Present Tense

My Dad….

I got the call that my father passed away suddenly this afternoon.

This is the oldest Family Pic-1story on the planet. Death. Yet, it’s still so shocking. That’s really the only word that comes to mind. Shocking.

It’s the final destination for everyone and everything. It’s inevitable and common and….shocking.

My dad was 93 and in the true spirit of a stubborn, old, farmer he died in an accident. Not natural causes. One would think that at 93, some sort of organ failure would be the culprit. Not my dad.

He was so intent on getting his yard cleaned up after a long winter, that he apparently forgot all of the safety rules. Or maybe it was just a freak accident.  It gives me comfort to know that he was outside doing his favorite thing on a sunny day.

I know he would be kicking himself for leaving my mom. His tireless devotion to her made it possible for them to stay in their home all of this time. My mom is also 93, but no longer capable of caring for herself. She is frail and sort of foggy about time and events. He fussed over her and made sure that she took all of her pills and drank plenty of water. He had her on so many supplements that she was barely able to swallow them all. He wanted them both to live forever.

All of us assumed that my mom would be the first to pass, but feared that it would be my dad. This is the worst case scenario. Now, she has lost her caregiver and her life partner of over 70 years. My heart aches for her loss. I can’t imagine waking up next to someone for that many mornings and now suddenly, they are gone. She is the remaining half of a perfect pair.

So, tomorrow, I head home. To the house where I came of age and flew out the door at 19. This is the reason we moved back to Michigan. To be geographically close as death closed in on my parents. This is why I am here and I hope that I can offer love, aid and comfort to my mother and my family.

I loved my dad and he loved all of us.  Fiercely.  In a few days, I’ll be in a better place to eulogize him.  This is my stream of consciousness from an awful day.

Be well. Be grateful and never forget that life is finite.



April 9, 2014 - Posted by | Musings | , , , , ,


  1. My heart hurts for you. I’m praying for you, your mom and your family. You are loved.

    Comment by Cathy | April 9, 2014 | Reply

  2. Peace and prayers to you….

    Comment by Heidi Bauer | April 9, 2014 | Reply

  3. Oh, Jane, I am so sorry for your loss. Your awareness and acknowledgement of walking this path brings comfort as I am on the same journey, up ahead of you, just around the turn….
    Remember to breathe and be gentle to yourself ….

    Comment by Beverly | April 9, 2014 | Reply

  4. Prayers for you and your mom. God Bless.

    Comment by JC Ford | April 9, 2014 | Reply

  5. Jane, please accept my deepest regret at the news. My father is in the same position as caregiver and we worry about the same scenario. Please be careful in your travels and try to rejoice in a life so well lived. Thoughts are with you and your family. Tim.

    Comment by Tim Lankerd, Ann Arbor, Mi. | April 9, 2014 | Reply

  6. I am so sorry for your loss.

    Comment by Sherry | April 9, 2014 | Reply

  7. No matter how long we have our parents around, it’s never long enough. It’s good to hear he went doing what he loved doing, and that he didn’t have ailments to suffer through. Your mom will be lonely for sure, so keep her close as long as you can. I shed a tear for you, your mom and your entire family during this time. :o`(

    Comment by Jewel | April 9, 2014 | Reply

  8. Jane, I am so sorry for your loss.

    Comment by Lloyd | April 9, 2014 | Reply

  9. No matter how much we prepare for the inevitable stages of life and death…When it stares you in the face…it is a difficult journey…..I’m with you that it is a comfort that he died in the busyness of LIFE, and not in a state of bedridden never ending days. That is a blessing. My prayers are with you and your family and that even in this sad time, you can celebrate his life and his great investment in all your lives.

    Comment by A | April 9, 2014 | Reply

  10. It’s hard to forget someone who gave you so much to remember. Shannon

    Comment by Shannon | April 9, 2014 | Reply

  11. Jane, I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of your dad. You have shared so many stories of this wonderful person with your radio audience and it’s heartbreaking to hear that you have lost another loved one in such a short amount of time. My thoughts are with you and your family. Take care Jane.

    Comment by Mireille Perez | April 9, 2014 | Reply

  12. soo sorry for your loss. May you and y siblings bring comfort to your mom and may she know that he loved her and will be watching over her, you and your siblings and the rest of your family.

    Comment by Michelle | April 9, 2014 | Reply

  13. So sorry to hear of your dad’s passing… My condolences, thoughts and prayers.

    Comment by Becky B. | April 9, 2014 | Reply

  14. So Sorry for you!! I feel like I know your parents from all your stories on the radio. My heart hurts for you and your whole family!

    Comment by Dena Randall | April 9, 2014 | Reply

  15. Jane, so very sorry to read this. Even when we know the time is coming, it still seems to come as a shock. My parents were together 65 years – until las May. I thank God that he didn’t t suffer long and was never in pain. Yes, Mom is struggling to figure out a new normal – she was half of a pair for so very long. Giant hugs to you and your family.

    Comment by Edie | April 9, 2014 | Reply

  16. Oh Jane, I am so very sorry for you and your family, especially your Mom. I’m heartbroken for you and will keep y’all in my prayers.

