Never Say Goodbye - Home on the Range Blog at - 297083

Home on the Range

Never Say Goodbye 
Feb. 9, 2013 4:47 pm 
Updated: Feb. 18, 2013 12:04 pm

You were my first love and my hero. You were always bigger than life. When I was small you carried me on your shoulders and I felt safe from the world. Each night I would climb in your lap while my sister had the place of honor at your feet. It wasn’t until I met Jesus, years later, I would understand how significant this was. I just knew I felt loved. You always brought me a glass of water and tucked me in and left the light on until I fell asleep. 

I remember the trips to ‘The Plant’ where you would go up rickety stairs to your office and my brother and I would get free hot chocolate and cookies from the vending machine, then ride the conveyer rollers through the buildings and collect bottle caps. We’d wait at the barber’s and read comic books while you had your hair cut and pick up sandwiches at Galco’s delicatessen for the rest of the family.

You and Grandpa JoJo would sit under the eaves listening to the Dodger game on the radio tipping back the deck chairs and wearing ball caps, while I watched you cheer. You took me to Dodger Double Headers and even when we were down by 6 runs and everyone else had left the stadium, we stayed and you said, “We only need 7 runs this inning. That’s all we need.” That’s the kind of faithfulness you had and you birthed a knowledge in my heart that you were worthy of that same kind of trust and indeed you were. You were always there for me and never gave up.

We went to a store a long way from home and bought snacks, only to realize we didn't pay for the bag of chips in my arms that got overlooked, as we talked and laughed. We drove all the way back to the store and made it right. Almost everywhere we went, people gave you too much change and you always gave it back, because you were a man of character and of honor.

I remember the night you left, when you and Mom divorced. I was sure I would not survive the night, my heart was breaking so painfully, but you kept your promise to always be there when I needed you and you never forgot me, or replaced me. The most important thing was, you didn’t want to go.

You always loved me for who I am and didn’t try to discourage me from the things I really desired. With almost everyone in my life gone, you recognized how badly I needed something to hang onto and something to love, so we went through an endless supply of mice, white rats, raccoons and eventually horses. One Sunday when you came to pick  me up, you let me bring my friend and you sat in the car for hours while we rode rented horses at a stable. After you bought me my own horse, you always bragged about my most recent show results to your friends.

We were partners. We went to Premier movies in Hollywood with a mouse in your pocket, we visited planetariums, museums, tar pits, fancy restaurants, Disneyland, SeaWorld and went school shopping and even took a mouse out to eat at Bob's Big Boy drive in.
You jumped through a million hoops and red tape to get permission to take foster kids, that you did not even know and would never see again, to Disneyland, because you said “Every child should go there at least once in their life and if we don’t take them, they never will”. You taught me compassion for others less fortunate and helped me to understand how very fortunate I myself, really was.

Your heart was for the innocent and you loved kids and animals. You were always delighted over the antics of children, new foals, goats or whatever my pet of the day was and marveled at the intelligence and loyalty of my dogs. You told me to never leave someone with harsh words between us because you may never see them again. Life is fragile and unpredicatable and you didn't want my heart burdened with regret.

As often as I disappointed you, you were always there, cheering me on, encouraging me. Sometimes I failed miserably. I could see the hurt in your eyes, but you told me you wouldnever be ashamed of me. I would always have your approval because of who I am. 

When my first son was born, I used to write you letters as though from him and you made sure I knew you loved that. Everything I ever wrote after that, I have written with your audience in mind. You wanted me to write the book, but I couldn't get it finished. I am glad though, that I was able to send you many of the chapters and if I ever get it finished, it will be for you.

You were my conscience as a child, not because I feared you, but because I knew you loved me and I did not want to disappoint you. I know I disappointed you sometimes anyway, but your arms were still always open.

 You were the only person we knew who would drive a Lincoln Continental on the ranch like it was a truck. I don't know how many times we would pull in the driveway and hear the boys yell out "GRAMPA IS HERE!"
People always meant more than possessions with you, although things were always good for entertainment and you loved seeing people happy.

In all things you always had a sense of humor. You never left a room without making someone laugh or smile first. You taught us how to laugh, how to love, how to be faithful and the importance of good character. You ingrained deeply in me to always do what is 'right', even if it hurts. You always put others first and through the giving of your time and resources to anyone you saw in need, you modeled humility.

