Friday, August 17, 2018

A sad time



My family had devastating news this week.  Our dad who was on holiday in the US, died of a heart attack and could not be saved.  He was 73, fit, and healthy.  I can only take comfort that he was in his favourite country in the world, racing his motorcycle at the Bonneville Salt Flats annual speed week, and basking in the blazing heat that he loves.

He has left behind such a legacy for me, his family and all his friends.  He was my role model to live a different life if you want to.  You don’t have to be like everyone else.  He lived the way he wanted to and did unusual things for a retiree such as set a speed record on the salt flats last year and then better it this year.  His latest record of 116mph on a vintage re-built Triumph motorcycle is pretty fast!  I understand kph better, and 187kph is mind-bogglingly speedy to me.

My dad didn’t want to get old and not be able to be as active as he was.  Even though I would have loved him to spend more time here, he finished up ‘his style’.  If you could write the ending it couldn’t be more perfect for him really.

He was cremated in the US, and I’d say he’d be pretty chuffed to have an American death certificate because, even though he was born here in New Zealand and is definitely a Kiwi, America was his spirit home.  When he first travelled to California in the early 1980s for his business he fell in love with the laid-back and optimistic American lifestyle.  For quite a while now he has been travelling to the hot, dry, desert parts of the US for a few months every year, when it’s cold here and summer there.

I was editing my latest book when I got the call from my sister, and I will continue in his honour.  He was so proud of me for going after my writing dreams and publishing the books I loved to write.  I get my rebel entrepreneur streak from him :)

So, tell your loved ones how much they mean to you, and even better, do it in a handwritten note.  I treasure the few written items from my dad.

Hugs to you and I’ll see you soon,
Fiona

62 comments:

  1. Fiona, So sorry to hear your news. Your love and respect for your father comes through in your post. It sounds like he sure did live life to the fullest, and I'm happy to hear that his spirit will be soaring above the desert...sending positive thoughts to you and your family.

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  2. Oh Sweet Fiona, I was on vacation when my daddy died and came home to the sad news. (No mobiles in 1985). I’m so sorry for I know how my heart ached. Well blessings to you that one day you shall meet again and share the new book you have yet to write❤️

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  3. Extremely sorry for your loss; it sounds as though your dad was quite the exuberant fellow. You are wise to take comfort in how he lived his final days, and relish the pride he felt at your life and accomplishments. My deepest sympathy to you and your family.

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  4. I'm so sorry for your loss. May his memory be a blessing.

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  5. Oh Fiona, I am so sorry. I am glad that he passed doing something he loved in a place that he loved. I used to go camping near those very salt flats in Death Valley/Mojave, and it is an extraordinarily beautiful place.
    My thoughts are with you, take care.

    D.

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  6. Prayers to you and your family.🙏

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  7. My deepest condolences on the loss of your father. Such a lovely post you have written about him. Prayers for you as you process your grief. And a big hug as well.

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  8. Deepest condolences to you and your family.
    Deborah

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  9. Fiona, I am so sorry for your loss, but I'm so glad to hear you're honoring his memory by continuing to write. He was a very lucky man to have you as his daughter. My thoughts are with you.

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  10. I am so sorry for your loss Fiona and I send a huge hug .

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  11. My deepest sympathies to you and your family on your father’s passing. His courage and exuberance to live life on his own terms inspires us all to do the same.

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  12. Fiona I am so sorry to hear of your sad loss. Your Dad sounded like a wonderful father and a true lover of life. My thoughts and sympathies are with you and your family.

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  13. Fiona I'm so sorry. What a beautiful post about him. I'm glad he was here to see your move and the new life you are building, independent like your Dad.

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  14. I was on vacation when my dad died. I am always so grateful my last memory was of him giving me a hug before we left for vacation and we said our "I love you's" to one another. This is such an uplifting post for such a tough time for you. I love that about your dad. He reminds me of Burt Munro (whom I'm sure your dad heard of), a New Zealand motorcycle racer, famous for setting the world record at Bonneville 26 August 1967. It was his dream; they made the movie "The World's Fastest Indian about him." Your dad was growing bolder, not older. I love that he died with his boots on, as did mine. Living life to the fullest. We miss them but yes, esteem and honor them by living fully, too!

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  15. I am so sorry for your loss Fiona.

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  16. Although I am sorry for your loss, Fiona, I had to smile at your lovely tribute to your father. He died in the best possible way: doing something that he loved, somewhere that he loved. He was old enough to have lived a full life, but young enough not to have become just a shell of himself. I hope that I go in a similar manner. (Not while racing motorcycles, though. I'm not nearly that brave.)

