Friday, February 17, 2012

A Tribute to Dad

As many of you know, the past month or so has been quite a rollercoaster for my family.

My dad was admitted to the hospital on January 8, 2012 for minor surgery, which took place on January 10, 2012.  The plan was to remove a small section of his bowel, where a small cancerous growth had been found.  However, once the surgeon was in there, he discovered it was much, much worse.  Due to complications from that initial surgery, my dad had to have two subsequent surgeries, and spent the last four weeks of his life in ICU.

My dad passed away last Wednesday, February 8, 2012 – three days before my brother’s wedding.

I’m still not sure how we have made it through all of this, but together, as a family, we have managed to celebrate – first, my brother’s marriage, and then, my dad’s life.

I’m not sure what more to say…words are failing me as I try to explain how I’m feeling about it all.  So instead of trying any further, I thought I would share with you the Eulogy my mom wrote (with help from us kids), which my Uncle Paul delivered at Dad’s funeral on Tuesday. 

My dad was a very private person, and I know I didn’t talk much about him here on the blog – but I thought this might give you all some insight into the man we’re all going to miss so much… my Dad.

***

Dad

Brent was born in North Onslow, Quebec on December 10, 1940 – the youngest son (and eighth child) of Bay and Velva Young. He was presented to older brother Garry as his second birthday present! They have always been the best of friends and Garry has always taken wonderful care of his little brother.

The Young family left the farm and moved to Quyon when Brent was four years old. Here he spent his “growing up” years – in a place that was always very dear to his heart.

Brent and Elizabeth were married on July 22, 1972 and once again Brent chose to return to Quyon after living in Ottawa for several years. He bought the Stanton Rd. home and it was there the three children – Kara, Jillian and Luke - were raised.

Brent took great pride in all their achievements. In fact, one of his last comments as they left his room in ICU recently was … “good kids”.

Brent loved sports – playing softball and hockey in younger days, bowling and badminton in later years. Brent coached minor ball – and Jillian never let him forget that he had cut her from one of those teams! He was an avid fan of the Quyon Flyers and one of Luke’s biggest fans throughout his years in minor hockey – a dedicated father who loved to offer advice to Luke and coach him from the sidelines.

Brent and Garry made wonderful music together. “The Youngsters” were regulars at the Quyon Legion for several years in the ‘60’s & ‘70’s. He loved to entertain at parties with music and recitation – “Rindercella” was always a favourite with the young fry, and he encouraged Jillian and Luke when they showed an interest in playing guitar.

He was the proud “grandpa” to Caden and Danica - Kara’s children - and looked forward to their weekly visits.

He was always amused when he asked Caden about scoring goals at hockey – and of course he always scored at least one or two goals!

Brent loved to tinker in his garage. He was meticulous about where everything should be placed, and annoyed if anyone messed things up. He definitely wanted the cleanest car in town. Elizabeth is already finding this task difficult to maintain!

It has been a contest in the neighbourhood in recent years to see whose grass would get cut first – Bart’s, Randy’s or Brent’s. When one started the other two were quick to follow – don’t worry guys – Elizabeth is not sure she can keep that up, either!

Brent was a lifetime employee of the National Research Council. His career there as a supply officer in the chemistry department ended in 1995. He filled his early years of retirement working at Young’s Appliance Services, Ellard Kennedy’s & Mountainview, and for several years as Garry’s plumber assistant.

Brent disliked being the center of attention – not fond of birthdays, gifts, and definitely would not want a big fuss made over him today.

For a guy who liked to go fast in his “Mustang cars”, in later years the trucks – Jimmy, Maurice and Neil – (all named after former owners) – regularly toured the streets of Quyon at a snail’s pace. If you ended up behind him you were in for a scenic tour through town, as Brent puttered along, assessing community activities along his way.

When Brent made up his mind to do something nothing would stop him. It was that stubborn determination that definitely helped in his final battle. In one month he survived three surgeries and successfully came off a ventilator twice – no easy feat for someone who had battled COPD these past four years. He was not able to win this final struggle with cancer but the effort was amazing.

We pray that Brent is now at peace. Brent --- we will all miss you greatly!

***

I’d like to take a moment to thank those of you who knew the struggles my family faced this past month, and who sent messages and emails checking in; who sent food to the house; who came to the wake and/or funeral.  Your love and support during this difficult time will never be forgotten. xoxo

18 comments:

Leslie said...

What a beautiful tribute. Take care, Jill.

Lena @ Mom2MemphisAndRuby said...

Jill, this was beautiful.
It brought tears to my eyes.
I'm in awe and amazed how strong your family has been, no doubt a trait passed down by a wonderful man! Take care! Been thinking about you!
L

Stacy said...

The eulogy was really well done...he will always be remembered!

Lindsay said...

Been praying for you all so much over the last 4 weeks. Willis will be so missed! Great post, your dad would have rolled his eyes reading it but deep down would have felt pride. Xoxox

PKB said...

Awww! Very nice tribute Jill. I'll always remember when I'd come down to your house your dad looking out the window and commenting on how clean I kept my car!

Sarah said...

Very Nice :) I will always remember him walking thru town and giving a big wave. xoxo

Shelley said...

Thanks for sharing Jill. You and your family have been especially strong through this time, all of you have been in my thoughts and prayers! Keep smiling!

Nicole said...

One thing about it, that was a great eulogy and I feel like I knew you father based off of that. I'm so sorry Jill! I've been praying for you and your family!

Jodie said...

Jill, I'm sorry to hear about your father. This was a very beautiful post. You and your family are in my thoughts in prayers. Love you girl.

Melissa Demers said...

Jillian,

What a beautiful thing to say about your father and so true. I had a hard time reading through this without choking up. Your and was a great man and will be remembered. You are in my prayers and keep strong.

Shannon said...

Beautiful tribute to your Dad - he was a great man! You and your family have been in my thoughts for the last few weeks. You are all an inspiration with all the obstacles that have been thrown your way and yet you all come out swinging and stronger than ever!

Kristine said...

This is beautiful Jill!!

Sending big virtual hugs your way...

Stacie said...

Sadly, I know that your family has not been a stranger to loss. You will rally around each other again and your love for each other will grow because of it. Prayers and hugs, Jill.

meeganjae said...

Jill;
I didn't know your dad well, but got to know him recently and reading your tribute to your dad has left me with tears dripping off of my chin. He will be missed, but know that he loved you dearly.

Love and Hugs,
Meegan

Carly Ann said...

My heart goes out to you and I wish you strength and peace. My dad passed away really suddenly a week before Christmas in 2009. We took him in for something that had been a not-so-uncommon occurance over the years, and 36 hours later we were taking him off life support and watching him slip away. So I truly do know the pain of losing someone so close to you, so I am sending good thoughts your way!

Cheryl Dolan said...

A lovely tribute Jill. I will always remember him walking by my house (or driving). Always a smile and a wave hello. With time your memories will ease the pain. He and Gary's relationship was an inspiration to brothers everywhere.

Hugs,
Cheryl

Impulsive Addict said...

Tears are streaming down my face. I so incredibly saddened to hear this, Jill. I am so sorry for the loss of your daddy. I'm not good at coming up with the right words for these types of situations but please know that I'm saying a prayer right now for you and your family.

xoxo

Nadine Hightower said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I know it's been such a trying time. This is a wonderful tribute to a special man.

Love and Hugs.