This is by far the most difficult (read tear-stained) post I have written. Father's Day is just around the corner and I'm missing my dad more than words can say. We lost him over three years ago and somehow, today, it feels like it was just yesterday.....That's the interesting thing about grief, it sneaks up on you and practically doubles you over, when you least expect it.
I am proud to call James Curtis Orr my dad. I am doubly fortunate in that Curt was not only my dad, since I was adopted at 3 days old, he was my adoptive father by choice, by luck, by love and therein lies the beauty of adoption. My parents always told me I was "chosen" and that makes a kid feel pretty special. I smile at my good fortune to have this kind-hearted, intelligent, hard-working, loving, faithful man as my dad.
Dad and me with our Bower cousins
He loved being a dad to Heidi and me (yes, I'll come clean-I'm the brunette)
.....and loved being a grandpa to Jared and Jordan (maybe a wee bit more).
My dad was hopeful. He walked me down the aisle (more than once) and never laughed when I asked him to 'give me away'.
Okay, so maybe once he joked about a 'no returns' policy.
He loved jelly beans and loved that his gift was packed in his favorites.
Our family trip to NYC, to celebrate Mom and Dad's 50th Wedding Anniversary, in December 2007.
We had no idea it would be our last trip together, but we are so grateful for the memories.
Our next Christmas was spent in the hospital, following a devastating cancer diagnosis for my dad. He had a headache, with ringing in his ears. Within days he was diagnosed with lung cancer that had metastasized throughout his body. Time was very short, with only 19 days from diagnosis until the end, on January 4th, 2009. Despite the shock, pain, and sorrow, we were blessed to share some special memories, fun stories and even a bit of laughter.
On Christmas night, my husband, Scott, and I stayed at the hospital as dad told long ago stories of growing up in South Carolina. He was at peace. At nearly 10 pm I said, "We should let you get some sleep, dad, it's 10 pm". He looked up at the clock and said, "It's only 9:50, what's your hurry?" with a big grin. Hugs and 'love yous' followed as we left for the night. From that day forward, cancer, pain, and medications took over, but I will always be grateful for the memories of our last memorable day, Christmas day, together.
And life is....
Rest in peace, Dad. I miss you more than words can say.....
I have faith, as I know you do, that we will meet again.