Your signature dishes were potato salad, cornmeal mush with polish sausage, and cream cheese garlic dip. I used to marvel at how you used your big chef’s knife to chop up the pickles. I still have it and I still make your potato salad, always thinking about you when I do. The garlic dip, I usually only eat if I want to be alone, because with that on my breath, I surely will be. I have always, always thought of you with a smile when I have any of these.

When I was in a nearly fatal accident, I woke up after days of unconsciousness to find you by my side. You had gone out and gotten a polaroid camera so you could take pictures of my horse, because you knew that she was dear to me and I would want to see her. The pictures and a snoopy dog were on my chest when I woke up. I don't know if I ever told you how much that meant to me. Indeed, my many trips to hospitals when I was young, you were almost sure to be there anytime I opened my eyes.

Gaining my independence at an early age, you allowed me my freedom but remained my safety net, knowing that whenever I got in too deep, I would come running back to you and when my life shattered, the part of me that insured my survival was the part that knew you were there for me.

Even now, a grandmother myself, you still make me feel special, that I am still your little girl. Always smiling, always happy to see me, always wanting to hear my latest accomplishments and exploits as well as those of my children and never leaving Randy out of the equation. You never left out family and for you, everyone you met was family.

I think the reason it was so easy for me to come to know and trust my Heavenly Father, is because of the kind of earthly father you were. You bore so many of His qualities and my sons carry on your legacy of love and fatherhood.

I already miss you terribly Daddy. I am glad you went peacefully to your new and forever home and I am sure the reunion there is joyful, as your life here on earth was. So for the very last time here, I will tell you “I love you”and

I can’t wait to see you again.

