Of course it was a great day, a sad day. A day we celebrated the life of my dad. At Ninety Four Years of age, no one could argue that he had a great run.
He lost his 38 year old daughter when he was he was just 72 and lost his wife of 52 years just 6 years later. But he kept rolling for another 15 years.
The dream that I wrote of at the beginning of this series – it is still in my head. It always will be because I have come to realize that the seemingly random sequence (54, 52, 51, 63, 58, 65, 64, 50, 54) actually represents our family’s milestones. Even the repeat of 54 at the beginning and end …. my call sign?
50 … when my father met my mother
51 … when my father and mother got engaged
52 … when my father and mother married
54 … when my mother gave birth to me
58 … when my mother gave birth to my sister
63 … when my father left the Armed Services
64 … when my father graduated as an educator
65 … when my father started his first job and when our family moved into our first real home
In the first five parts of my story, I have deliberately avoided who I was writing about. Those close to me will likely have guessed and/or assumed …but now you know. I am the son of my father, John Richard Philpin, who passed away on December 18th, 2018 at the ripe old age of 94. This is the eulogy I gave as friends and family said their final goodbyes.
If you knew him, you know he loved music. Classical, Jazz and ‘Swing/Big Band’ being his favorites. So I chose one piece out of each of those categories for the day. Each one features an artist he loved and at the same time reflects his personality.
My mind was pretty clear as to how to organize the funeral. He was to be cremated. We would have a small service in the local church where he had lived. The service would be conducted by one of his friends in the village who was ‘a man of the cloth’. Afterwards, we would have a reception for all in a small hotel – just opposite. One of his favorite places.
In my mind, we should have been able to make it happen the following week.
But of course. It was Christmas. And that was just the start.
My mind was spinning. Waking with a start and bells in my head. What are these numbers. I quickly realized it was the phone ringing. The adrenalin kicked in and accepted the call … noting the time … 5:30 am.
I rarely dream. Well to be more accurate, I rarely recall dreams. I wake up and maybe I can remember a little of what was going on … but on the whole not much connects my unconscious world with my conscious.