June 09, 2015

Remembering A Gentle, Loving Soul

A year ago my partner's dad died. He had been in the hospital for a few days and we had visited him just the day before. Still in spite of knowing he had health issues, no amount of warning prepares another human being to get the news that a parent has died--it was a shock.

I have seen my partner struggle for a year missing his dad and that has been hard to watch. There are somethings in life that you can't just fix--this being one of those. He was the most loving, caring and accepting man I have ever met, he had nothing but love for everyone he came across, he truly had no guile. He was a handy man and loved tools--many of which my partner learned to use because his dad taught him. While working on some projects in the house there have been several instances where a phrase: "dad taught me this" or "dad would have told me to do this"--to me, this speaks volumes of the relationship they had. My partner speaks of his childhood home growing up as the safe place where no matter what was going on in their lives, everyone knew that home was where they were loved unconditionally and scratches his head when he hears horror stories of Mormon families who disown their kids for being gay or XYZ reasons.

Partner's dad had a way to find a common ground with everyone. One time the topic of our LDS missions came up--as it often happens with returned missionaries; his mission was in the Navajo reservation and he told me he never wore a white shirt and a tie--he wore jeans and boots, rode horses & hardly preached. He was more interested in getting the people's trust and taught them lots of things on bettering their lives. He said that when he came home from his mission he was asked to share his testimony in Navajo--and because he only learned so much--decided to count from 1-10 in Navajo and throw in a GA name here and there--who would ever know right? When I heard this story I laughed, and laughed--then in somewhat of a somber way he said: "I've never told this to anyone before--except for my wife"---oh wow!! Hard not to get the feels when I remember this experience.

The family has been talking about ways to honor him at the year of his passing. Each of them is finding their own personal way of doing it and the best way I can think is to write and thank him here for his unconditional love--which I was lucky enough to receive for a a few years since I met him; he truly loved everyone genuinely--and the example of a loving human being whose legacy still runs in that family that remembers him, misses him and somehow manages to go on while honoring his name.

He lived, he loved, he didn't just talk the talk--he walked it all the way. In Mormon doctrine there is no such thing as "Rest In Peace"--you work when you live, you keep working even after you die and heaven knows if that ever stops--and if that's indeed the case he is probably busy watching after everyone, and I have a feeling that this would have just been his style...