In the fall of 2004 I decided I would try college.  So I signed up.  I had no real plan of attack and had absolutely no idea what I would major in.  However, after taking my essay and research paper writing class, I had an epiphany.  I was meant to be a journalist!

So in the fall of 2005 I took my first writing for journalism class.

Our first assignment was to write an obituary…about someone we knew…that was still living.  I chose my father.

Now, it is seven and a half years later and I am writing my father’s obituary for real.  It may be the easiest and the hardest thing I’ve ever written.

It’s amazing how much you can know about a person without trying.  I had forgotten all the things I knew about my dad until I started writing them all down.  And what an amazing life he had, too.

Before his illness my dad was always on his way somewhere with something to do.

He was an active member of our local Volkswagen Association and a black-powder gun club.  He enjoyed building scale-model airplanes and ships.  For a time, he also had his pilot’s license for small, twin-engine airplanes.  He was a fan of classical music and anything related to Star Trek.

Following four years of active duty in the United States Navy, he served 16 years in the Navy Reserves.  He also worked for more than 30 years as a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Shasta and Tehama Counties.

Most of this occurred to me so quickly that it was hard to get it all typed up before I lost it.

I have no recollection of that first obituary I wrote all those years ago.  I can only remember that I wrote that he would be “interned” where I should have written, “interred”.

It doesn’t matter what I wrote then.  I just hope that I can now do justice for the kindest, most gentle man I have ever know and loved.IMG_0537

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