14 June 2010

Closing credits

So... it's been a whole week since Mrs Neo's Dad died. We're still prone to spontaneously blurting out our favourite G-Dad stories... but more often these days with a smile than a tear.

The whole family traveled to Toronto and retrieved G-Dad's ashes the other day and he currently sits... once again uncomplainingly... in his favorite chair looking out on the bird feeder. Even that brings a smile to my face... because despite the fact that it was a fairly expensive custom-made motorised lift chair... G-dad, in his year and a half plus with us... resolutely refused to even once use that feature.

That was, you see... for old guys... and he was having none of that.

We have also since learned that the last independent act of G-Dad's life was to redo his will and, amazingly, climb into his car and drive to a former law-partner's home to have it witnessed. Given his horrendous physical condition, which we discovered just two days later (6'2" and 125 lbs.)... which prompted us to travel to Toronto, kidnap and bring him back here to live with us... it was an errand of heroic proportions.

It's obvious to us now that G-Dad was feeling so physically precarious that he just had to tie up this one last loose end. While you or I would have been dialing 911, or looking for someone to drive them to the hospital... G-Dad just had to perform his last lawyerly duty.

It's just so typical... so utterly him.

I'm sure he had no idea that, with a little medical intervention, he had any significant amount of time left.

I'm just grateful that we got to spend it with him.


Anonymous said...

He sounds so much like my late father. Tough as nails on the outside, marshmallow-soft on the inside. They don't make them like that anymore.


Neo Conservative said...

barb... perhaps another way to describe it, is that he was tough-minded... g-dad had an unvarying moral compass... he simply had to do the right thing.

he enlisted in the airforce right out of high school and was being streamed for bombers when the war in europe ended. he then tried to get into the war in the pacific... i've seen the telegram that he received in response.

he used to joke that he chose law school because he thought there were lots of spare periods... but i think he liked the idea of a system that brought order to an often disorderly world.

g-dad lost his wife decades ago to cancer... and as a result just kept on working into his 80's... even though he could have easily retired & traveled.

this was a man who lived behind his own eyes... and unfailingly walked what he perceived to be the ethical path.

we will always remember him fondly... and, in the end, maybe that is all any of us can aspire to.


Blazing Cat Fur said...

Sorry to hear of your loss Neo, but grateful to learn a little about G-Dad, sounds like a really great guy.

syncrodox said...


Live like a man die like a man.

He knew that.