Sunday, June 16, 2019

Father's Day without My Father

This is my first Father's Day without my father.  He died less than a month ago, on May 19.  He had been ill for some time, so it did not come as a surprise, but my world has shifted.  I am now a person with no living parents, and it feels different.

Surprisingly, my father, who outlived his first two wives, both of whom were younger than he, did not survive his third wife, who is older.  That's not how I expected it to happen.

When someone dies, there's an obituary.  Being the family genealogist, I was asked to write the first draft.  After some back and forth with additions and changes, one of the pieces of information that my sister added was that my father had served in the New Jersey National Guard for seven years.  After I thought about that for a little while, I realized it didn't add up right, based on what I knew of my father's moves to Florida and then back to New Jersey.  I told my sister about my uncertainty and that I did not think I could get verification in time for the obituary to be published.  She said she could just remove the reference; she was the one actually submitting the obituary.  When the obit came out, however, it was still there, albeit only as National Guard service, with no reference to New Jersey.

So then, as a genealogist, I was concerned that we had incorrect information in the obituary.  I had requested my father's records from the New Jersy National Guard, but, as expected, they arrived after the obit was online and in the newspaper.  I opened the envelope with a little trepidation, anxious to read just how long my father had been in the Guard.

You know how it's said that there's always something new to learn?  Well, that was the case here.  Daddy actually did serve in the National Guard for seven years — but only three of them were in New Jersey.  Four were in Florida!  Funny, he had never mentioned that when he talked about his time in the Guard.  But we only learned about it after he had died.

And little things like this help keep me distracted for a while.


  1. Sorry for your loss. I lost my Dad nearly 50 years ago, and I still feel it.

    1. Thank you. I appreciate it. Sorry for your loss also, even if it was 50 years ago.


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