorry for your loss... Hugs all the way from Argentina

Becky said...

Oh, so sorry to hear of your loss. It is sooo hard to lose a parent or someone so close to you, as I have experienced that loss too.

SoSarahSews said...

So sorry to hear of your loss, girls. I do hope you find peace and your family comes together stronger than ever.

Nita said...

There are no words.
(((Hugs)))

Nikki said...

Oh, I am so sorry. What a wonderful family man. Take comfort in knowing how blessed you were to have him in your life-- I wish my dad was like that. I send you prayers of comfort and peace at this sad, difficult time.

Amber said...

Heather and Megan,

I just want to say that I'm thinking and praying for you guys to find some peace and comfort during this difficult time. What a blessing to have such a wonderful man in your lives, although it be cut short. Like many of us, my dad is quite the opposite but I try to be positive and look for the good in him. Your family is so blessed to have such a loving, kind father in your lives and I'm happy for you for that. Your lives will always be great because of his influence and love for you guys.

Hugs!
Amber

Barbe said...

So so so sorry to hear about your dad, having lost my mom (my best friend) at the beginning of the month and my father in law just 10 days ago, i really feel for you. our parents are so important no matter our age, i'm 53 but i hurt like a little girl without her mommy.
i'll keep your family in my prayers, hugs. and yes, quilting helps. i'll planning a Mourning quilt, alot of black

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Hugs. It's almost four years for us and I still miss him a lot.

Quilter Kathy said...

So sorry for the loss of such a wonderful man. The world needs more just like him! What a terrible loss for your family.

Siobhán said...

I am so, so sorry for your loss. Your dad sounds like a wonderful man. His legacy lives on in his loving family and those who mourn him. I lost my dad suddenly when pregnant with his first grandchild. Nearly 24 years later, I still want to howl and scream at the injustice of it all. I look at my husband, who is a good man like my dad was, and my children, who have so many of his qualities, and know that he is still here with us in so many ways. Take comfort in the loving family that your dad created. You're all in my thoughts and prayers.

I am Just One Mom said...

My heart breaks with sorrow for your loss. My heart bursts with joy for your loving memories of a wonderful father.
Yes, his goodness should be "above the fold" on every national & local paper. Everyone would be blessed to read of his loving nature and the family he adored and was adored by.
In some small way, your sorrow helps each of us deal with our own sorrow from the sudden/prolonged death of a loved. Thank you for being able to share this. Remember the joy!

Lisa D. said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Your dad sounds like an amazing man.

Judith Blinkenberg said...

May the Lord give you comfort in your sadness. Talk to Him who loves you so much.

Melissa at My Fabric Relish said...

Heather and Megan, I am so sorry for the loss of your dear father. I'm also sorry it was sudden and you didn't get the extra time with him. He sounds like he was an amazing father and he made an amazing family. Big hugs!

DuAnne said...

There are never enough words to express the love you both have for your father. You will always keep him close to your heart. He will always be looking down upon you. RIP. God Bless.

Dee said...

So many deep sympathies and prayers for you and your families! May peace that pass etch all understanding be a guiding beacon in the days ahead!

Selvage Quilter said...

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your Dad. He sounds like a wonderful person.

Anita said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Your post has brought tears to my eyes and a lump to my throat. He was a fantastic father to all of you. May your happy memories of him help you find your path through your grief.

Jasmine said...

We all mourn with you and your family. I hope you can find comfort and peace.

diane said...

This is just heartbreaking news. Having had a dad die way to young, I feel your loss and send a warm hug and lots of prayers for you all .

Wendy said...

So sorry for you loss of such a beloved dad...my prayers are with you and your family...May all of your lovely memories of your dad help you through this sad time in your life...may peace come where there is no peace...may comfort come where mere words cannot comfort...may joy come in the memories of giving honor to such a loving father...again my deepest condolences to you and your family.

Michele said...

My deepest sympathies on your dad's sudden passing. I know all too well what that is like. Nine years ago we lost my nephew in a car accident one week before Christmas and one week after her turned 16. Christmas has never been and never will be the same again for my family but we have found our own way to honor his memory each year when we get together. Many hugs to you as you work through these very difficult days.

Quilting Dee said...

I am so sorry for your dreadful loss. Deepest sympathy to you and your family.

Sheri said...

What very sweet (and bitter) words and feelings! I have tears in my eyes and my nose is now running! You are so fortunate to have had such a wonderful dad and such precious times together! I love your brother's words too! My dad is not doing well at all and has not been since his heart surgery 2 years ago. It's not good to linger either sometimes.

Stacy Olson said...

Heather and Megan - what a lovely post about your dad. It is easy to see why you feel the way you do. I am so sorry for your loss and pray that you find peace and comfort in the wonderful memories you hold dear.

Raelene said...

So sorry for the loss of your wonderful father.
When Daddy dies the world should stop, it is so very true.
No words can express the sorrow and feeling of loss. My dad passed away 7 years ago within 2 weeks of being diagnosed. But that's what he would have wanted so we didn't have to endure the drawn out sorrow. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family.
Always know that he is watching down on you smiling. Hugs and Kisses

Vickie said...

