In Honor and Memory of a DAD

Yesterday was without a doubt, one of the hardest days ever for us here in the Andersohn home.  My family and I attended my Father-in-laws Memorial Service.  Neither my wife nor I have ever lost a parent, so this has been a most difficult time for us and our family.  FRED WAYNE HILL passed away on Valentines Day.  It has taken this long for us to grieve and to deal with the emotional and physical loss of a great man.

Fred was born in Naples, Texas on August 9th, 1936 to Robert and Mattie Hill.  He and Linda Lee (my Mother-in-law) were married August 27th, 1955.  They had three children, Cheryl, Debra, and Fred Jr.  Fred loved fishing, and he was also very accomplished at his much loved hobby, woodworking.  Fred drove a truck for a living and tried retiring twice, once from Insured Transporters, and finally from Biaga Brothers.  His favorite song of all time was “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers.  He loved camping, travel, and spending time with his family and friends more than anything else on earth.

Losing anyone in life seems so unfair, but to lose your Dad is earth shattering.  In his last days, we were fortunate to visit him many times in the Hospital.  My wife and I had the chance to talk with him, laugh with him, share their memories of the good times, and come to terms with the not so good times.  This was a blessing for both my wife and her father, and for me too, since I got to be there to witness all this.

Though Fred had been my father in law for more than 12 years, I felt that we never really got the chance to be close.  For whatever reason, we just never really made the time to connect and spend time together.  Our relationship was more of a cordial one, only visiting during Holidays and on special occasions.  I wish I had made more of an effort to get closer to him and share more of our lives together.

On my last visit to the Hospital, my wife and I were ready to leave, and I did something I had never done before.  I hugged Fred, and told him that I loved him.  This was the first time he ever hugged me back and said I love you too.  It was always just a hand shake and a smile.   For the first time in our history, I felt like all the walls and barriers that had been built up over time, came tumbling and crashing down.

This was a very special moment that I will remember always, my only true regret… I never called him Dad.

So with that, I want to say… Fred, you were a good man.  You worked hard to provide for your family and raised three beautiful children.  You loved your wife and family, and you showed it through your actions and not just your words.  You set the standard high for being a good “father!”  You also made me realize and learn a very important life lesson, to never wait that long to tell those you care about that you love them.

So until we meet again one day, may you rest in eternal peace and comfort.  You are loved and will be warmly remembered and missed by all.  Goodbye “Dad”

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