"But do not be ignorant, brethren concerning those who have died, lest you mourn like those who have no hope"
1 Thess. 4:13
Feb. 9, 2013 5:42 pm
Petey,iam so very sorry.The loss of a parent is not easy.My heart breaks for you.I lost my mom 29 years ago,she was 59years old.Much to young,they say it gets easier with time,and it does.You just never forget.I miss my mom every day.Prayers and hugs for you petey{{hugs}}You loved your dad very much,you can tell by your writing.Take care of yourself.
Feb. 9, 2013 6:30 pm
"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall we caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord" - I Thes. 4:16&17. - - You will see and be with BOTH your fathers - the reunion is soon and imminent!! I'm sorry for your loss - but I rejoice in heaven's gain and that your dad has stepped into his eternal life which is far better. My prayers are with you and your family.
Feb. 9, 2013 7:14 pm
You have my sincerest condolences and in my prayers that the Lord will ease your pain. As I like to think with my parents passing, they are now in heaven dancing with the angles and are now my guarding angles.
Feb. 9, 2013 7:15 pm
Petey, how sweet your tribute is. Your descriptions of your memories are so very dearly written with love. Tears come easily with your remembrances as we all can recall our own experiences. I love this and will read it more times. Thank you.
Feb. 9, 2013 7:16 pm
And don't we all wish that we can leave these memories for those we love? What could be better than that?
Feb. 9, 2013 7:24 pm
Hugs sent to you. Beautiful tribute to a wonderful relationship.
Feb. 9, 2013 7:48 pm
Thank you. He was so wonderful, I just had to share him. He took a big part of my heart with him.
Feb. 9, 2013 8:03 pm
What a beautiful tribute, Petey. I am truly sorry for your loss.... Jan
Feb. 9, 2013 8:12 pm
Reading what you've written here I can't help thinking, "Do I measure up to this standard in my girls' minds? Am I reflecting our heavenly Father's nature to my girls?" Your daddy was clearly an image of God to you. How sweet the memories and how dear to you his life has been. And I'll bet your impact on loved ones is no less amazing and cherished by them. God bless you and hubby and all of your family. Remember that our hearts have a miraculous way of becoming whole again after they have been broken.
Feb. 9, 2013 9:27 pm
What a lovely tribute to your dad. You were so blessed to have a dad who loved you so unconditionally. Prayers for comfort to you and yours.
Feb. 9, 2013 9:58 pm
So sorry for your loss and God grant you peach and strength during this difficult time. What a wonderful tribute to a wonderful man. God Bless
Feb. 10, 2013 2:31 am
Petey, my prayers and condolences to you. What a beautiful loving story you have shared with us. You have so many beautiful memories and it was heartwarming to read. Hugs from Michigan, Petey.
Feb. 10, 2013 4:39 am
Petey, you are blessed to have memories of such a sweet man. Unconditional love is talked about a lot, but few actually give it or experience it. Sounds like you got pretty close. I send my deepest condolences to you and your family, and my hope that you know the Comforter is holding you now, as always.
Feb. 10, 2013 4:40 am
Petey, I was sobbing while I read your post. It's so beautiful. Glad you have fond memories of your dad. Both of my parents have passed and I think of the times when I was little. It sounds as though you have peace in your heart. May God bless you. Great blog!
Feb. 10, 2013 4:46 am
Petey, I am so sorry for your loss. Your words are so full of love for your Dad. A wonderful tribute to your Dad.
Feb. 10, 2013 5:03 am
I'm soo very sorry for your loss Petey. What a beautiful post. Hugs to you.
Feb. 10, 2013 5:17 am
Petey - this is absolutely the best tribute I have ever read! I am so sorry for your loss! It is so clear how much you were loved by your father and how much you loved him. He sounds like a wonderful man! Prayers and hugs go out to you and your family!
Feb. 10, 2013 6:29 am
Petey, I had to read this several times... as the tears were blurring my vision. This shows the love between you and your father, which will always be in your heart. Sending prayers and comforting thoughts for you and your family. Bless you.
Feb. 10, 2013 6:37 am
Thank you all. There are just no words
Feb. 10, 2013 6:45 am
Petey, I was just thinking the other day you had not been posting for awhile and hoping you were doing okay. My heartfelt condolences go out to you. As others, I had tears in my eyes. What a beautiful tribute to your father with such wonderful, meaningful memories. He is in heaven smiling down upon you.
Feb. 10, 2013 6:49 am
Petey - I so look forward to your messages. I saw the title of this one took pause-so very sorry for you loss but also thankful you shared! So special!
Feb. 10, 2013 7:37 am
Sorry to hear about your Dad, my condolences to you and your family. Beautiful tribute to him.
Feb. 10, 2013 7:43 am
Petey as always you wrote with such elegance and passion. I am in tears. You did a great job honoring your dad and he is proud of you. Maybe one day you can finish your book and dedicate it to him. You know you already have a big fan base here to sell it to. I'm so sorry for your loss but I'm glad that you were blessed with someone so wonderful in your life.
Feb. 10, 2013 10:26 am
So soory for your loss. Time does help to lessen the pain but the happy memories will be with you always!
Feb. 10, 2013 11:03 am
So sorry for your loss Petey. Thoughts and prayers to you and your family. Such a wonderful tribute to your Father!
Feb. 10, 2013 11:13 am
Blessing to you Petey. How fortunate you are to have had your Daddy love you so much. He sounds like a fine man. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. He taught you well. (((hugs)))
Feb. 10, 2013 11:31 am
Wow Doc Simonson, what a lovely thought. Thank you to all of you. Dad was incredible. He always put us first, no matter how busy he was or how important his task. As parents, that makes all the differences to our kids. I hope you all have had a parent like he was, or aspire to be one. The world lost a great man.
