It was part of my father’s final wishes that I compose his last blog entry.
I am flattered that he thinks my writing is “eloquent” enough to bring closure to something that has come to mean so much to so many people…. but my dad is a tough act to follow!
First of all, since I have the forum to do so, I need to thank all the people (and there were hundreds – I am not exaggerating!) who took part in my father’s wake and funeral services. He used to worry that “no one would come”, and surely would have been blown away by the number of people who came to pay respects. I’m sure I am not just speaking for myself when I say that everyone was so loving and supporting, and the prayers were definitely felt, and brought us a great deal of comfort. All of my father’s final wishes were carried out: Sr. Sylvia (his angel) gave a beautiful prayer service at the wake, people made donations to St. Jude’s instead of sending flowers, my brother AJ stood to his right, Taryn sang beautifully at the funeral mass which was con-celebrated by Fr. Flanagan and Father Herb, my dad’s in-law’s did the readings, and people brought photos & other fun trinkets to bury my father with, along with one of Terry’s homemade blankets. Every detail was met, none to small. I think we did him proud.
My father truly left this world with no regrets. He said everything that needed to be said, and even left letters and gifts for the people who were closest to him. There is however one more thing I know he wanted to do, and it is my fault he didn’t get to do so….
He wanted to tell his blog readers (who have all come to mean so much to him) that he was going to become a grandfather this December.
When I found out I was pregnant, I could not wait to tell my dad. I knew he would be so excited. My husband and I really wanted to wait until the end of my first trimester to tell everyone, but made an exception for parents. Since I am due in December, we wrapped a framed picture of the ultrasound in Christmas paper, and gave it to him as an “early Christmas present”. Dad was ecstatic, and wanted to tell everyone right away. My husband and I understood, but really wanted to wait until the end of my first trimester to go public. I ended the first trimester the day after my father died.
I know he couldn’t wait to tell the world he was going to be a grandpa. He may not be here now to do that himself, and I am sorry for that, but to make up for it, I can share with you the video of when we told him. I don’t think he would mind.
There are so many qualities of my father that I hope our child inherits. I hope he or she is able learn from adversity, always advocate for themself, find humor in things that make other people cringe, and find it in their heart to help others – even when they are struggling. (I also hope our child shares my dad’s love for theater, passion for holiday decorating, and appreciation for diner food!)
Not only will my father live on in our child, but I hope he lives on through all of you. All he ever wanted was to attach some kind of meaning, or purpose, to his battle. If even one person has learned something from it, whether it be about a certain kind of chemo or just how to how to laugh when you feel like crying, I know that goal will obtained. Take what he has shown you, apply it to your life, make positive changes while you still can. But most importantly, stay strong and carry on.
With sincere thanks and love, Heather Wyman Boccassini