Family and friends,
Thank you for your many kind words, thoughts and prayers -- my mom, my sisters and I felt so lucky to be with my dad when he passed away Friday evening at 6:00 pm. He died as he lived - in the embrace of his loving girls.
It has been a long good-bye since dad's stroke in March 2008 -- we have celebrated the extra time we have had with dad as he progressed through the different final stages of life. Dad still went to the July 1st parades in his wheelchair, to family homes for Christmas and Thanksgiving dinner, and to his grandson's hockey games. We had many more birthday celebrations together. He enjoyed being outdoors in the sun, and always let us know, even as speech and eventually words failed him, how much he loved his family.
Through the joys and sorrows, we have been blessed to have had more than two extra years with dad since his stroke -- this extra time allowed us to enjoy dad's company, tell him often how much we loved him, and to be together as a family. After his time in the hospital, and a short stay at an extended care facility in Calgary, the five of us won the lottery and Dad was transferred to the Bethany Care Center and lived within five minutes of his wife, children and grandchildren.
This last week's vigil has been one of laughter, love and tears as dad's girls, his sons-in-law and his cherished grandchildren shared our many memories, and prepared for dad's / grandpa's passing. We are a strong family; we are helping each other with the next steps of preparing for the public service and celebration of dad's life this Friday at Bethany at 5:00 pm; we are also strong because of the love and support of our extended family and many good friends. In closing, thank you for your many kind words and wishes as we have been on this journey as a family.
With a peaceful heart,