Friday, August 22, 2008

Barbara's Post

I am supposed to write about my father here; this is not easy, how do I explain such a man. My sisters gave me a plaque that says “For those who know me, no explanation is necessary. For those who don’t, no explanation is possible”. I think that explains my family well.
My father is an extraordinarily interesting man and was incredibly fun to grow up with; although, I am not sure , he has ever stopped enjoying his child within. Dad is an adventurer. He loves to learn, to challenge himself, to travel, to experience life. We took wonderful vacations, with many “adopted” family members along for the trip. My father is comfortable in the company of women; having grown up the youngest with 4 older sisters and then marrying my very independent mother and having 4 daughters with her. I can’t really discus my father without my including my mother, although they are often at odds, they love each other completely and intensely. They taught us many lessons, some of which seem so simple in this age, but they were teaching my sisters and me these lessons in the late 60’s and early 70’s, when these views weren’t always popular.
1. There is no one in the world more important than your spouse. You will spend your life with this person, much more time than you will with your family or your children. When it is just the two of you, this is the person who you will spend your life with. My parents have a tumultuous but incredibly strong relationship.
2. Your family, especially your sisters, are the second most important people in your world. Your sisters are, and always will be your best friends. No one can ever understand and know you like your sister, she has loved you all of your life. Don’t get me wrong, friends are irreplaceable, but I cannot believe how supportive of each other my sister’s and I have become over the years.
3. You can be anything you want to be. All you have to do is set your mind to something, learn as much as possible about it, and you can make it happen.
4. You must always be your best when you make a commitment, whether it is a relationship or some sort of task, or especially a job. You must be loyal, reliable and willing to do whatever it takes to make your efforts productive and smooth. My sisters and I thought they were tough about this (we all went to work at Applecrest at about 12), but my parents stood firm. We all grew up to be hard working, responsible people.
5. Sometimes you have to follow orders, but sometimes you have to just follow your heart. My father took me out of school to fly in a plane that he piloted, to go skiing, to go to the mountains, to just have unexpected fun once in a while. Remember, he is a Marine, duty and orders come first (except with those he loves.), but it was a lesson he was determined to teach.
6. Make somebody’s day, every day! Compliment someone. Tell someone they look great, they are doing a terrific job, that they made your day more pleasant, that they made your life easier. Tell someone you love them and that they make your life more enjoyable. You would be surprised how much pleasure, somebody else’s pleasure can bring you.
7. You are smart and you are beautiful. Never doubt yourself.
8. Probably most important of all - Life is a lot of fun! Enjoy yourself, be adventurous, travel to different places or bette yet,live in a strange place. In other words, experience at much as you can, don’t have regrets. (My father will tell you it would be better to live in, rather than travel to these places!).
9. The new lesson we have learned, is don’t be afraid of fate. My father has been diagnosed as a terminal patient. He sees this as a new adventure. Who knows what is beyond what we know or see. He has made it much easier for us to see it this way. The things I know for sure about this new adventure – if there is a way, he will let us know that he has never really left us; enjoy every minute you have! Have fun with your life, let the people you love know how much they mean to you (which you really should be doing all along), never give into despair and in the true Marine spirit, never give up!
I know this does not cover everything I want or need to say, but this is being posted on a blog, and I don’t want to take too much of your time.
I thank you for being a friend to my Dad and my Mom. I thank you for being a friend to my family and having fun with us. I thank you for praying for him and for our family.
Love, Barbara


sharilee said...

My prayers and loving thoughts are with you, Nels. We will miss you so much. I can't stop the tears.

Barbara, would you mind leaving the blog up for awhile?

Eoin Ó Riain said...

Just heard the news of Nel's starting his next adventure. I knew him through ISA Pubs Dept where he always struck me as a man of integrity. He always treated me - and I assume everybody else - with the utmost courtesy. My opinion was valued and he always encouraged.

Nels was a builder, a builder of peoples belief in themselves. Indeed the last message I have from him 12th October (concerning a suggestion I had made to an ISA Committee) this year said: "That's a great idea Eoin!.... I really miss being at these meetings ..."

That was Nels. Would that we had more like him.

My prayers and thoughts are with those who love him and whom I do not know. I knew Nels and it was an honour to know him. I know that he is thriving in this his "next adventure" in what we call in Ireland Tír na n-Óg, the land of eternal youth.

Barbara said...

I have no intention of deleting the blog and assume my mother and sisters want to leave it up too. Our family appreciates the love and friendship that was shown to my father during his illness. It is very comforting to know that he touched so many lives and to hear such wonderful stories about him.

My father was a man larger than life to his family and from what I read and hear others saw him the same as we did.

He was very proud of his work and the many friends he made through it.

Anonymous said...

Sadly missed by extended family.

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