Things to Do - A Day At The Park


It seems like awhile ago, but Thursday, February 17th was such a beautiful, warm winter day. We spent the afternoon at the park with friends and the kids ran and ran (no coats needed). After the park, a close friend hosted a picnic dinner in her backyard and we watched the sky fade from blue to lovely shades of yellow, pink, purple and, finally, black. Then on Friday, I flew home to see my dad. On Saturday he died.

My dad spent the last three years fighting stage 4 esophageal cancer, so I had plenty of time to prepare for his passing. Unfortunately I still wasn't prepared. My father taught me two major lessons in life. First, knowledge/education is a gift, never an obligation. I never HAD to go to school, instead I GOT to go to school. My dad, a high school history teacher by profession and an avid fan of Trivial Pursuit, loved learning. always. Once when I was in law school my parents came to visit on a night when my neighbors, one of whom was working on a PhD in Anthropology, were throwing a dinner party. I'll never forget the conversation my father had with this man, my dad had read more books on anthropology than the PhD student had. Or when I was in high school, my father decided he needed to learn about biology, so he hired my friend's sister to tutor him for the day, and after that he started reading Scientific American. He was never dogmatic, at least not until the later years of his life, and taught me to look at the world from all sides and never accept simple answers.

For my father, physical exercise was also a gift rather than an obligation. Until his illness, my dad was the only person I've ever met who worked out every day of his life. Well into his 60s my father went on 10 mile walks around the neighborhood, always discovering new things. One of the hardest parts about my father's struggle with cancer was watching him gradually lose his ability to walk long distances.

As cheesy as it sounds, my father was seriously one of the nicest, kindest people I've ever met (I can remember waiting on street corners as a child while my dad helped little old women that we didn't even know cross the street) and I will miss him more than I can express.



  1. Oh Darcy, I feel with you...and yes, we can never be prepared enough for this moment even if we try as much as we can. My mom left me 1,5 year ago. This post makes it so present again...Take care.
    (sorry for the really poor english)

  2. Darcy, I am so sorry to hear about your dad. I lost my mom to a long battle with cancer as well and when she finally passed away I still was not prepared for it either. I'm glad you had a chance to say goodbye to your dad. He sounds like a wonderful man and that you have many great memories of him and all he taught you. xo K

  3. Darcy, what a lovely post! Thank you so much for sharing your feelings in such a great way. I wish I would have had more time to talk with your dad. I always enjoyed all the conversations that we had. He really was the nicest kindest person. Big hugs and lots of love!

  4. Thanks everyone! It feels so weird and cheesy to try to put such strong emotion into words. without sarcasm I'm a little lost.

  5. What a great tribute to your dad! So sorry for your loss.

  6. Darcy, what a moving tribute - I'm all teary remembering your dad. Your dad was one of the most engaged, present, kind people I've ever met. I will never forget how much he loved dogs, his long walks with Dos, and his endless curiosity about the world around him. I can't imagine how much you miss him. Lots of love to you all!

  7. Your dad sounds like a wonderful person and father. I am so sorry for your loss. This is a wonderful tribute, prayers and thoughts with you and your family.

  8. Darcy, after my trip away last week, I am finally catching up on blog reading and just now came across this beautiful tribute to your dad. I am so sorry for your loss and so glad that you have such warm memories of him.

  9. this is my first time here
    but i wanted to say that i am sorry for your loss
    and also what a sweet and interesting man your dad must have been...it must be hard...



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