The Kofford Family relocates to Colorado after 40 years as Californians. In December of 2007, Grandma Lorraine is diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer. Sadly, she passed away on Dec. 26th, 2008 after a year long courageous battle. Follow our journey as we keep Lorraine's memory alive, and as we learn to appreciate that each day we are given, is a gift to be enjoyed!

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”
~Maria Robertson

Friday, October 31, 2008

My Dad Harry; a remembrance...

This was my Dad.

He died two years ago today.
He lived life fully on the day he died.
He flew his airplane, exercised, and talked on his ham radios.
He called a day that included all of the above a perfect day.

The last time I saw my Dad alive was two weeks before he passed.
He and my mom had just returned from a fantastic trip to Japan.
They went on the trip with his sisters and brother in law.
They made many memories, and were all grateful for that time with him.
He was in a great mood the last time I saw him.
He watched his grand kids head off to school.
He sat in our big comfy chair and visited with me, in no hurry to leave.
He gave me a big hug and told me he loved me.
He and my mom drove home, and I never saw him alive again.

My Dad was 67 years old the day he died so unexpectedly.
Life can change in an instant.
We had just come home from taking the kids trick-or-treating.
I got a call from my mom I'll never forget.
He didn't come home for dinner that night.
She worried.
She called the airport hangar where he had been that day, having flown earlier.
He didn't answer.
She drove out to the hangar.
She found him in his office.
He was on the sofa, as if he had just fallen asleep.

My Dad was a tall man standing at 6' 6" tall.
He was happily married to my mom for 41 years.

He was a talented man.
He accomplished everything below in 67 years.
My Dad was a magician.
He was on a ski patrol.
He brought injured skiers down from Mt. Lassen.
My Dad was also a pilot.
He was a business owner.
He was a police officer.
He was a special ed teacher.
He was a middle school and high school teacher.
He was a teaching principal.
He was a basketball coach.
He was an elected airport commissioner.
He was elected as a school board member.
He was an officer in the US Army.

He wanted to make a difference in people's lives.
He did.

He held my hand when I needed stitches.
He taught me how to jump rope.
He walked me down the aisle at my wedding.
He held our children when they were babies.
He came to their birthday parties, and performed magic tricks.
I admired him.
I still do.

He was always concerned for my happiness.
He was one of those people who asked meaningful questions,
and truly listened to my answers.
He used to ask me as a little girl, "Oh by the way, did I ever tell you I love you?"
He would ask this question several times in a day, and each time,
it confirmed that love to me.

As I got older, we didn't always see eye to eye.
We argued.
We disagreed.
Even if we had words with one another, I never doubted his love for me.

He was so happy to have a son-in-law, a grandson, and nephews.
He loved having 'boys' in the family.
He loved my mother, me, and his granddaughter.
He loved his sisters.
He was so happy to have Steffi, our German exchange student, become a part of the family.
He believed in surprising us all with generous deeds.

He loved animals and always had a soft spot for them.

He loved the snow and would have loved Colorado.
He would have appreciated that we have big tall doorways.
Being so tall, he always had to duck underneath standard ones.
He would have been happy looking out our windows at the mountains, as he called the mountains "Gods Country."

He would have been so proud that his grandchildren can play musical instruments.
He would have been pleased to see us happy.

My Dad was a wonderful man.

I would give anything to see him one more time, and tell him so.

Just a few old time photos...My Dad and me (on the right) during a dinner party.

Dad with his new puppy "Sargent."

Four generations of Johnsons. I am the only one still living. I remember my Dad, Grandma and Great Grandmother vividly. Each one of them had a fascinating story to tell.

My dad and I during my junior year in high school...

Our little family of three on the day Tom and I married.

So very many memories, so little space to journal a life well lived...
Remembering my Dad today


stefanie said...

Lovely remembrance, Denise.

What wonderful memories you have, what an example he was for you, what love!

Liz said...

What a touching post Denise.
Happy Halloween!
Liz & Mabel

Lorri said...

How very sweet Denise. Your dad looks like Kyle in his younger photos! Thanks for sharing!

Kim said...

You made me cry today with all the sweet rememberances of your dad. Thank you for telling us how amazing he was!

Anonymous said...

What heartfelt and touching comments you have shared. I can only imagine how difficult this day is for you. Our prayers continue to surround your family asking God for strength and comfort.

sue bakalar said...

That was a beautiful rememberance of your dad, Denise. He knows just how much you love him and how proud you are of him. Amazing man, amazing wife and amazing daughter. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Denise, this was a beautiful tribute to your dad and was written beautifully. Your dad was a writer too. You still have his story to complete. Thinking of you and your family.

glitzen said...

Denise, I feel I know you. You pour so much of yourself into your posts, that I feel you are my friend, and we are sitting down to a nice cup of chai tea together.
I am glad nobody is home with me right now, because I have taken on a tiny bit of your sadness, and I'm crying in memory of your wonderful, dear, unique, amazing, fantastic father. I love my daddy dearly. I call him daddy still, and talk to him everyday. I dread the day he cannot be here, but I would want him to fall asleep in his chair, like your daddy, and not suffer. I cannot bear to see him fade slowly away, or struggle with illness or suffering.
I am so glad your dad had a perfect last day, filled with the things that made him who he is.
Thank you for sharing this man's life with us today. It touched me.

Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

This was beautiful. What a legacy to have this as a tribute to him. Even more special for your kids to see.