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(Imgur)   This is the best photo I have ever taken. DIT   ( divider line
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34010 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 Aug 2014 at 3:44 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2014-08-18 09:12:02 PM  
My parents were married for 63 years. I have eight brothers and sisters, and a few dozen neices and nephews.

Two weeks ago, I was sitting at my desk at work when my sister called to tell me my 79-year-old Mom had died in her sleep. It was sudden, it was unexpected, and it was hard. So so hard.

My parents blazed a trail of goodwill and love for more than six decades, and their beautiful, huge old country home became a home away from home for so many people because they so unconditionally opened their hearts to anyone who wanted to stop in for coffee (or, a beer) and share a story.

My Dad is doing well. He's surrounded by family...four of my siblings live within 10 miles.  (And, he's also been the subject of one or two Fark threads, for which I'm eternally grateful to Farkdom for all the great input.)

I live and work in the New Orleans area, and so wish I had spent more weekends up at their place.  While I was there over the last weekend, as we were all still recovering from the loss of Mom, one of the grandkids broke a part on the golf cart while riding the endless weaving trails he cut through the woods.

Pop as a welder, and then as a welding inspector, for the same company for his entire career. The kind of institutional, technical, and business-specific knowledge he holds in his head is beyond measure, and I am still pissed at a company that would retire someone like him three years from 65 just to save a few nickles.  For many years, the same company kept contacting him to come back as an "adviser," at a steep rate.  Pop passed.

I so loved my mother, and I so miss being able to pick up the phone and talk with her, and getting to know her even better.  The parent you know before you are 30 or 40 is so different from the parent you get to know later in life. You both keep growing...the difference is, I was the one who finally started to realize that.

But over the last two weeks, my Dad is still here. He's propped us up more than vice-versa.  A couple of days after Mom passed, a couple of us thought it would be a good idea to "keep him busy" by working the land. Pop then proceeded to work us into the ground in the Louisiana summer heat. Heh.

As I mentioned above, one of the grandkids broke a steering rod while driving the golf cart. After crawling under the cart, Pop diagnosed the problem, where it had been sheared off clean. Start to finish, including jacking up the cart, removing the broken ends of the tie-rod that were screwed in, welding them back together, and reinstallation, was 53 minutes.

My Mom is now now buried on their property, at the highest elevation of the 60 acres. Like water in a glass, my Mother touched every part of the house I grew up in...and now, every moment and step I spend there, I see her lovely touch on everything.  Now, Pop is living without her in that big house, but he's not alone. He is also very much in charge of the land, and of his massive workshop...the kind of shop a retired master welder would build, if, say, you want to build a 2,000 square foot play area that will also withstand a hurricane. (The entire frame is six-inch pipe, all sunk in concrete.)

Back to the photo.. I shot this as Pop fixed the broken part from the golf cart. My brother and his wife were at first kind of mortified that their daughter had broken something on the golf cart, which is also a pretty vital little vehicle for Pop's life on the farm. But over the last couple of days, the broken-part-incident (and this picture) has spawned many, many stories of other "golf cart stories," and many other stories of the times Pop sprang into action to fix something, quickly, when there was no other option on a welder's salary.

I sure miss my Mom. And, I now cherish even more every moment I can spend with the ones I love.

I love you, Rosie. And thank you for making me a better man, Pop.
2014-08-18 09:33:46 PM  
Great shot. Sorry to hear about your mom.
2014-08-18 09:34:07 PM  
That's awesome. And very well stated.

Do you call him Pops Tolstoy?
2014-08-18 09:47:27 PM  
By the way, one of the Fark threads with Pop...Photoshopped while mowing in his PJ's ng -strong-at-80-Difficulty-No-Ferengi#new
2014-08-18 10:22:40 PM  
Sorry about your mom.
2014-08-18 10:24:10 PM  
I can't fix shiate with a laxative, a puckered anus, directions, and an assistant but I'm fixin' to buy you a drink next time I'm in New Orleans.
2014-08-18 10:25:45 PM  
Nice picture. I lost my dad this year so I get it. Enjoy the time you have.
2014-08-18 10:29:32 PM  
Sorry to hear about your mom, but that was a great read and a nice pic.
2014-08-18 10:32:13 PM  
By the way, here's Pop and Rosie.

img.fark.netView Full Size
2014-08-18 10:32:48 PM  
I have made many good friends through Fark. Thanks for letting me share.
2014-08-18 10:35:17 PM  
Feelin for you.
2014-08-18 10:47:52 PM  
My condolences but it sounds like they had a full life with lots of love & friends.  We should all be so lucky.
2014-08-18 11:05:29 PM  

vicejay: My parents were married for 63 years. I have eight brothers and sisters, and a few dozen neices and nephews.

