My dad passed away a few weeks ago and I am still in shock. He was the best dad any girl could ask for and I never really thought I would loose him so early. I apologize if I have not responded to a question or a concern but this is why. I will be staying in Cleveland for a month to help my mom and myself. I will be working from here for Plush You!, etc. so don't worry. Here is what I wrote for his service.
Over the course of my dad's stay in the hospital there was a time my Aunt Patty and myself were in the room alone with my dad and Aunt Patty turned to me and said "you know, there are those that people consider heroes, like einstein, but I believe the real heroes were people like your dad". My dad is definitely my greatest hero. By being my role model he taught me so much about the world and how to live in it. He taught me to always stand up for my own convictions, to care about other people, to care about the planet and that I should make the most out of my own life.
One of my fondest childhood memories was kite flying with my dad. He built his own kites which he entered into various kite festivals. From the grass, I would watch my dad's kite fly high in the sky and see how proud he was. It instilled in me the satisfaction of building something with your hands and how much I would want that to be a part of my life. One other thing I loved doing with my family was camping because it always felt like us against the world. We had to work together and think about simple things like how to heat up food and how to not get wet or get eaten by bears, and it used to make my dad so very happy. Sitting around a fire and looking up at the stars will always be my dad. The wonderer, the person who believed in possibilities, no matter how large they were.
I am so grateful that my last conversation with my dad was only a few days before he passed. I called them to tell them two of my books were recently translated into Dutch. My dad answered and when I told him he just had this proud laugh and said "All right Kristen!". It made me so happy to make my dad proud of me and I never wanted to let him down. My dad has always been my biggest fan and supporter. I don't know what kind of person I would be without my parents support and confidence.
I feel so lucky to be in a family who loved one another so full heartedly. I remember our dear friend Carla saying to me once "if your parents ever split up I would never believe in marriage". Luckily for me, this never happened because my parents rarely fought. The maddest my mom ever got with my dad was his annual drinking party with "the printer guys". Basically he got drunk with them. One year my mom was so annoyed after their party that the next morning she put her wooden clogs on and proceeded to walk up and down the hardwood stairs and bang pots and pans while making us breakfast. This was "The Great Fight". For THIS to be the great fight makes me feel really fortunate.
They were truly a pair, Tom & Jeri. The cat that chased the mouse until she gave up and they lived happily ever after. From childhood until only a few weeks ago, whenever my family was walking together, if my sister and I were behind my parents, hand in hand, we would nudge one another and smile and be so grateful that after all these years my parents still wanted to walk hand in hand. I think this is one of the things I will miss the most.
I would like to thank my family for being together through this time. From my cousin laying in bed with me when I was crying and being the busiest bee in the household, to my brother-in-law for asking the difficult questions and to my aunt for keeping an ongoing ledger of what we need to do and who we need to talk to even though she's mourning herself. Like we said the other night, our dad would be really proud of us for being together and think we are fussing way more than necessary. I would like to thank all the Corydon neighbors for being the best block in the world. I can't imagine how any of us would have gotten through this without you. I would like to thank my friends for checking up on me every day. I would like to thank my mom for being strong when she knew we couldn't be. There have been so many times through this whole thing where she has set her own feelings aside to console her children and it has reminded me all the time how strong my mom is and how much I love her with every part of my heart. Lastly I would like to thank my dad for being the best dad any person could ask for. He has always been supportive, kind and has made my life magical in so many ways. There are only two people in the world that can say "Tom Rask is my dad" and I am so so honored to be one of them.
I will miss my dad every day and every night. I think the hardest thing for me will be flying on a plane. I have ALWAYS sent my dad my flight information and I knew he was always watching my journey from his computer. He knew when I was delayed, where I was and if I arrived on time. I will try to remember that now, no matter where I am, my dad will always continue to watch my journey.