Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Our Basketeer Has Exhaled

It is with a very heavy heart that I write tonight. Earlier today, my Dad passed away. He had been struggling with emphysema for a while and he is no longer struggling to breath. I am very thankful that the boys were able to meet him and share some moments with him before he passed away. I will always have some special memories between the boys and Grandpa to tell them about when they get older.

My Dad was a man of humor that brought us all a lot of laughter. He could always be counted on for a laugh and to tell you the same joke you had already heard on many prior occasions. His humor was sometimes (well, most times) inappropriate, vulgar and laced with biting sarcasm. I fully believe that he had a significant influence on the development of my biting sarcasm. As a prime example, when he first started dating my Mom, I was 5 and my brother was 9. The first thing that he did was teach both my brother and I to shoot a bird. That may have been the first, "oh, Gary" in a disapproving tone, that my Mom said but there many many more over the years.

While I was pregnant with triplets, he told me a few things that indicated he was not quite sure I was going to be able to live up to this challenge. Well, I am proud that over the past 14 months, I gained his confidence and ultimately felt I had his approval in my role as a Mom. He would repeat over and over how surprised he was that the boys were so quiet and well behaved. The last weekend I was there, I overheard him telling my Mom how cute it was that the boys would raise their arms to sign "all done" at the end of a meal. He also recently told me how happy he was that I finally found a man that I really cared for and that really cared for me. He said he really see how much we cared for each other and hearing this meant a lot to me.

The boys and I were able to spend some time with him last week while we were in town for Pooka's 90th birthday. He had not been able to get around too well in the past couple years. However, he still made a point of interacting with the boys. His favorite greeting for the boys was a deep and loud.. "HEY, YOU" directed at the boys. I think he was trying to make them laugh or scare them, I am not sure which. However, these Darnell boys are tough and it was going to take a lot more than that to scare them. Mostly, the boys would just laugh at him.

The boys also spend a lot of time squealing and screaming back and forth to each other. When my mom or I would mimic their sounds, the boys would play along. The second that Grandpa would let out a scream the boys would freeze in their tracks. During our last visit, he actually finally got to Jared. He did this by saying "growl" in a deep tone. After hearing this, Jared would slowly move into a cry. I told Jared that he just needed to growl back at Grandpa. One funny moment last weekend was when he softly growled at Jared during breakfast and Wesley growled back as if to protect Jared..... we all shared a good laugh.

Here are some pictures of Grandpa with the boys. This first picture was taken when the boys were about 8 weeks old and we visited with Grandpa for the first time. The shirt he is wearing also sums him up. The shirt says "Save the Trees, Wipe Your Ass with an Owl."

This picture is with Jared and Wesley and I really like the smile on his face...

This picture was taken last weekend at Pooka's 90th birthday party. When we were at their house, the boys were not really able to get to where Grandpa sits. He was sitting at the table at the party and Wesley walked right up to Grandpa. It was a really sweet moment!

This picture was taken last Christmas while the boys were waiting for breakfast. This picture is pretty simple but shows a moment that occurred quite frequently. Dad loved to read the paper, watch TV and scan the internet. If he found something of interest, he wanted to share and would call out to my Mom to drop what she was doing to come see. This picture was taken after one of the "Sally, come see" moments....

Unfortunately, I did not take much video with Grandpa and this is actually the only clip I have. The boys are waiting for breakfast and Grandpa is reading the paper. It is very short but I wanted to post it tonight.

Dad, you will be missed! I will be sure to tell the boys how much you cared for them. I am saddened that the boys will not be able to give you that good GROWL that we have been working on but we will keep working on it in your honor. Also, as I am scanning the guide trying to find something to watch, if I come across a Voyager episode, I will watch and think of you.

Wherever you are now, I hope you are standing tall, walking strong and taking some very deep and full breaths.



  1. I am so sorry to hear about your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  2. So sorry to hear about your loss. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

  3. My heart hurts for you and your family. I am very sorry that you have lost your Dad. I will pray that the Lord places his loving hand upon your family during this difficult time.

    Love the pictures of the boys with their Grandpa. What special memories you will have of the 4 of them.

  4. Kellie-
    I'm praying for you and your family. I hope you can find comfort with these precious memories.

  5. Kellie that was a really good write up. I think your Dad would be proud. Linnie

  6. Kellie, your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

  7. What a beautiful tribute to your dad. I didn't even know him (and I only know you through following your blog), but your touching post left me in tears. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. God Bless!!!


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