Two weeks ago, I was sitting at my desk at work when my sister called to tell me my 79-year-old Mom had died in her sleep. It was sudden, it was unexpected, and it was hard. So so hard.

My parents blazed a trail of goodwill and love for more than six decades...

My truest and most heartfelt condolences for your loss, and for the void that has bloomed eternally within your family.  I don't know your mom or your mom's name, or where her service will be, but if I did, I'd send a big 'ol arrangement that says "Job Well Done".  Because it was.

Peace be with you, Subby.
2014-08-18 11:21:52 PM  
My 90 y/o Mom went in a week ago today for emergency blood clot surgery. She's still there and still a day or 2 from going to a rehab facility. After that, we have no timeframe as to when she'll be home and under what conditions. My 91 dad is doing great under the circumstances. My 2 older sisters are retired and can help out but both live a couple hours away. My daughter and her b/f will be moving in with my folks soon and will help out as best they can. Tough situation all around.

IOW, I understand what you've gone through and are still going through.
2014-08-18 11:27:16 PM  

vicejay: thank you for making me a better man, Pop.

Yep, he did a fine job. Good on both of you.
2014-08-18 11:59:20 PM  
This year was my orphan year and my heart goes out to you. Folks like your Dad seem larger than life.
2014-08-19 12:05:23 AM  
your words prove your folks did it right.

sorry for your loss.
2014-08-19 12:23:15 AM  
I originally went upstairs to reboot the router, but wound up sitting down at the computer and typing all of this all at once. Thanks again to Farkdom for being a great family.
2014-08-19 12:28:09 AM  
Like water in a glass, my Mother touched every part of the house I grew up in...and now, every moment and step I spend there, I see her lovely touch on everything.

Beautifully said, vicejay.

And that is a great photo!
2014-08-19 01:13:25 AM  
The cowboy hat and the lens flares really make the shot for me, we see his personality with the hat & some light in the air lends to the imagination in just the right way.

Couldn't ask for a better key light! Thanks for sharing. Condolences in this difficult time.
2014-08-19 02:43:15 AM  
ty 4 sharing
2014-08-19 03:49:05 AM  
Best wishes to you vicejay, best wishes to your entire family.
2014-08-19 03:51:22 AM  
Hey um, to anyone with a loved one in a hospital bed, the best advice I ever got, I got from Al Franken, I think when he was on Air America.

He spoke of his mother dying and how when she was in the hospital in her last days, Al just sat by the bed and held her hand the entire time.

Let me tell you, that was wonderful advice.
2014-08-19 03:51:34 AM  
Condolences, Vicejay. You guys obviously loved her very much. It's nice that some folk are so close to their parents.

Haven't spoken a word to mine in 15 years now.
2014-08-19 03:59:14 AM  

robohobo: Haven't spoken a word to mine in 15 years now.

Both my parents (as well as 2 of my 3 siblings) are utter sacks of sh*t, unworthy of discussion.

/sorry you lost your mom
//hope she went peacefully and quickly
2014-08-19 04:02:08 AM  
Cheers, and well done to you, your mum, and your dad.
2014-08-19 04:03:25 AM  
Thank you for sharing. Sounds like a wonderful family. :)
2014-08-19 04:03:44 AM  
I think I should call my dad.

Good luck Vicejay, I hope I have no idea what you're dealing with for a long, long time.  I feel really lucky to have parents that I can't wait to see.
2014-08-19 04:07:01 AM  
2014-08-19 04:15:04 AM  
It's a Tropicana rose. It's the colour of fire, and your Pop is plainly a master of fire.

So this is for him, and for the memory of your Mother.

2.bp.blogspot.comView Full Size
2014-08-19 04:19:23 AM  
Nice, atmospheric photo!

Here are some of my best shots:

distilleryimage11.ak.instagram.comView Full Size

distilleryimage8.ak.instagram.comView Full Size

distilleryimage11.ak.instagram.comView Full Size

Take care!
2014-08-19 04:19:29 AM  
Why you gotta make me cry man? 

