Walter Eisworth is my Dad.
Like most people, he was complicated.
He was, by and large, a very, very, very quiet man, but from him, ironically, I learned how to stand up and speak out when something isn’t right.
He drummed it into all of his children’s thick heads…
Do unto others
as you would have them do unto you.
This is one of the most enduring lessons I learned from him…Do the right thing, even if it’s difficult or humbling for you to do it.
My Favorite Picture of Dad
This is how I think of him….smiling and most likely laughing at something maybe just a wee bit inappropriate. He was sweet and so dear to me….a truly gentle soul. I am so proud to be his daughter, to be an Eisworth.
My Favorite Memory of my Dad
My favorite memory of him is when he read the Hobbit to us…all piled around him in my parents’ four-post bed with the canopy. He animated the voices…scaring us with a hissing Gollum and booming with his deep Gandalf voice.
I always came to associate him with Gandalf in my mind as I grew up…a wise magical wizard or cleric of sorts. Strong in a quiet way.
Working through the Grief of it All
After Dad passed away, many friends, relatives, and former patients reached out not just to express sympathy, but also to share how they have dealt with their own loss of a parent. Knowing that I am not alone in feeling a Dad-sized hole in my heart has probably helped me the most.
One friend shared that she feels close to her departed parent when she engages in activities and interests that they shared. I’ve taken this to heart and find that it really does help.
The Genealogy Binge that Never Was
One of the interests I shared with Dad was genealogy. I had big plans to spend a lot of time with him researching our family history with modern tools like Ancestry.com and online archives. This was a world he knew very little about, relying on a cheatsheet Mom made him reminding him how to login and check email, or watch Youtube.
I inherited his pile of genealogical papers about our family that he accumulated the old fashioned way, visiting libraries and brick and mortar archives. I was excited to show him how much easier it is to research now.
I don’t have to tell you that we never got our big day in the sun binging on Ancestry.com. Living in a different city, the time just passed without it ever happening. I like to say I don’t have them, but this is what is called a regret.
In a mixture of “homage to the genealogy binge that never was” and love for my Dad, in this blog, I explore our family history and write about our memories as a family. It feels good to tell the wide world all the weird and beautiful things I remember about him.
I may be able to convince my brothers to join me in writing about Dad here soon, but for now, it’s just me.
Never Say Goodbye
As I was going through photos and videos preparing for Dad’s service, I found a video of my daughter’s Senior Baccalaureate speech where she said the following. It seems fitting now.