Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Jerry Macky

July 4, 1930 - December 28, 2008

Dad at the beach:

A dear friend once told me that she only wrote in her journal when she was sad, when something bad had happened, or when she was upset. She said that if somebody read her journal, they'd think she was always like that. Truth was that when she was happy and busy and productive, she didn't feel the need for catharsis through writing.

In some ways I think I'm the same. Though I have posted on this blog about things that make me happy (music, storms, education, my cats, architecture), I am more likely to write when something is weighing on me and I have the need to put my feelings into words and pictures.

In the past three years or so I've written about the death of my mother, my trip across the country leaving her perfume bottles along the way, our celebration of her first birthday after she died... I wrote about my dad and how the knowledge that he wasn't going to be around for long made him seem all the more special to me. I wrote that I mourned the opportunities I've missed to spend more time with him and that I wished we lived closer to each other.

I didn't make it home this summer. A job change, a change of living arrangement, the lack of a chunk of time to visit... So, I planned a nice, long visit over the Christmas break from school. I arrived in North Carolina very late in the evening on the 20th of December. On the morning of the 21st I went to my dad's home to see him. Though my beloved sister in law, Laurie, had let me know that dad would look much older, I was surprised at how unwell he looked that day. She had seen him perhaps a week before and he had seemed OK, but when she arrived that day she knew something was wrong. She told him that if he wasn't much better by morning, he needed to go to the emergency room.

He was trying to wait until his doctor appointment a few days away, but the next morning, she insisted. My dear brother, Greg, met him there. We all assumed that we'd all be home together in a day or so. Well, that night daddy laughed and joked with the doctors and nurses. They tweaked his medications (don't get me started on the state of pharmacological health "care"), shook their heads, admitted him to the hospital, shook their heads some more, added more and more medications, and on the night of the 7th day he was there, he died.

I'm so thankful that had the honor of being his daughter. He was an amazing man. I never knew anyone else like him. He was kind and gentle. He was strong and striking. He was a loyal and helpful friend to more people than anybody could ever count.

The parts of me that I am most proud of are the parts of me that are like him. He will live on in his children and grandchildren. He will live on through all who knew him.

I was humbled to be there as he took his last peaceful sigh of a breath. He and I had stood by my mom, his wife, three years ago as she did the same. Death is a passage, for certain, I am awed by its power and its pain.

I love you daddy.

Dad and my brother Greg:


At 11:49 PM, Blogger Gracie said...

Oh Mona, I had no idea. I am so sorry. I was shocked as I read he died. I know your dad meant the world to you. Are you ok? We've got to see each other! Much love and a huge hug your way! Im sorry.

At 11:23 AM, Blogger Petrea said...

A beautiful post. I know this awe.

At 3:22 PM, Blogger Kim said...

Mona, this is a beautiful tribute to your dear dad and his loving influence and shaping in your life. Blessings as you continue to think of him and his passing and your own life and family. I popped in to see how things were going with work and life. I was just down there last weekend and had thought to try to get in touch, but it was a sort in and out with lots going on. Hopefully next time.
Wishing you peace and comfort,

At 8:58 PM, Blogger That is the chicken said...

I think it's the First Nations who believe that a person has not truly left this earth until the last person who remembers them has died.
From this beautiful writing I can see that your father will be on this earth in your heart for a long time.
I hope you are faring well on your journey through grief.
Wishing you peace and happy memories of your father. He sounds like a great guy.


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