Beautiful story, beautiful picture. Condolences.
2014-08-19 04:21:11 AM  
Beautiful story, and you're so lucky to have such a beautiful family. Peace for you and yours.
2014-08-19 04:35:08 AM  
This fall will make 10 years since the loss of my parents.
Not one single day passes, where they aren't in my thoughts.
Honor your folks by being the best person you can be, and they'll call it even.
2014-08-19 04:37:08 AM  
Perhaps i spoke too quickly in my haste to discount my own family.

I love my mother dearly. However she is stubborn, dumb as dirt and refuses to listen. But she's my mother.

/the rest can rot in hell, for all i care
2014-08-19 04:46:41 AM  
That was nice to read, thanks for sharing and sorry for your loss.
2014-08-19 04:57:47 AM  
Sorry for your loss, mate. I love the photograph. It's really, rather beautiful, and especially touching with the story as context.

A tear and a smile was raised over here in Sweden.

(as well as a glass)

thanks for the share!!
2014-08-19 05:00:56 AM  

I was fully prepared to go all out snarky in reply, especially since I was hoping for a nature photo, but your words changed my mind.

it's a good photo.
2014-08-19 05:03:06 AM  
fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.netView Full Size

One of the best I've done...
fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.netView Full Size
2014-08-19 05:27:32 AM  
My son wrote a story about my grandfather. He used to follow him around and imitate the things he did. He died when my son was around 10. The story was about the old manual lawnmower and how he remembers the sound it made. Your story touched my heart the way my sons story did. My father died when he was just a baby and I thank God that he got to know my grandpa. There seems to by a lot of dust in my room right now.
2014-08-19 05:36:03 AM  
I lost my mom suddenly and unexpectedly almost a year ago to a brain aneurysm. I'm not as eloquent as vicejay, but I know what he means when he talks about how the loss of his mother has been hard. Still, kind of how vicejay seems to take solace in his (badass) dad's continued work around his home, I'm glad to know that my mom died doing what she loved--planting flowers in the garden.

Big benchmark- first Fark thread to choke me up a bit. (mutters to self) Welcome to Fark.
2014-08-19 05:44:59 AM  
It's been over 20 year since my father died. It took a LONG time to realize the effects on me that I didn't understand. More recently, it is coming up on one year since mom died (She remarried and lost her second husband about four years before her death). She had a gradual decline and was under in-home hospice care for the final four months of her life. Although she was suffering from a number of ailments, including Alzheimer's, making her final months and years often maddening to deal with (periods of lucidity followed by periods of "meh"), we at least knew and had some time to prepare for what was coming.

In those lucid moments, we had some good conversations. As we continue to explore her papers (and the family papers we didn't know existed) I realize how much we missed.

good photo, vicejay. And some good observations about relationships with adult parents and children
2014-08-19 05:54:09 AM  
My grandparents were soul mates, and just plain bootstrappy, awesome people.  Grandma died suddenly just a few months short of their 50th anniversary.

My snark isn't failing, I'm just choosing to save it for another thread...

Cool story sub.
2014-08-19 05:59:51 AM  
I lost my parents both before I was 30, my grandparents all before them.I have tears in my eyes, but not from my sadness. No, these are tears of joy that someone 'gets it'.
2014-08-19 06:07:52 AM  

vicejay: By the way, here's Pop and Rosie.

[ image 589x565]

i.kinja-img.comView Full Size

Those ankles
2014-08-19 06:09:49 AM  
Not sure how many times over the years, I have seen 'professional' photographers fail trying to do what you just did. The reason I notice is that they allays fall back on shooting a much easier to photograph oxyacetylene cutting touch. With the subject still wearing an arc welding hood. Argh!

Nice photo! And sorry about your mom.
2014-08-19 06:16:13 AM  
Beautiful story and beautiful photos! Thank you for sharing. *hugz*
2014-08-19 06:16:28 AM  
Thanks for sharing that.  My condolences subby...
/Want to call Mom now...
2014-08-19 06:47:08 AM  
So sorry for your loss and thank you for sharing your photo and story.

/heading out shortly to pick up our toddler granddaughter and visit my parents for a couple of hours this morning
2014-08-19 06:49:28 AM  

vicejay: My parents were married for 63 years. I have eight brothers and sisters, and a few dozen neices and nephews.

Two weeks ago, I was sitting at my desk at work when my sister called to tell me my 79-year-old Mom had died in her sleep. It was sudden, it was unexpected, and it was hard. So so hard.

So very sorry for your loss.  Hang in there.
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