Thursday, May 4, 2017

My Father

My father and I at a family wedding a few years ago.
I'm sad to say that my father, Bart Boehlert, passed away on April 9 in Colorado Springs. Fortunately he passed away in his sleep in the afternoon just after my sister Cynthia had visited him so he left peacefully and with a loved one near by. My sister called and told us on Sunday the 9th and on Monday the 10th, my two brothers Eric and Thom and sister-in-law Karen and I were on a plane to Denver at noon to be with my sister and her wife Barb to help with the arrangements and clean out my father's apartment. It was really nice to be together for four days and tell some stories and eat and drink and laugh.

Blog readers may remember that my mother passed away about four and a half years ago. After that, my father lived alone in the big house in Connecticut for a while but he was lonely, especially at dinner time, so a little over two years ago he moved to an assisted living residence near my sister in Colorado Springs, and we had a good time visiting him in Colorado  –

But unfortunately he started to decline pretty quickly with numerous problems until it overwhelmed him. He got wonderful care from my sister and the residence but we were nonetheless stunned by the decline. In the end it was better for him to pass on, but hard for us. My mother had a long illness so we/I were prepared, but this event with my father happened pretty quickly so it was a bit of shock. And when we went through it with my mother, we had our father with us. But now with them both gone there is a sad finality to this.
My mother and father –

A family photo from a couple years ago in New York – 

My father was big, tall man with a reassuring voice, and he was a strong presence in my life. We were very different personality-wise, practically opposites, and there were some conflicts but we never gave up on each other and always reached for each other. He was an ardent supporter of mine. When I told my parents I was gay, age 16 in upstate New York (and it was not cool then, believe me), he immediately supported me without blinking an eye. He liked to do things more than talk, and he was always providing for us - painting, repairing, cleaning, washing, he even liked to polish shoes. As I get older I find myself more and more like him, constantly cleaning, and yes, polishing TD's shoes.

My father single-handedly supported his rambunctious, demanding family of six, and when my mother was ill in bed for sixteen months, he devotedly took care of her, providing three meals a day, and cooking was probably his least favorite thing. But I never heard him once complain. 

He was a big, generous, supportive man who would do anything for you. I will miss him always.


Unknown said...

I am so sorry for your loss. This post was a lovely tribute to your dad. Susan Sobol

donna baker said...

Bart, I am truly sorry for you and him. I well remember when your mother passed and your post about her.

The Swan said...

I recall your beautiful prose for Mother and favorite your Father. Though I've never met you, your warmth and heart come thru your words...and thus, find your Loved Ones Lost each day in the face of a flower or animal, that cooking rush of wind on the face, in the flaming colors of Sunrise and Sunset...but most the twinkling brilliance of the Heavenly Stars above revealed like clockwork in that glittering black sky above all eternally...for like Electricity, we are Stardust Eternal in this vast Universe, a force of Energy bound by Space, Time and Gravity...forever here though unseen. Wonderful images of you and your Dad!

Dean Farris said...

Dear Bart,

I'm sorry for your loss. Thank you for posting about your Dad-
as I still have both of my parents and dread losing them.
So, it was a consolation to read your lovely tribute.


R's Rue said...

So sorry.

Bart Boehlert said...

Thank you readers for your comments here, I really appreciate it -