Today is the three year anniversary of my dad’s death date. Unlike most anniversary’s, it’s not a day we celebrate. Although, we do find time whenever possible to celebrate his life.
I can’t believe it’s been three years. I still feel touches of sadness, confusion and anger. But, I am in a much better place today and I have done a massive amount of healing as time passes away.
I’m not sure that I will dedicate a blog post to dad next March 29th. We shall see where I am in the healing process then. This year, I wanted to share with you his obituary. I’m guessing you think this has got to be the most depressing post ever. However, my dad’s obituary was not your typical one. When he was very close to dying and had cancer in his brain, he seldom had a lucid moment. My brother, Miles, caught a lucid request of my dad’s, when he asked him, days before his own death that his obituary be something different, something memorable. Talk about pressure.
The night his request was presented, us siblings sat around the kitchen table with glasses of whiskey and composed an atypical obituary for a one a kind person. For some background, dad was constantly making lists. If you asked me as a child what my dad did as a job, I would’ve probably said, “write lists on yellow paper.” We thought we’d make him proud with a list all about him. We tried to encapsulate all that he was and all that he meant to us in a tiny paragraph for the San Jose Mercury News and the San Francisco Chronicle.
I invite you to read through our list and I hope this gives you a glimpse into my dad, the man I miss so much.
“Don was born March 2, 1945 in San Jose, Ca to Henry and Alma Imwalle. Don was a husband, a father, a brother, a grandfather, an uncle, a pal, a leader, a member, a host, a list maker, a fly fisherman (preferably dry fly), a quail harasser, a vegetable grower, a porcini forager, a cowboy, a golfer, a hunter, a wine maker and connoisseur, a sun bather and sunset-watcher, a determined and successful real estate developer, a hot tubber, 4-H member, army captain, ranch manager, dog-trainer, basketball coach, a self-proclaimed expert with a self-deprecating sense of humor, an adorer of women and children, a loving friend to men, a story teller with…pregnant pauses (sometimes well placed), a worrier of the right things, a backroads driver (unafraid to run out of gas), a spontaneous creator of games, a bocce-ball/horseshoes/dominoes/hocus-pocus/badminton/pool winner “Game Point hannah shannanah,” a respectable goof, an honest b.s.-er, an art lover, a St. John Vianney, Bellarmine, USF, and San Francisco State graduate, a man with advice (“The family that eats together stays together”), a strong and sensitive man who was a generous giver of all he had to offer. He was above all else a liver of life and he will continue to do so in the hearts of all who knew him and even some who didn’t.”
Dad, you live on ever strong. I see you in all of our hearts and in the grandbabies who didn’t meet you but do know you. I’m off to go compile my To Do list for the day…
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