Feb. 10, 2013 11:41 am
Your father had to be a wonderful, caring man. After all, he sent us you. He has touch so many lives with his kind, helpful ways and through you he has brightened many days. So we share your sorrow and understand your sense of loss. We sympathize with you. I hope that the promise that you'll be together one day will bring you comfort and peace. Take good care of you. My heart is with you.
Feb. 10, 2013 11:57 am
A beautiful tribute-my heart goes out to you. Thank you for sharing with all of us.
Feb. 10, 2013 1:32 pm
I too am in tears and so sorry for your loss. My own father passed away 18 years ago and I don't think a day has passed that I don't have a conversation with him in my heart. God's grace will help you through this and you will continue to honor your wonderful father by remaining true to his lessons.
Feb. 11, 2013 5:09 am
Your tribute to your father confirms that loved one's may pass but memories never die.
Feb. 11, 2013 7:52 am
Petey, I am so sorry for your loss. He was an amazing Dad and you obviously loved him so very much and he loved you.
Feb. 11, 2013 9:29 am
Thank you all. I really cannot do him justice. He was that special. Thank you all for your loving thoughts
Feb. 11, 2013 7:19 pm
I'm very sorry about your loss. I lost my father 10 years ago and still miss him terribly. But I look forward to meeting him again in our eternal home. Take care!
Feb. 11, 2013 7:40 pm
I am so sorry for your loss Patey Your strong love and deep bonding with your Dad is so beautiful and I'm sure it is one of the many precious things that are still with him because it is only these things like deep affection, respect and the effects of our good deeds that we carry with us to the next world just as we do render them immortal in the thoughts and prayers of those loved ones we leave behind. May every child have parent like your and may each one of us love our parents like you do and aspire to be a good parent to our children. Being a single mother in India living close to her parents I am truly inspired by your tribute to always let my parents know how much I love them and also try to make up for my kids' deficit by being both parents for them. May God bless you Patey
Feb. 12, 2013 4:14 am
Petey, I'm sorry for your loss but what a wonderfully written tribute to him. He would be very proud of you.
Feb. 12, 2013 11:33 am
Thank you. My greatest hope beyond seeing him again, is that my sons will strive to be like him for their daughters.
Feb. 12, 2013 1:40 pm
hi petey! i'm so very sorry about your father. you described a man i try to be for my girls. please write your book. your father would love it. your father was blessed by you.
Feb. 13, 2013 11:45 am
I am so super-duper sorry! I know it isn't easy.
Feb. 13, 2013 6:10 pm
What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful man and father. I know he is still reading your missives with great pride indeed. My sincere sympathy for your loss.
Feb. 14, 2013 6:05 am
Thanks Gderr, mauigirl, ACK. I was a lucky girl.
Feb. 14, 2013 9:19 am
Petey, I am so sorry. My father died last night. I can't believe that I am typing those words. The pain is to much to bare. Blessings to you and your family.
Feb. 14, 2013 10:19 am
Oh JaynieG, I cannot tell you how very sorry I am. It is such an inestimable loss. Death is the hardest part of life, I am glad it was overcome and does not have the final answer.
J. Dub 
Feb. 14, 2013 12:20 pm
So sorry for your loss, Petey. Your post was an absolutely beautiful tribute.
Feb. 14, 2013 9:54 pm
Hi Petey- You wrote such wonderful things about you and your dad. I am sorry that he has left this earth but so glad for you that of all the Dad's in this world he was yours and he loved you so very much.
Feb. 15, 2013 7:59 am
Am so sorry for your loss. What a wonderful person your father was. My father has been gone now for almost 20 years. Simply unbelievable. I still miss him daily, yet find he is here with me. Some-days I will just say, Dad-I can't do this alone....and the task gets completed with a little faith and pull from up above. My thoughts are with you, take care.
Feb. 15, 2013 4:02 pm
Thank you to all of you for your support and encouragement. I've walked through some hard stuff, but this is harder than most. I'm sorry for all of us who have experienced this and all who will...which of course, would be everyone...
Feb. 18, 2013 12:04 pm
Petey, I'm so sorry. I didn't know, until I read your last blog, about your dad. He sounds like he was an awesome, wonderful person and dad. You have been so blessed by his influence and presence. My heart goes out to you and your family.
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About Me
Kids are raised, we are ranchhands on a 250,000 acre working cattle ranch 110 miles from the nearest small town, so we raise a lot of our own food, vegetables, fruits, milk,eggs and meat. Love riding and working cattle, but find myself spending a lot more time in the kitchen, and the garden.
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Having 2 Jersey cows as well as milk goats, playing with fresh milk is a hobby, making our own butter, yogurt, sour cream, cheeses, soap and all the other great stuff you can do with fresh raw milk.
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Homemade from scratch...anything! All traditions are sort of gone by the wayside, as we live so far from family now
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Most things from this site, this has been the best thing the internet has had to offer!
My cooking tragedies
A layered Jello dessert...the middle layer never set, so it did the 'ooze-wiggle'...and...well..I liquified a couple of chickens on 2 different occasions, turning them into a black gel. Moral of that story is, don't start cooking then go clean barns!...and there was the time that my kids were helping me make Thanksgiving dinner and SOMEbody (who resembled my youngest son) forgot to put the sugar in the pie!!!
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