Brother Death, Spring And New Life

My dad passed away yesterday at the age of 90 after a full and rich life.  He was a pioneer of sorts.  He was born into poverty on a little farm in Oklahoma but his parents stressed education, self-reliance and made him believe he could reach for lofty goals.  He set his sights on medicine and worked until he could make that dream a reality.  At the age of 40, he became a physician and started his medical practice.  Over the next several decades, he helped deliver over 7000 babies into the world, including me.

My dad always thought my interest in the gym was strange.  He couldn’t believe I paid to workout…to do physical labor.  He said it was ridiculous, that if I wanted to work, I should chop wood or dig post holes or fix fences. He thought that I should do something useful instead of spending money to pick up heavy things and put them down.  That made me laugh since I grew up in the heart of San Francisco and I just didn’t have many opportunities to bale hay or slop hogs.

When I was 28 my mother died of cancer.  I used to go over to my parent’s house and keep her company.  I stayed on weekends and toward the end I just stayed there full-time.  It’s a weird thing, waiting for death, knowing it’s imminent but not knowing when it will arrive.  We spent a lot of time watching movies and one night I rented Monty Python’s The Meaning Of Life .  In this film there was a scene where death came to the door.  Something about the warm September night, the depiction of the Grim Reaper and maybe, just maybe the awful white wine out of the box that my mom enjoyed in those last weeks made us burst out laughing.   It was one of the best laughs I ever had and probably the best we ever shared.

The depiction of the Reaper brought lots of laughs on that September day so long ago.

The depiction of the Reaper brought lots of laughs on that September day so long ago.

Indeed,  Death comes for us all, pauper and king alike.  The thing we get to decide is how we’ll behave during the part in the middle.  The part that is now.  The gym is a regular part of my days and I’m happy that it’s so.  Bodybuilding teaches so many lessons…lessons in patience, perseverance, commitment and honest effort.  It teaches you to control yourself, to strengthen your mind and to use it to accomplish a goal.   It builds and reinforces so many of the qualities that you must have to be successful in your greater environment.  It’s a practice, a discipline and the benefits echo into all the other areas of life…so although I don’t shovel rock or muck stalls…I think I’m doing just fine.

Sunny Spring

Today is the first day of spring.  We’ve moved out of the winter and into the season of fresh, new life.  Each day we open our eyes in the world we have renewed possibility and opportunity.  May all your days forward be happy and well spent…


26 responses

  1. Triple Drop Training | Reply

    So sorry to hear about your Dad. He’s left quite a legacy, not just the positive impact he’s clearly had on you and your family, but also all the people he’d helped as a physician. It’s quite beautiful that he’d spent his working days bringing new life into the world and passed away just before the start of spring. All the new life coming into bloom is a fitting tribute to him don’t you think.

    1. I sure do think so! You have a lovely way of expressing yourself….I so appreciate your note. It was great to receive. ..very uplifting. Thank you.

  2. Oh beautiful Spider Monkey, I am sorry to hear of your loss! I am glad that you have 90 years of memories! My Dad passed when he was 53. I hope your kids are handling this challanging time well. My heart and prayers go out to your family…please do not hesitate to contact me if you need anything…talk, hug, whatever!

    1. Hi Jaylicious! Oh…58 is very young. My mom was 62 when she died. I am SO happy I had my dad around as long as I did. A great dad is irreplaceable…I’m in Arizona now enjoying the sun for just a few days. It’s warm and pretty…

  3. esteban yoyome | Reply

    u can tell the love u had for him lucky you,and i stil hear mine saying things to me also grat lov for both very rich life. you r in my prayers

    1. I do feel so fortunate to habe had the dad I did…and the mom. I still hear my mom telling me all sorts of things…and she’s as opinionated as ever. Ha!

  4. Sorry to hear about your loss Lynn. I’m glad that he was able to live a long life and you were able to learn a lot from him. Let me know if you wanna slop some hogs together 🙂

    1. Yes! Let’s slop hogs. Lol….Make my daddy proud! Thanks for the sweet note. My dad was a great person and I’m very happy we got so much time together. Hope all is well in your world and that those workouts are going well. Surprisingly, mine have been incredible. I think extra pressure makes me focus and train harder. Taking a few days to relax over spring break but only a few…then I’ll be back at it hard and heavy!

  5. Words said well. Sorry for your loss. I lost my father 18yrs ago and I think about him every day.

    1. I can still hear my mom saying things to me…like “Take your elbows off the table!” I think about her all the time too. It’s lovely to be able to carry our loved one’s memories even after death. Thank you for the kind note!

  6. It’s funny Arnold’s Father told him the same thing about weights. Good piece & sorry to hear about your lost.

    1. Hi! Thank you for the kind words. My dad made me laugh all the time. He was very indulgent with me and always gave me great support. I will miss talking to him in real life but I’m happy that he’s out of pain…

  7. I am sorry for your loss. But like you said, life is not about waiting for the end but live in between and create meaning for others and in the process discover yourself.

    1. Hello! Thank you for the nice note. I was lucky to have my father for all those 90 years. I try to live in a way that will make me proud when I’m at the end of my days. It’s the best way I can think of to honor myself and my parents who sacrificed so much for me.

  8. My condolences… Takke care and give yourself time to mourn

    1. Thank you! Yes…time is a great healing tool. I feel reflective but not sad. I had my wonderful dad around for so long and I’m grateful for our time together. His body was just not a comfortable place for him to be at the end. Really appreciate your kind words….

      1. It’s always sad when someone you’re close to passes away. But they still are with us in our memories and hearts. I’m glad that you’re processing your feelings! Take care!

      2. Well hello and thank you. I feel really lucky that I got to enjoy my dad’s company for so many years. He was a wonderful father!

  9. I’m sorry for your lost. I will keep you and your family in prayer.

    1. Al! Thank you…The last days have had some ups and downs but I’m glad my dad was resting peacefully at the end of his life. He was a wonderful man and I’m so happy that I had him for so long. Very happy that you touched base. Hope all is well in your part of the world…

  10. Sorry to hear about your dad love..despite it all, it is a blessing to live for 90 years..but even when death approaches all; we have life in the comforting thing to know is that he is alive and well with the Father in heaven…we all must live our life that is a blessing to those here on earth just like your father left many blessings for others here on earth in his profession. I will keep your family in prayer.. Love you my friend.

    1. Thank you Artie! I feel so happy that I had my dad all those years. He was an extraordinary man and I was a lucky daughter. Really appreciate your kind words. Wishing you a nice rest of the week.

  11. Hi Lynn i very sorry for your lost. Very nice post. I don’ t know what to say friend.

    1. Thank you so much for the nice note. No words necessary. Death is a part of life after all. I’ll miss my dad’s company but I’m grateful for all the many years we got to spend together! Wishing you a nice few days ahead…

  12. My condolences to you and your family. So much more I want to say and I will. Check your PM later. Your blog came at a perfect time in my life. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Matt! I wrote back but my email is weird, to say the least. I know my message didn’t go through so I’ll write again tomorrow. Really glad you wrote. Seems we have similar things to handle. Hope this day was a good one!

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