Today marks the 7ths anniversary of my dad’s passing. This morning I had the inclination to write about him and share this special man with my world. A truly amazing Dad, with incredible energy. John Francis McDonald, born in the late ’30s in Ireland was a very special soul. I’m not saying that because he was my Dad I’m saying this because in his lifetime he was of service to so many people and I know he touched people’s hearts in the most special way. He was always of service, giving his wisdom to all he met. The best storyteller I’ve ever met and the character of someone who had a special passion and purpose in his lifetime. He had the biggest heart and the strongest energy of anyone I know.
Although we’re never truly ready to accept our parent’s death, as we age we come to terms with the perpetual cycle of life. And while our world today is vastly different from 7 years ago I’m truly grateful he got the send-off he so deserved. My only sadness about his passing, at the time, was not being there by his side to hold his hand as he took his final journey.
I will never forget the sendoff he got. In Irish tradition, we hosted a wake the night before his funeral. The undertakers had left a very thick beautiful leather-bound book of condolence with gold-framed parchment paper pages by the entranceway, on a pedestal, so people could sign in and share their words of condolence. We had 400+ sign in’s that evening and when I say the church the next morning was at standing room only I don’t lie. I was blessed to have the opportunity to represent my siblings and speak the 2nd reading in the service. The church, a decent size with seating for I’d say, 1,000 parishioners, was full to capacity. I won’t ever forget standing on the altar, that morning, adjusting the microphone while taking in the view in front of me and all around me. The church didn’t have a spare seat and the entranceways both inside and out were full of people standing. Family, friends, old colleagues, and clients all showed up to pay their respects, giving the man who touched so many in this lifetime a beautiful sendoff. Today that wouldn’t have been possible and my heart goes out to all those who have lost a loved one, a family member, a special soul during this pandemic. Those who haven’t had the chance to give their loved ones their final sendoff.
The memories I have of him will always be fresh. Thankful for having such a colorful character to call Dad. He brought me so many blessings. One of my pals this morning mentioned he’d be so proud of me for “ripping up the rule book” and doing life my own way. My response to her, “……… he’s the one writing it for me!” He is my biggest spirit guide and I know he’s with me every single day. And while I’ve pulled out of him a lot these past few years God knows, as I questioned my life, making many changes, all the while asking him for his guidance, I know he’s 100% supportive of the changes I’ve made. Bless you Dad for always being there to guide me.
Your very much alive in my thoughts and truly the man behind my rule book of life. You’ll be forever missed but never forgotten…………
Rest in Peace Dad