|This is exactly what our 1968 Rambler American looked like.|
My father was a devoted family man. He was home every night by 6 pm sharp, then helped us with our homework after dinner and watched TV with us for a few hours before bedtime. On summer evenings, he liked to take us to the neighborhood recreation center to play tennis. He was also a graceful ice skater and took us often to the “duck pond” near the University of Maryland.
|Skating at the duck pond with neighbors|
He refereed many disagreements with the three women in the house. As the volume of an argument rose, Dad would hold up his hands and say in a serious tone, “Peace, Peace.” Monica and I can’t remember how well it worked but we have used the same approach with our own children in settling arguments. (Come to think of it, it never really worked very well with them but at least we tried the Ed Longen way first).
But there was never any doubt that his family was everything to him. His deep love and devotion to his family was obvious even in the treatment he chose after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Doctors told us that radical surgery to remove his pancreas, gall bladder and any tumors on his liver was his best chance for living beyond a few months. It was a difficult operation and not an easy recovery. He also had chemotherapy and radiation. He lived 18 months. A few days before he died, I told him I was sorry that he had to endure so much pain and misery. He didn’t hesitate a second and said to me, “It was all worth it to spend more time with my family.”
|Children and grandchildren together one month |
before my father's death
|My mom and dad in 1984 after spending two months at their|
beach home in Kill Devil Hills, NC
|Our beach house on the Outer Banks, NC|
|Dancing with Jillian at my parent's |
50th wedding anniversary party