    Comment by Barbara | April 9, 2014 | Reply

  17. I am so, so sorry Jane. Love and prayers to you and your family.

    Comment by shellybelly12 | April 9, 2014 | Reply

  18. Jane, I am so sorry to hear about your Dad! It feels like losing a family member from the wonderful stories you have shared. No matter how long are parents are here, it is no easier to lose them. We hope time heals.

    Comment by Cindy Colip | April 9, 2014 | Reply

  19. I am so very sorry for your loss. I lost my mom three years ago, I still miss her a lot.

    Comment by Philip | April 9, 2014 | Reply

  20. Oh, Jane, I am so sorry for your loss. My dad is 93–just today! He is healthy, still lives on his own and still drives well and I’m so thankful for each day he is still here with us. We lost my mom about 18 months ago and he’s been so lonely since her passing, so I worry about him. I am happy that your dad was doing what he loved and that he was happy in his life and that he had such a wonderful partner for so many years. Know that we are thinking of you and your family and sending hugs your way.

    Comment by Lisa Stevens | April 9, 2014 | Reply

  21. Oh Jane, I have no words. Just love. Thanks for letting us all know. Feel our hearts – we are with you.

    Comment by Erica | April 9, 2014 | Reply

  22. Jane, I am so sorry to hear about your Dad. Nothing ever prepares us for the loss of a parent. Know that he died doing what he loved and that that is the best way to go even though the suddenness of it shatters your world. You and your family are im my prayers.

    Comment by Terri | April 9, 2014 | Reply

  23. Oh Jane, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. My prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.

    Comment by Kris | April 9, 2014 | Reply

  24. Hugs, big hugs.

    Comment by Sharon Cary | April 9, 2014 | Reply

  25. Dear Jane, My heart aches for you tonight. I am so sorry for the tragic loss of your father and your mother’s life partner, friend, lover and caregiver. I cannot even imagine the struggles you have facing you now. Your letter was a beautiful expression of your feelings for your parents. I wish you the strength and stamina to get you through these sad and challenging times. I wish you peace and happy memories to sustain you and your Mom while accepting, adjusting and healing. Sending hugs.

    Comment by ElaineC | April 9, 2014 | Reply

  26. I lost my 89 yr. old mom to a sudden, unexpected stroke last year. We had gone on a fun family outing to the Denver Zoo just the day before. Even though we know our parents won’t – can’t – live forever, it’s so hard when they succumb to the inevitable. We were lucky to have had them in our lives for such a good long time. My heartfelt sympathies to you, your mom and all of your family.

    Comment by Kit | April 9, 2014 | Reply

  27. Jane, my heart aches for you. I lost my dad five years ago – he was 71. Much too young and with so many more years left to live with his wife of 44 years. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers in the coming days as you remember your dad and celebrate a life well lived.

    Comment by Kaci | April 9, 2014 | Reply

  28. Reblogged this on benzintensiveme's Blog.

    Comment by benzintensiveme | April 9, 2014 | Reply

  29. So sorry for your loss.

    Comment by Ginny | April 9, 2014 | Reply

  30. Jane – I’m just stumbling through the “musings” reader. My parents are approaching 90 and live very independently in Michigan, my homestate. I read about your loss and your mom’s loss, thinking “boy, we have a lot in common” because I know it’s only a matter of time before I write the same post, fly to Michigan, and help one of my parents bury the other. I will be thinking of you this week as you experience this rite of passage and celebration of your father’s life-well-lived.

    Then I decide to find out more about you – is Michigan the only thing we have in common? i’ve met an uncanny number of bloggers online who live in Colorado, like me. Could we possibly have that in common?

    Then OMG YOU’Re JANE!! that Jane!! the one Hub and I love to listen to on the radio!!!

    Well I’ve rambled on enough, but I’m happy I found you and hope you will tell us more about your father. Those Depression-era Michiganders are hardy stock.

    Sincerely, Sammy D at

    Comment by Sammy D. | April 9, 2014 | Reply

  31. So sorry Jane. Even when you know it’s coming sometime soon it’s never easy.
    Prayers for you all.

    Comment by Penny Kidd | April 9, 2014 | Reply

  32. Jane, What a beautifully written heart and soul tribute to your Dad on the day of his passing. You are in the eye of the storm and still able to collect your thoughts and express what your heart feels. This strength of yours will certainly help you and yours in the days ahead. I was fortunate enough to form a life long bond with your sister, Marsha. Our friendship placed me in your parents home as almost a 5th child. Your father was always the ‘quiet one’, but with an enormous smile whenever he saw me. Your mother was my surrogate Mom many, many times. I adored both of your parents and will always cherish the memories that I have of them. May peace be with you, Sandy Hotton Brown.

