Sunday, June 19, 2011

My Dad

What better way to remember my dad than on Fathers day.  There are probably only a handful of you who read this blog who ever had to privilege of meeting or knowing my dad, which is really too bad because, my dad, was a great man!


My dad died when I was 9 years old, he died of Leukemia.  9 was an age that I could definitely remember my father and also realize the impact of not having him around anymore.  There were 6 of us, 6 children left without a dad, and my mom left without a husband.  My youngest sister, Danae was only 4 years old when he passed, so she hardly remembers him, especially since he spent so much time in the hospital towards the end of his life. 

I will try to tell you about my father, about the 9 years I knew him, and those memories I have stored in my memory bank for 29 years, nothing will do him justice and my memories are only a tiny piece of his life.

I remember that my dad L.O.V.E.D life!  He had a contagious joy and laugh, that I will never forget, I can still hear his laugh in my head, clear as could be! My dad was loud, everyone knew who he was!  He always stood up for what was right, even when it rubbed people the wrong way.  My dad Loved people, hence the 6 kids.  He was a high school math teacher and a basketball coach.  He NEVER let anything stop him!  One time his students dared him to eat a stink beetle,  I think they pitched in a total of $13 when they dared him to eat it, and he swallowed that thing without hesitation, he would have done it for 13 cents, it wasn't about the money, but the dare. 

My dad was also a marine, and a good one (from what I hear).  When sent into the wilderness to fend for himself for many days (a task many marines came back weak, with lots of weight loss) my dad came back stronger and had actually gained weight, I loved that about him. No challenge unmet.

I remember waking up sooo early in the morning and going fishing with my dad, this was a very special time together......quite, peaceful, just dad and I.  I don't think I have ever been fishing since my dad died.....I miss that.

I remember his hugs and love, throwing me in the air, being affectionate, doing helicopter rides, riding on his back and giving zerberts (blow kisses).

I remember that my dad used to work the midnight shift at a gas station in the summer to help provide more money for our family and sometimes he would let us go to work with him, this was also very special.  I remember one time while we were helping at the gas station with my dad it go robbed!  I never felt unsafe while it was happening though because I knew my dad would protect us.

I remember my dad taking college classes at night, and sometimes I would get to go with him, just to spend more time together.

I remember visiting him in the hospital and knowing that he looked very sick, but that he wasn't done fighting.

I remember hoping, even at age 9 that I would be a bone marrow match for him.

I remember living in different homes and with different families while my dad was dying so my mom could be with him. 
I remember the tremendous love and sacrifice of those families.

Looking back I often think how hard it must have been to for my dad to know that he was dying and going to leave a wife and 6 children behind, for me that is the worst thought.  To know that he was going to leave his children........it is an unbearable thought.

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Every now and again Norah will make a face or do something that looks just like my dad!  I love seeing that and remembering him.

I wish my husband could have known him

But more than anything looking back I remember his Love, his Love for the Lord, his Love for his family, his Love for life!  He set the example for  our family. I can't wait to see him again someday!

One of the few photos with my dad, (I am on his lap)

Happy Fathers day Dad, I really miss you...

5 comments:

  1. Dang it Jenni...you made me cry again. I started thinking of my dad and some memories of my own childhood...I think I will try to write something too...No one ever described your dad to me. He looks like a fun, loving guy..Your mom is as beautiful as can be!

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  2. What precious memories! Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Ok. I've read it. So beautiful Jenni. He was always as you describe him I never remember a time that he was not THE BEST! Because he was 6 years older...he was always a force in my life. We shared great affection as cousins. Gene did always accept a challenge. He was a Marine's Marine. He owned the calling...but gentle and caring; as was his dad/your Grandpa/my Uncle Richard. While you were living in others' homes...and when your mom was not able to be at the hospital, or your Grandpa and Grandma, I was honored to serve this man. To the very end he served his King; honoring him with his life and health and then in affliction. I said at his funeral, just before singing, that he was perfect. Of course no person is perfect. But in his spirit he was as close as I've ever been to earthly perfection. Eugene Paul Cox lived so much of life in his 46 years. Even though it has been 20 years this year...I still cannot help shedding tears. Thank you for Posting this. The tears may be bittersweet...but they wash my soul. Praise be to God for the life of this man who touched so many.

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  4. I love this, Jenni! Thank you for sharing. :) Precious precious words... I know your dad is proud of you.

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  5. What a beautiful tribute to your Father. It helps me understand your attraction and love for Brett. Thank you Jenni for blogging.

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