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Saturday, April 18, 2009

I Miss You ...

My Dad, Leslie Wayne Miller, Sr., May 3,1922 - April 21, 1994
The photo of Daddy (above) is one of my very favorites. It is cropped out from the fishing picture that you will see later in this post. My mom says this was when he was fat, but I don't think he looked fat at all, just a little tummy. He never was muscular.

Here's a photo of my mother and father in Pennsylvania, December 29th, 1992. It was taken at The Red Fox Restaurant, which I believe is no longer around.
We were visiting in PA & I snuck in while Daddy was taking a nap (Dec.1990) and snapped this photo. He would be mortified that I'm posting this. He he he, gotcha, Pop!
Daddy played the violin, and was so pleased that Jessica took up the violin also. This was in December 1990 and it was so funny listening to the two of them go back and forth about the way some piece was to be played. She would say,"That's not the way my teacher told me to do it, PopPop." She asked my dad if she could have his favorite violin with the mother of pearl inlays and he said no. It wasn't his best violin, but it was her favorite because it was pretty. When we got back to Arizona and she opened up her violin case she was absolutely shocked and thrilled to see that he had replaced the ugly violin with his pretty one. Way to go PopPop!!
This is Daddy, Uncle Charlie (Dad's 1st cousin & best friend) and their fishing guide in Key West, Florida, ca.1960's

This is Daddy in one of their parlours in PA, December 1992

Jessica & PopPop cheesing it up in August 1993 at The Red Fox Restaurant.

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Patrick, Jessica and I had gone to PA to have a surprise 50th Anniversary dinner for my parents at my Aunt Dot's home. It was just a small gathering with Daddy & Mom, Aunt Dot and Aunt Sis, Andrea (my brother's little girl),Patrick, Jessica and me. Aunt Dot and I planned it for July 30th and Aunt Dot prepared the scrumptious dinner. Aunt Dot wasn't a blood relative, but was my mom's best and only true friend and was one of the kindest, sweetest, funniest ladies that walked the earth (more on her in a future post). We flew in from Arizona and pretended nothing was up, and we were just going to go to Auntie's for dinner after work. Boy were my folks surprised. Both of them got tears in their eyes and I could tell Daddy (who was the sociable one of the pair) was very pleased that we celebrated this with them, despite the fact that Mom kept saying she didn't want any kind of a fuss made over them. Since their actual anniversary was in September, they had no clue what we had planned.

What you can't see in this 50th Anniversary shot, is that my mom is wearing red and white checked culottes and dark knee socks! Dad was dressed in dress slacks and dress shoes, his usual "uniform". Two people could not have been more opposite! He thoroughly enjoyed his leisure time, hunting and had an amazing sense of humor. I can still hear him chuckling. He also was sarcastic and that dear friends, is where I get it from. Mom on the other hand works almost every waking hour and stopped hunting with Daddy as soon as Harley, my sister, was old enough to accompany him and takes things quite seriously. She is one of those people you have to explain a joke kidding. What a pair!

August 1993. This was the last time I saw my dad as I knew him. We all said our goodbyes before driving to Elmira to the airport and as Patrick was getting ready to drive off Daddy had made his way back up to the side porch and took a seat. I jumped out of the car and snapped this picture. He loved to sit on his porch and look at his view. Lots of grass, trees and NE Pennsylvania scenery. He loved his town and his family. It's a shame that my sister, brother and I are not close. He would have wanted us to be.

Easter was April 3rd in 1994. Dad had been in the Towanda hospital for a week or so before that for his diabetes and had fallen while there. He ended up with 4 broken ribs, but though in pain (& he was a big sissy) he insisted that he be allowed to go home for Easter. And he did. Mom made her traditional ham and kielbasa and he was a happy man. A week later he lay on the floor of their home from a massive stroke. My mom called the ambulance and he was taken to Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, PA.

When I was called and told that Dad had had the stroke my brother and Mom said not to come back to PA that he would be okay. A week later they still weren't putting Daddy on the phone for me, so I knew they weren't being honest with me. My good friends Bobbi and Maxie told me to fly home & worry about the expense later, or I would forever regret it. I was flying back & called my older sister, Harley, in California and told her what I was doing & she said she would do the same. Well, I got to spend 5 days in 15 minute increments with my father(the stroke caused aphasia) who was in ICU. Each day I would tell him how his beloved English Springer missed him, give him a weather report, tell him what was going on in the news (he would have 3 tv's on at the same time with different news stations at home) read to him out of the Bible and before I left I would sing him the Barocha*. I got some alone time with him, and as the Lord would have it, my brother was away in Atlanta, so the stress of having to deal with him was not there. It was a special time with my dad. When Mom and Harley were chattering over him like he was a table I could hardly contain my anger, but I did. Daddy was a man of few words, and he detested idle talk, so I knew if he could talk he would have shut them up! So, once we drove the 40 miles back to their house, I told the gals how disrespectful they were being, that he couldn't talk, but that didn't mean he couldn't hear. They agreed to discuss gossip outside of Daddy's room.

He passed away when we had left the hospital for an hour on April 21st. It has been 15 years on Tuesday, and I still miss him. Still miss calling him in the middle of the day to ask his advise on something or just for no reason other than to tell him I loved him. Still miss his Sunday phone calls. Like clockwork he would call every Sunday to see how everything was going. (Mom has probably called me 5 times in the past 15 years---now it is up to me to call and I'm not an every week caller.) Anyway, the world is a little less colorful without my dad in it. I sure loved him.

Rest in peace Daddy. I'll see you when I get to heaven. That's a promise.

