Monday, July 9, 2012

In Memoriam

My father passed away in the wee hours of the morning today. His last week was a valiant struggle against multiple health problems: COPD, a broken clavicle and a collapsed lung. He was 82 years old and frankly his release from this world was a blessing.

I have a terrible need to do something, say something. So, I will do my best here.

My Pops grew up very poor in Louisiana yet he rose in ranks consistently through his service in the Navy, which included a stint in the US Embassy in Venezuela, then on to several executive positions in companies like Memorex and Avantek. Somewhere along the way he reached the level of Vice President - this from a country boy whose high school graduating class consisted of eleven kids. He never went on to college.

He cut out of the corporate world at the age of 49 and became Lord of “The Property”, the 40 acres my folks brought outside Sutter Creek, California when I was just a kid and turned into a hilltop residence over the years. He bulldozed away many a day, on his DC8 Caterpillar, mending roads and spotting rattlesnakes until my mother and he took up garage saling which led to an overflowing garage of their own and ultimately a business. The pair have been in the antique business for the past 23 years.

He was an ordinary guy, blessed with smarts and charm. He had a 63-year love affair with my mother, Nancy, that began with a declaration on the day he met her that he was going to marry this girl. He wrested her away from her date that day and never looked back.

I’m sure that the remembrances that will be spoken over the next few weeks will be varied and cover many aspects of the man I knew as my Pops. The one shining thing I would hold up in his memory is his ability to forbear, to never give up and fight the good fight until the end.

As other authors will understand – here are a few “tags” for my Pops: handsome, honorable, patriotic, committed, athletic, country, lovable, flirt, romantic, smart, stalwart…

Fred Tully Bryant – Dec. 25,1929 to July 9,2012 - A Life Well-Lived

31 comments:

  1. So sorry for your loss. What a wonderful father you had!

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  2. Kathy, sending my condolences and cyber hugs for your loss. Your Pops sounds like he was quite a cool character.

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    1. He really was. Everyone loved him. Thanks Laura.

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  3. Fred Tully Bryant was the man so few every knew, yet he was the kind of man who stood tall, stood firm, and built the land we call America. We owe our lives to men like him. He fought the good fight. Now he is at peace and must fight no more. But he's never really gone. He will live with your memories and within your heart forever. God bless you. It's never easy to say goodbye.

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    1. Thanks Caleb. He really was one of those corner posts we all lean on. I didn't realize this was my goodbye.

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  4. He sounds like a man that was well loved and will be missed dearly. What better legacy can one leave behind than that? My condolences Kathy, my thoughts are with you and your family at this time.

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    1. Well, he wanted a party rather than a funeral which is what we're going to give him and I imagine there will be lots laughter and tears. Thank you, Shannon.

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  5. I have always thought that Twain's eulogy for his daughter said it best...

    Warm summer sun,
    shine brightly here,
    Warm Southern wind,
    blow softly here,
    Green sod above,
    lie light, lie light,
    Good night, dear heart;
    good night, good night.

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  6. Oh, Jack - what a gift. Thank you. I'll use this in our celebration.

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  7. I am so sorry for your loss.Remember all the moments you shared talk of him frequently and he will live on in hearts and memories.

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    1. My family and I haven't stopped talking about him for a moment. It's Dad this and Dad that. I suspect he'll hear more about him now that he ever did. Thank you, Sheilagh.

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  8. Kathy, how blessed your family must have been to have such a wonderful man as its protector. I know he will be missed very much. Love to you and your family for the loss of an outstanding soul.

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    1. He was definitely our protector and a good one. I appreciate your message very much.

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  9. What greater tribute can a man have than words of love from a daughter!

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  10. I am so sorry for your loss, Kathy. What a beautiful tribute. Thanks so much for sharing it.

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    1. No tribute could cover him adequately, but I did want to share. Thanks so much.

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  11. by the way a lovely tribute to an incredible father how lucky you were and so was he.

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  12. You were both blessed with each other. How wonderful. And a loving thought for you:

    On Death

    Grieve the loss of the physical embodiment of a Love you have always known, and mourn it to the depths of your human sorrow, but do not believe it.

    For we are all Love embodied and Love is forever. If you will but allow forever to awaken in your heart, loss is the only thing that dies.

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    1. I just read this lovely thought with my sister. We were both moved to tears. Thanks, Christina.

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  13. What a moving tribute - anyone who is so loved has lived a blessed life.

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    1. He truly was loved by so many. Thank you.

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  14. Sounds like a really great guy. Please accept my sincerest condolences on your loss, Kathy.

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    1. Thank you so much. We're doing better today.

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  15. Sorry to hear about your father, Kathy. He sounds like such a great person, one that could make you a better person just by knowing him. That great generation is dying out and will be greatly missed. Hopefully, some of their legacy like patriotism, country, honor and commitment will roll over to their heirs to be continued in their honor. Bless you for sharing this with all of us. Thanks Kathy.

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    1. He was definitely part of The Greatest Generation and as they say "a stand up guy". Thank you Linda

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  16. I'm so sorry for your loss. You father sounds like an amazing man. My prayers are with you and your family.

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    1. He was truly a great guy. I really appreciate your comment.

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  17. My father died of COPD in June last year and it was a loss.

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    1. I'm so sorry Elizabeth. It's such an awful way to go. I hope you had some good time with him before. My heart goes out to you.

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