I'm sorry for your loss. My Dad passed away 6 years ago. In my opinion, you never get over the loss, you just learn how to live without them.

Julie Thompson said...

My heart aches for you and your family. I hope you find peace in the happy memories that you have of him.

liz said...

I am deeply sorry for your loss. Your Dad sounds like a truly wonderful man and father and his absence will be deeply felt. But, oh, what a legacy of love he leaves behind. (((HUGS))) to all of you mourning his loss!

Nina Sagarsee said...

So sorry to read about your fathers passing. When my mother died 2 yrs ago on Christmas Eve, I thought how she knew the story of our birth, and her children knew the story of her death... Sobering.... God bless your family at this time.

Kath Garvey said...

Heather , Megan. I am so sorry and sad to hear of the loss of your Dad. I lost my husband too soon as well as my parents. I hope this verse will help you as it has helped me when needed
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not here; I did not die.

hedda said...

I am crying and feeling your pain and loss over your wonderful father. Your memories and lovely words about him fill my mind with emotions -- you were so lucky to have known him and now there is this enormous emptiness because he has left this world. It is hard to lose this kind of person -- one that brings so much to everyone's life. I did not have a dad like yours, but i had a wonderful mom that i lost when i was 34 from brain cancer. My only lesson from losing her so young, was to always let those we love know we love them, and to spend "quality time" with them because we never know when they will be called back to heaven. All of you showed your dad how much you loved him by spending time in his presence. You all have so many memories and so much love and grace in your family. I will pray for you all and i am so very sorry.

RobotMomSews said...

As everyone before me has already said how sorry we feel..there is nothing more I can say but I am so sad for you and your families. I met your dad a few times and he always made me laugh, made me feel right at home even tho he didn't know me. I will forever remember him. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. Sending big hugs!

Myra said...

My heart really goes out to you! Having lost both of my parents now, I can totally feel for you. There are just no words for how it feels to lose a parent. Especially one you were close to. I send you all my hugs and prayers. - Myra

Abdullah Al Faisal said...

I'm sorry for your loss. Ilove my dad so much...

Spyder Quilt said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I miss my dad too so much. They say the pain of loss subsides with time. My parents died 10 and 11 years ago, and have been reduced to tears right now. I give you a squeeze hug. SpyderQuilt.

Tony said...

Your Dad sounded like a beautiful man. I wish I could have met him. God bless and watch over your family.

Ella and Nesta said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Thinking of you.

Amy said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Please know he is always with you! Praying for your family.

Karen said...

Girls... I am so sorry for your loss... Know that the loving man you called Dad will always be watching over you... With love and prayers, Karen

Paula@TheSassyQuilter said...

So sorry for you guys loss. My dad actually passed the same way. Pancreatic cancer, said we had a year and it was one month. Diagnosed 12/5, passed 1/5...too soon. I guess some get no time at all, but it doesn't make it easier. Prayers for you both and your families. Xx

Pomegranate Quilts said...

A beautiful, touching post. I am so, so sorry for your shocking loss, such a huge loss, and almost no chance to say goodbye. Be kind to yourselves. Be gentle.

Jean said...

So sorry for your loss. Such an amazing post and words to say about your father. Peace be with you.

Becki said...

I am so sorry to hear of the death of your father. I know the pain you are feeling as my dad passed unexpectedly near Christmas in 2000. Remember the love that you shared with him, and that will give you comfort. It is hard, but you will get through it. Not past it, but through it.

the momma said...

I am so, so sorry for your loss!

Polly @ Pieces by Polly said...

I'm just catching up on reading blogs, so I didn't see this until now. I am so very sorry for your loss. It made me tear up just reading about it. It's so hard when loved ones go so suddenly. It sounds like he was an amazing man. Sending hugs!

Becky said...

So sorry for your loss. My dad also died unexpectedly at 66 from a Pulmonary Embolism. None of us were able to say good bye. It's so hard, and a father daughter relationship is something that is extra special. I'm afraid I know some of your pain. My own children are what pulled me through it. I hope you find strength and some peace in the months to come.

Saltwater Quilts said...

I am so sorry that you and your loved ones are having to go through this. My heart goes out to you and I will keep you all in my prayers.

Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation said...

Heather and Megan, after a few weeks' break from blogging, I have just read this, and my heart is so sad for you. I will pray fervently that you can find some peace and comfort in each other and with your other family during this difficult time.

Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

Sarah Craig said...

I am so sorry to hear this news - I will be praying for both of you and all of your family. My dad died almost 20 years ago and there's not a day goes by that I don't think of him - fortunately now with a smile instead of tears. Your post is beautiful and quite a tribute to a wonderful man.

MsMidge said...

Heather and Meg - I am so deeply sorry for your loss. I saw on IG that you had lost your Dad, but this blog post has somehow been lost amongst my followed blogs. So I apologise for my lateness with my condolences. I hope you are both doing ok, and that you and your family and all hugging each other through such a hard time. Much love xxxx

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Stephanie said...

I did see the instagram announcement but have only now seen this. I am truly sorry about your loss. There are no words.

*Tyler* said...

I am so very sorry for your loss.

Thearica said...

I am so very sorry for the loss of your dad. He seems very much like my grandfather. 2 good men taken way too soon.