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  17. Fiona, My deepest condolences for your loss. Nanci

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  18. I am humbled reading this beautiful post and tribute. I am conflicted by my heart that simultaneously aches for you and your family but am happy that he was able to achieve the 'good death'. I learned long ago that many Asian cultures believe that dying doing what you love constitutes a truly GOOD way to die and yet, so few actually do. I honestly believe your time apart is only temporary and in whatever realm it is that souls reconvene after our bodies pass on, I send up the prayer for you to find each other again. Still, my thoughts and positive energy go to your family in this sad time. Try to remember that while you mourn the loss of your dear father and friend, others are rejoicing to meet him beyond the veil. I wish your family peace.

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  19. So sorry to hear of your loss. It is devastating for it to be so sudden, I am sure. I am without both my parents now, my dad passed last May at the age of 89. I have never stopped missing either of them. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

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  20. So sorry to hear. However a life well lived and enjoyed and without regret. What more can be said. He left as he would have wanted I suspect.

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  21. Fiona, I am so very sorry for your loss. It is always hard to express the depth and sincerity in a condolence post. I feel like a near friend as I have followed you for so long. I loved seeing him and his dog on Instagram . At the same time, what a gift to die doing what he loved! I was a funeral director for over 10 years, and know that doesn't happen very often. Your loving tribute would make him even prouder of you. Blessings to you and your family.

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  22. So sorry to hear about your Dad, Fiona. What a lovely post you have written for him.

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  23. I'm so sorry to hear of your father's passing, Fiona xo

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  24. Dear Fiona,

    So sorry to read this news Fiona and sending you heartfelt blessings. My husband and I relocated recently to the Phoenix, AZ area so I understand now the love of the beautiful desert. As well as the "free spirits" who love CA, having lived there for nearly 20 years myself. Your writing tribute to your Dad was very beautiful and I am sure he is proud of you and all your books/entrepreneurial spirit. Kudos on following your dreams as he inspired you to do. Kathryn :)

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  25. I'm so sorry for your loss, Fiona. But happy that you had such a good father.

    187kph on a motorcycle : ) at 73! A very brave man.

    Marie-Hélène

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  26. I am so sorry for your loss. Praying for peace for you and your family.

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  27. Sending a big hug from Johannesburg

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  28. Oh, Fiona, I'm so sorry! I have no words except to say your dad sounds like a rare & wonderful man who lived the way we all should live -- following our hearts & dreams. He must have been very proud of you. Please be kind to yourself during this difficult time & know he left this world a better place for having been in it. What a magnificent inspiration!

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  29. My condoleances to you and your family Fiona. I send you lots of love in this incredibly difficult time. Myriam

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  30. My deepest condolences on the loss of your wonderful Dad, Fiona. May the beautiful memories sustain you now during this most difficult time and always in the future. Tania.

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  31. That was a beautiful tribute to your dad. Sounds like you were kindred spirits, and I'm sure in that way he'll never leave you. It's sad to lose anybody, especially a parent. They give us their love (if we're fortunate) and have a part in shaping our personalities, for better or worse. In your case, for the best! I know you'll miss him and I'm sending you a big hug. I will also share advice I was given after my mom passed away. "You need some chocolate." Yes. That was it - given by an astute woman in a kind but very earnest way. Something about serotonin, which releases endorphins to the brain, relieving pain & stress. It doesn't change anything, but I think she was right. All my love!

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  32. Very sorry to hear your sad news, Fiona. I'm glad it was a fitting ending that would have pleased him; that always feels better. Please take extra care of yourself during a difficult time, and know many out here are thinking of you and wishing you the very best.

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  33. Dear Sweet Fiona
    Please accept my sincere condolences for your heartbreaking loss. My own father just turned 70 this week and it’s made me aware of how quickly the time has flown, and that life is so unpredictable and fragile.
    May your memories of him become a comfort for you in the days ahead; as well as knowing he exited this life doing what he loved.
    Thinking of you and your family and wishing you peace.

    Kim
    Nashville, TN USA

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  34. I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope your wonderful memories will help you and your family through your grief.