*Barocha. The Lord bless you and keep you.The Lord make His face shine upon you. And give you peace.The Lord be gracious to you. The Lord turn His face towards you. And give you peace forever.


Daisy said...

Very sweet memories and tribute to your Dad, Cassie. My dad passed away about three and a half years ago. I miss him very much too.

Susan said...

Hi there,Cass I just clicked in and I loved reading your DAD thoughts. You Dad was a class act and I always thought he had the best smile and never a harsh word. Thanks for sharing. Good memories there bestest oldest friend I have.
Love, Sue

Dorothy said...

If you live to be 150 years old, you will still miss your Dad and want to ask/tell him things. My Dad has been gone 34 years and I still miss him. This is a beautiful bitter/sweet post. I wish that all families, especially all siblings could have a close relationship. Everyone is different and you do what you have to do and move on. I realize that I am one of the lucky ones because my sisters and I have always been close. I know it must have been hard to live such a long distance from your parents.
Blessings and Peace,

inamazinggraceland2 said...

Here's that comment you've been expecting. I guess I'm 1 of your stalkers. I look but don't touch. XOXOXOXO UNOHOO

Anonymous said...

After reading your post, I feel as though I knew your daddy. He seems very special and I know you will always miss him. Both my parents are gone now, and even with the peace of knowing that I will see them again one day, life is not quite the same without them. This was a beautiful tribute to your dad - he would be so pleased and would probably giggle that you posted a nap time photo of him! I hope your treasured memories and remembering the sound of his laughter comfort you during this time. I hope it helps to know that your blog friends care very deeply.

inamazinggraceland2 said...

Nice post. I thought your Dad was a great guy too. Had a little bit of mischief in mind most of the time.

reliv4life said...

that was really beautiful. Yes, you will be with him again one day.

Martha Basset said...

Hi there
Popped over to visit your blog and enjoyed reading about your Dad. April 21st is our wedding anniversary - nothing to do with anything - just a coincidence!
I know all about the loss of parents - my Dad, also diabetic, died 8 years ago and my mum died 3 years ago.
It is awful how much you miss them - the times when your forget and are about to call!
Even now that happens to me!
My young nephew was recently a great comfort to me when our dealy loved basset Harry died - he told me that now Gran and Grandad would be going for walks with Harry in heaven.
Might sound daft but I like the idea of that - my mother will be moaning about dog hair and drool and my dad will insist on taking the car!!
Thank you for letting me share your trip down memory lane - I enjoyed getting to hear about your Dad today. Lovely pictures.
Take care xx

Jen said...

Beautiful tribute to your Dad.
I'm glad he had a sense of humor to pass on to you.:)

Me said...

What a great story to share..Thank You for sharing it with us! A wonderful tribute as what sounds like a well deserving man!

John Poole said...

What a very moving remembrance of your father, Cassie. He was a wonderful man, and very lucky to have had you for a daughter. I am glad that you were able to spend those last few days of his life with him, and I think he was pleased with the way you tended to him (reading to him from the Bible, singing, praying, etc.)

It's so hard losing a parent. My father passed away on March 30th, 1990, and none of us have gotten over it. Easter was very hard to take that year. But it's all a part of life, something we all have to deal with eventually. But I think it is wonderful when a child writes such an account of a parent's life.

Maggie and Mitch said...

What a wonderful tribute to your dad, Cassie! My dad has alzheimers and even though he still knows who I am, he's not the same daddy that I knew! I'm sure life is never the same once your parents leave this earth!


Busy Bee Suz said...

This is so nice of you to share...your Dad souns like he was an amazing man and he LOVED his family. Funny, how he and your Mom are so different...I suppose opposites attract?
Thank you for sharing...brought tears to my eyes.
I miss my Dad too....all girls need their daddy don't they?

Shellmo said...

Thank you for sharing your wonderful father with us! I felt so tearful at the end. Glad you got to spend that special time with him.

Rocky Creek Scotties said...


What wonderful memories you have of your Dad - just reading them made me cry. Today would have been my Mom and Dad's 62nd wedding anniversary and I plan to do a tribute to them on my blog. Mom is 85 but Dad passed away almost 2 years ago and I miss him every day.

Yesterday our minister preached about "having your house in order" and it made me think so much of Dad. He died knowing his house was in order in every way.

You Dad is so handsome - the first picture of him reminds me of Brad Pitt.

Thanks for sharing,

Karen said...

Cassie, this was truly an amazing testament to your father. I hope you enjoyed sharing the memories with us as you were writing it. There's a lot of love in this.

John Gray said...

he has a look of Brad PITT IN THE FIRST PHOTO!

Rosemarie said...

What a great post about you Dad - and wonderful pictures, too! He would be proud to read it.

Caroline said...

What a lovely tribute to your dear dad. You are strong, my husband died on the 22nd your dad on the 21st but different years but I still can't come to do a post theirs just a little of me that still wants to keep him all for myself and not share -silly I know.

Rev. Paul said...

A moving tribute to a man who sounds like a good one. I'm pleased to know that I'll get to meet him one day, too!

Marvin -The Hollow Hound said...

This is a lovely post full of bittersweet memories, I have really enjoyed reading it, and also shed a few tears.

I lost my Pa, four years ago this June, suddenly, although he was 88 and a half, it was totally out of the blue. I miss him so much sometimes, my Ma died ten years ago, so sometimes, even though I have children and a good husband, I miss my Pa so much.

I feel for you.

You surely did and do love him, every word on this post shows this.

love from Jeannie xx Marvin's Mama xx

Marvin -The Hollow Hound said...

oh I see someone else thought the same as me, I thought in the first picture he was so handsome and so very Brad Pitt like but I did not like to mention it at first.

Jeannie xx