December 31, 2012
A tribute to John F. Schnurrr 1925 -2012
Today I celebrate!
My father got to where he was going!
It was a long journey for him! Eighty eight years of perpetual motion spiced with tragedy, magic, wonder and hope.
To wait and watch as the glimmer of life fade is a haunting experience. The things I didn’t do, the things I should have done, all come to you as you wait and watch life fade.
I held my fathers hand as he lay dying in a hospital bed. The cold institutional waiting room of death echoing the memories of those that had been and those yet to come.
A mere whisper of the man I knew and loved. My hero, my best friend, my worst enemy, my teacher, my judge, my guardian. His heart was really unknown to me or anyone else for that matter. I wish I had taken the time!
Although it took every ounce of energy for him to breath but I felt his power, in his hand. All he was, was there, in his grip. Every thing he gave me through life, including life itself, was given without expectation, casually, as though it was incidental. But in reality they were gifts I could never match or repay.
My Dad was the kind of guy that would stand his ground, alone, solitary, independent.
He looked not for recognition or glory, but for you to shine and stand out as the leader, the best you could be and accepting what was without display of emotion.
As he lay hanging on to the glimmer of life not wanting to let go, his grip told me he was still in charge, but he was tired and wanted to be with Mom and Steve, my brother, if only we would let him go.
My Dad was a giving man who earned his love through discipline. With a thundering, velvet hand he shaped the souls of me and my brothers and sisters. Something I never appreciated until it was far to late.
He was tired in the last years of his life, he often told me he had lived too long, something I didn’t understand until now.
As I sat there holding his hand or him holding mine, I realized that my fathers blood runs through my writing, my work, the very air I breath. My fathers song is my very soul. It is the soul of my peers. It is Dale’s logic. It is Mary Ellen’s loyalty, Cathy’s tenderness, it is David’s frugality, it is Pat’s creativity and it is Barbs devotion.
Deep inside the soul, each of us we will find our song of life that is woven directly through the center of our very being. Each of us must realize that this song, is complete harmony at it’s best and will forever be the mystery of the bond that is shared by our family.
Our lives are a wonder created by nature, the eternal relationship that we share with each other is the music. We are eternally bonded together by this music that runs through the center of each of our souls. This is the song that is the gift of our life and our eternal relationship with Dad.
I have seen the world at times through his eyes and marveled at it’s complexity but now I understand the simplicity of it all.
My father was the creator, the visionary, the rock, the very core of my existence. As he lay there defying the universe, focused on life and hanging on to it with all his being, I came to the realization that my life had been a poor attempt to imitate this man, something impossible to achieve.
My Dad accepted the choices I made in my life and encouraged me to move on, every step of the way, without speaking a word. He was there I know that now!
Thank you Dad for the music of my life, your song in my soul, your vision and your strength. Thank you for your patience, your understanding. But more importantly, your gift of my siblings, your living legacy, where you will live forever in them and their children and their children’s children.