Monday, July 30, 2012
Twenty-eight years ago today, my dad Chuck Naidl passed away. He had an eight-year history of heart disease, but somehow his death was a surprise to me. Certainly, as I grow closer and closer to the age when he died, I'm sad that he had to be so young when he passed away. Mom, Dad and I had a Sunday routine of going to church and then out for breakfast. Dad and I would take turns "arguing" over who was going to pay for breakfast at the local restaurant. On that given day, Dad grabbed the bill and some of my last face-to-face words to him were, "Next time, it's my turn." Sadly, Dad died early the next morning and there was never another chance for it to be my turn again. But, while we haven't had any breakfasts together these past 28 years, I feel his presence in my life every day. When I make a decision, I hear his wise words in my ear. When I find something funny, I hear his joyful laughter. When I'm inclined to give to a charity, I think of his many kind and selfless acts to help others. And I realize that I married a man who has many of the fine traits that Dad had, and I know that he would be pleased with my choice in a husband. So, while it's been a long time since we last had a conversation, I still talk to Dad nearly every day. And I think of him especially today with love and joy and longing. 'Love you, Dad.