In a few weeks it will be six years that my beloved father went Home to be with the Lord. I still miss Dad dearly. My dad was my best friend. Not only was dad my best friend, he was also my Scoutmaster.
Dad taught me how to tie knots, to do complicated lashings, to pitch a tent, to endure hiking over 50 miles of the Appalachian Trail with a full backpack. Dad taught me a lot about first-aid, nature, and to respect all of life.
When I had rheumatic fever, when I was 12 years old, Dad came up to my bedroom every night and read passages of the Bible to me. I was in and out of the hospital a lot that year. I remember one time being in Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Paterson, New Jersey. There was a terrible blizzard. Dad bravely drove my mom and sister, through that terrible storm so that the family could visit with me.
I loved my dad with all of my heart. During the summers of 1967, 1968 and 1969, Dad and I canoed down a long length of the Delaware River for one full week. We were part of the canoe convoy of the senior scouts of good old Troop 170, in our annual high adventure trip down the Delaware River. We kept all of our tenting, sleeping bags, supplies, food, and change of clothing in our respective canoes.
Dad and I also hiked long lengths of the Appalachian Trail, three separate and distinct times. We carried everything we needed for the week on our backs. This included our food, tenting, sleeping bags, clothing, and supplies. During the week-long hike, we would have the chance to buy food at small grocery stores that would be located along country roads, just off of the Appalachian Trail. But, those little grocery stores were far and few between.
Dad and I also loved to explore caves. Together we explored over a dozen caverns in Pennsylvania and Virginia from about the summer of 1967 through the summer of 1973. We had such fun going through the caves. At times it was a bit scary, but we managed to survive.
There are no words to convey how much I miss my dad. What breaks my heart is when I hear of situations where family members are not getting along very well. None of us know how much time we have left upon this earth. The most precious gift we can ever give another person is the dear gift of golden forgiveness.
Peace, love and harmony, Richard