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  35. Dear Lady,
    My deepest condolences. I pray for you and wish you peace and acceptance.
    God bless,
    Teresa

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  36. Oh Fiona, I was so sad to read of your loss. My deepest condolences to you and your family. But what a lovely tribute - it brought tears to my eyes. Take care. Catherine H

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  37. Awww Fiona...When I read your post I was listening to "You're OK" by Mark McKenzie. It is a haunting but uplifting piece of music. I saw your father's photo above and it went right along with the music...then I read your post. A tear came to my eye...God bless him. And my deepest condolences. Please listen to the music and meditate on your rebel Dad! hugs.

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  38. I feel so sad and sorry for you and I think his death is even harder because of the lack of information, which makes it harder. I wish you could know more about why and how he died, as it does help. These days the 70's seems quite too young to die.

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  39. So very sorry to read this news -- and am also thrilled with how he left on his own terms, doing something he loved where he loved to do it. That is my inspiration -- to be living a roaring, fantastic life and having a ball every year of my life. Again, sorry to learn of your loss -- and definitely going to be doing more hugging and appreciating in my world!

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  40. My condolences on your loss Fiona. Your tribute to him is beautiful - he sounds like a wonderful, inspiring man and how great that he left this world doing something he loves. The story of a life well-lived. Sending all of my loving thoughts and best wishes to you and your family.

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  41. My condolences to you and your family. What a legacy and inspiration that will continue to live on and inspire.

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  42. What a beautiful tribute and memories. My condolences for your loss.

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  43. Dear Fiona, I am so sad to hear of your loss. You clearly adored your Dad and sounds like he passed his lust for life to you, as you too followed your dreams and your heart and are now living life on your own terms. He will be with you in spirit every single day.

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  44. Oh Fiona! I'm so sad to hear your news. My warm thoughts and prayers are coming your way. My dad also unexpectedly died at 74 while in good health and on vacation so I know the surreal sense of trying to digest the news that he won't be coming home. He is honored by your beautiful daughterly tribute. XO

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  45. I'm so sorry, Fiona. Be gentle with yourself in your grieving xx

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  46. the love that you have for your Dad shows through, Fiona. "forever in your heart"

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  47. I have only just found your blog. I am sorry for the death of your dad - but what a wonderful tribute to him and to be somewhere he truly loved is a blessing.

    Julie

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  48. I am sorry, Fiona. May your father's memory be a blessing to you.

    Peace and love,
    Susan

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  49. Our family will pray tonight together for the happy repose of your father's soul and for the comfort and consolation of all your family. Having lost my own father 18 months ago, I can say that a father's love and regard is so very dear to a daughter and makes for the happy success of marriage going forward. No doubt, you were cherished by him and that will echo throughtout time!

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  50. Dear Fiona, I am so very sorry for the loss of your father and this great time of sorrow. My thoughts and sympathies are with you and your family.

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  51. Dear Fiona- So very saddened to hear about your father. What a lovely tribute you have written to him. May cherished memories of him help you get through this very difficult time. Sending you and your family blessings and healing prayers.

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  52. Sending you and your family my sympathies from across the Tasman. He sounded like a wonderful dad xxx

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  53. So sorry to read about your dad. I know you will cherish the memories and moments you had with him. God's peace to you and your family.

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  54. Dear Fiona,
    I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. Your dad sounds amazing. I hope the memories you have of him will bring you peace.

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  55. My condolences to you and family. Hugs.

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  56. Thinking of you and praying for you today on Th Aug 23. God bless you, dear!

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  57. Hi Fiona, Sending a very late but heartfelt condolences to you and your family. Very sad for you that you lost your dad. The Bonneville Salt Flat is a racers' paradise, not only for those who love speed but also for it's beauty. Surrounded by mountains and covered in pristine whiteness from the salt, it's beautiful and ethereal. Next time I drive west on US Interstate Highway 80, between the Great Salt Lake and Nevada, I will think of you and your dad. Take care! XO Amelia

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  58. I am so sorry for your loss. My best friend has also been dealing with the loss of her dad (also heart attack, early 70's). It's been almost a year and it's been tough for her. I've been trying to be someone she can lean on to get through. Please know we're here for you too!

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  59. Fiona, I am so sorry for your loss. I am sure you feel utterly devastated. Hang on to the wonderful memories you have of your Dad. He sounds like a remarkable person. Only time helps to heal your heart.

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  60. I also am sorry to her another person has lost a parent.

    SO glad you have the strength and gumshion to finish your book after this devastating news.

    I am like your Dad I want to grow old which I am by days gone by standard, anyway I want to stay active and keep doing things I love.

    I know a man 91 remodeling a house !!

    I'll check out your books, just surfing blogs and ran across yours

    Janice

    USA

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Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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