    Comment by Sandra Brown | April 9, 2014 | Reply

  33. So sorry for your loss.

    Comment by Big Mike | April 10, 2014 | Reply

  34. Jane, this must be such a difficult time for you and your family. I am so sorry for your loss. I wish for you the strength to get through this time, the comfort of your good memories, and the love and support of family and friends. I am missing my own Dad very much at this time of year too…
    Sherry London Pollack

    Comment by Sherry P | April 10, 2014 | Reply

  35. Jane, I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Comment by Karen | April 10, 2014 | Reply

  36. I’m sorry Jane.It is always so difficult to lose someone. Hugs lady.

    Comment by Peggy | April 10, 2014 | Reply

  37. So sorry for your loss Jane.

    Comment by Marissa | April 10, 2014 | Reply

  38. Jane – I’m so sorry for your loss. Love and light and prayers for your family.

    Comment by Kaye L | April 10, 2014 | Reply

  39. This makes me cry

    Comment by Karla | April 10, 2014 | Reply

  40. Jane, my sincere condolences on the passing of your father. My hope is that you can depend on strength, courage, love and Compassion in the days to come.

    Comment by cjsbutrfly | April 10, 2014 | Reply

  41. Jane, I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my step father in early January after a very long and drawn out illness. The sorrow does fade, but the memories will last a lifetime!!!

    Comment by Kim | April 10, 2014 | Reply

  42. Please accept my condolences and know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Strength to you and your family.

    Comment by Vicki | April 10, 2014 | Reply

  43. I am so sorry for your loss. I know that there are no words that will comfort you and your family right now, but know that the heartache does get easier to deal with. I lost my father 2 years ago so I do understand. Just remember all of the good and fun times. You will laugh and cry all at the same time remembering all of the things that have happened through the years.

    I am sending hugs and prayers to you and your family in this difficult time.

    Comment by Kim | April 10, 2014 | Reply

  44. I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s a blessing that you were able to be nearby for his final days. Peace be with you.

    Comment by Renee | April 10, 2014 | Reply

  45. Dear Jane, so sorry for your loss. You will be a tremendous comfort to your mother. Hope your family finds comfort in many happy memories and knowing that so many people care.

    Comment by Carol Brust | April 10, 2014 | Reply

  46. I’m so sorry to hear of the passing of your father. We absolutely adore your parents and Aunt Marsha. I am Michele, Frank’s late sister, Debbie’s oldest, and on behalf of all of us, we are praying for peace and comfort for all of you especially your mom. I pray my mom is there to greet him and they both look over all of us, especially your mom.

    Comment by Michele Skinner | April 10, 2014 | Reply

  47. So sorry Jane. we lost my Mom last year unexpectedly and she was the caregiver for my Dad. We found out how bad he was after she was gone. Now he is here in Parker with us in a wonderful home. Take care of your Mom, I am sure she misses him terribly.

    Comment by judy bygott | April 10, 2014 | Reply

  48. Sorry for your loss, Jane.

    Comment by Dianediane | April 10, 2014 | Reply

  49. So sorry Jane. That’s the hardest call to get. Hugs, my friend.

    Comment by Deb Strom | April 10, 2014 | Reply

  50. The hole in your heart will never go away, but the pain will be replaced with memories of what your dad meant to you and all that he taught you along the way. Peace be with you.

    Comment by Lisa Murphy | April 10, 2014 | Reply

  51. So very sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing.

    Comment by Leona Salazar | April 10, 2014 | Reply

  52. Jane, I am reading this well after you have written it. My heart aches for you as I have a small understanding of how it feels. I am sorry for your family’s loss and pray that you will find peace in the hours, days, weeks and months to come. I especially pray that your dear mom will be comforted somehow with this loss. I cannot even begin to imagine her pain.

    Comment by Shelley Underhill | April 12, 2014 | Reply

  53. I can feel your hurt. I am so sorry. I got a phone call at 1;11 am (hard to forget that time) that my father passed away. It has been almost 33 years now. I was in total shock, also, so I know what you mean by using the word shocking. I also know what you mean by saying you are physically and emotionally exhausted. I was, too. I could lay down on the couch and sleep at any moment. I remember my mom asking my then husband what was the matter with me. I had a hard time functioning through all the chaos of people being around, the funeral, the burial, etc. Plus it was in the middle of winter in Minnesota and the funeral was on a horrific stormy day. Just added to all my sad feelings.

    Sending you a virtual hug, Jane. Thanks for sharing your story.

    Comment by Kathy Graybill | April 12, 2014 | Reply

  54. I am so sorry to hear about your dad. You are so blessed to have had him for 93 years and in good health and sound mind. Rejoice in your memories.

    Comment by Patty | April 13, 2014 | Reply

  55. Jane, as expected, so well written. I love your view of death. Whether they die at 63 or 93, loss is lonely. Blessings on your mother and big hugs from us.

    Comment by Byron | April 13, 2014 | Reply

  56. Hi Jane, I am so sorry about your loss, but as you know, you and your family have been so blessed to have both of your parents for such a long time! I know that it is tough right now, but try to savor and treasure all the wonderful memories that you have. Art and I are so glad that we were able to share the trip to Alaska with them. Our love and prayers to your whole family!
    Karen Willaredt

    Comment by Karen Willaredt | April 16, 2014 | Reply

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