RIP, Dad

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DJ / 95 Days Ago

A few weeks ago I received a call telling me that my dad had passed away. A couple of days ago I got back from my trip home to be with family, attended the memorial service, and take care of things. It was a nice trip - I stayed with my sister and her family for most of it at a rental house and then Great Wolf Lodge for the final night. Here is a brief recap:

Arrive Sunday - we did stuff this day, but for the life of me I can't remember exactly what

Monday: lazy morning, head to my dad's house at lunch with a pizza in tow. We started going through his belongings and separating into keep/donate/trash. For dinner, we had some family over to the rental house.

Tuesday: We went to Mackinac Island, checked out the butterfly house, then had lunch, then biked around the island. The kids got some ice cream and then we left. On the way back, we stopped for mini golf in Petoskey and followed that with dinner at a local pub. Lucy had a meltdown on the way home and we got home pretty late.

Wednesday: Scott showed up at lunchtime and we went back to my dad's house and continued the work there, to include moving furniture up and out of the basement. It was a long day of heavy work. Dinner was again at the rental house.

Thursday: More work at the house, going through clothes and finishing off moving furniture. We went through and decided who was taking what. For dinner, we had a catered dinner provided by Pete from Centre Street Cafe with lots of family present.

Friday: Memorial service in the morning followed by lunch at my dad's house. Afterward, we went downtown for a little shopping, and then Lori and fam went to Great Wolf Lodge and I spent the night at my dad's house.

Saturday: Packed up my dad's car for James to drive back to Arkansas then I went back to Great Wolf Lodge with Lori and the kids. We did the waterpark thing for 2-3 hours then did some wizard wand stuff with Lucy. Then we went to my cousin John's house for dinner.

Sunday: Wake up early and fly back. My flight was delayed almost an hour and I nearly missed my connection, but I ended up making it with 15 minutes to spare or so.

My relationship with my dad was complicated. It wasn't always the best, but I am purposely ignoring any of the bad times because the good definitely outweighs the bad. He was very dedicated and an extremely hard worker. He very much wanted to provide for his family and give them what he lacked growing up.

He could be a goofball (likely where I got it from), he played the drums in two bands, he owned his own gym for many years, he was a natural bodybuilder and won a state title, he was a proud father to three children (four including his stepdaughter), ultimately, he was a good man. He taught me to ride a bike after my mom tried and failed. He helped me go from a crappy speller to a good one in just a few short months after I brought home a report card showing me nearly failing in spelling. He taught me to drive a stick. He helped me buy my first two cars. With him, I learned about my love for pizza when he said for my birthday I could have anything I wanted at Little Caesar's. I have many good memories, and on those I will focus.

I'll miss you, dad, even though I've been away from home for 23 years and we haven't talked perhaps as much as we should have. I appreciate how you were always a fan of me, always rooting for me, always proud of me. I can never say that my dad did not support me. I hope we'll see each other again.


Tags | dad | Dan Flees | death | family | memories |


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Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." - Matthew 11:28 NIV