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Old 11-24-2010, 09:14 PM   #1
AbsyBabsy
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My dad, Santa Jack is in heavan

I guess I just need to tell someone. My dad died Friday, November 19 at 3:57 AM. The official time of death it 4:15 but I know he died at 3:57. I was holding his hand. His mother, my grandmother died on the same day, 21 years ago.

Last year on the day, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He decided to fight and did great. A few days before he passed he called me and sounded like he was not even sick. The last chemo treatment destroyed his liver and kidneys.

He started to get very sick on Tuesday and went to the hospital on Wednesday. On Thursday I drove to North Georgia from Central Florida and knew the minute I saw him, he was going to pass soon. At 3 P.M., his wife went home (step-mother) to have dinner and to rest. At 10 PM, my husband left to get some sleep. I could not leave. Although my dad could not speak or hardly move, every time I tried to move, he would grab my hand. My daughter is 10 years old and she recorded a message and sang a song for him. I played it and he actually lifted his head off the pillow looking for her. That is when I decided to call his sister and had her say goodbye to him as she was still up north trying to get a flight down.

Around 3AM, I knew he was close so I called my husband and my step-mother, she could not wake up as she had taken sleeping pills. My husband came right away. At 3:15 he opened his eyes wide but did not look at us - he looked up. Then his vitals started to slide significantly. I tried his wife again and this time she woke up and rushed over. He did shortly after she arrived while we held his hands.

The funeral Mass was incredible. My father was the 25th family to join the church and had been a member for many years. The Knights of Columbus were the pallbearers along with my cousin who flew down from NH. They brought him into the church and My step-mother and I, followed by the rest of our family followed him into church. As they brought him up the isle one last time, My daughter sang the first stanza of Amazing Grace, and then the choir joined in. She sounded beautiful, even though I could hear her voice breaking trying not to cry. The regular choir was not there, it was the "retired" choir members that sang with my dad for 20 years, they canceled vacations and plans to sing for my dad.

After the service we went to the National Cemetery. He served in the Air Force. His coffin was draped in a flag and in the distance, a bugle player played Taps. Then as they folded the flag, a bagpiper played. After this, my daughter (who is in a wheel chair) got up on her own and had me help her hop to the casket to place a red rose and a Lily on the center.

In the evening, I bought some apple cider "champagne" so my daughter could participate, and we stood in his kitchen and toasted to Santa Jack. Each of us telling what we loved most about him.

Today I drove home and listed to my voice mail that I had not checked in a week. There was a message from my dad, sounding great, calling to say Hi and say he loved me.

This is my daughter and her PopPop, my dad, Santa Jack
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Old 11-25-2010, 10:28 AM   #2
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I am so very sorry for your loss. I am glad that you were able to share those last moments with your Dad and that the funeral was such a beautiful tribute. What a beautiful gift that voice mail is. Bless you as you mourn and bless you as you remember him.
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Old 11-26-2010, 07:36 AM   #3
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I am so glad that you got to spend those precious moments with your Dad and most especially that you were with him when he passed..

I loved the picture, it brought tears to my eyes... Know this, these holidays are so hard when you are missing a loved one and give yourself permission to grieve and to cry when you need to.. You sound like an incredible daughter and your father was blessed to have you with him..

Hugs to you and your family,
Marsha
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:31 PM   #4
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Absy, you have my deepest sympathy. You were there with him at the end! It's something you never forget.

He really did look like Santa! The Holidays will be tough, just remember the good times, and you'll get through it.
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:38 PM   #5
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Thanks for the kind words.
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Old 11-27-2010, 11:53 PM   #6
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So sorry that you have lost your precious father, he sounds like a remarkable man.

I shall be thinking of you and your family during this sad time.

The photo of you dad and daughter is so beautiful, thankyou for sharing.

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Old 11-29-2010, 07:42 AM   #7
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Ohhh, sending prayers for your family!

What a beautiful photo!
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Old 11-30-2010, 04:00 PM   #8
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I am so sorry for your loss. Sending prayers to you and your family. I would feel lucky if I was able to share last moments with my loved ones.

I agree - it's a beautiful photo.
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Old 12-01-2010, 12:01 PM   #9
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I am sorry for your loss.

What a most beautiful photo. Hugs and prayers.
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Old 12-01-2010, 01:34 PM   #10
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So sorry for your loss. Was wondering why you called him "Santa Jack" until I saw the picture. Your DD is absolutely beautiful and you can tell they loved each other. How wonderful he passed with you and his wife holding his hand.
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Old 12-02-2010, 04:38 AM   #11
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Prayers for you at such a difficult time; it sounds like you had a wonderful father.
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Old 12-02-2010, 07:59 PM   #12
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what a lovely tribute you wrote for your father, i'm sure he'd be proud
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Old 12-04-2010, 06:14 PM   #13
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I am so sorry for your loss Saying prayers for your family. What a beautiful picture you can just see the love. He sounds like he was a very special man & you are wonderful daughter.
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Old 12-28-2010, 07:38 PM   #14
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Been reading your replies today. Thank you for your kind words. I am so happy I got to spend time with him before he passed, it was truly a gift. I am glad I was there to help him say goodbye. As the Priest told my daughter, he did not die, he transformed, like a caterpillar that appears to die within it's chrysalis but then emerges as a beautiful butterfly. He is a butterfly in heaven. I like to think of it that way.

Miss you SantaJack!
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Old 01-19-2011, 09:25 AM   #15
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Thank you for sharing that story and sorry to hear about the loss of your father. I hope you find comfort that his mom, his quardian angel, was there for him!!!!
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