Posted by Cat Buchanan on September 16, 2021
Happy 77th birthday, Daddy. We miss you horribly.
Posted by Cat Buchanan on April 29, 2019
My father was a man with a huge heart. His soft and smooshy side was hidden behind the tough exterior he learned via the ROTC at Florida State University and being a career officer in the Air Force starting in the last years of Vietnam. He loved all of his family with all of his heart and soul, including the teenagers Mom allowed to move in when their families threw them out. He accepted Mom's quirks and faults, they were the loves of each other's lives.
I grew to know my father better after the tragedy of losing his oldest child, only son and my best friend, Butch in 1999. Butch was his namesake and followed Dad into Computer Sciences and Department of Defense contracts. After the loss of his only son, Dad turned to me for computer advice since I had started working as a help desk technician by then. This is when our relationship blossomed into an adult relationship built on mutual respect. I'm very glad I was able to have the last 20 years to love him and know that he always loved me and was proud of me, despite hurting him terribly emotionally as a teen. I don't think I will ever rid myself of the guilt of hurting such a loving man.
Dad was a wonderful grandfather to all 5 of his remaining grandchildren and 2 (plus one arriving in May) great-grandchildren. He viewed all of them as PERFECT. They could do no wrong in his eyes. Even if the 3 adult grandchildren are not aware of this view, he really thought they were perfect. I can remember spending time with him when my son was a toddler and pre-schooler who would spill things on the carpets and apologizing to Dad only to be told he was perfect. Dad loved hearing about the kids and followed their school years closely with pride at their accomplishments. I am incredibly thankful that the grandson named partly for ALL the Parkers will have memories of his Grandpa.
Dad lost the love of his life in 2002. 3 years, 1 week and one day after he lost his only son. The month of May was not a good one in our family. Dad and Mom had a love that the rest of us aspire towards. No matter how ill Mom became with mental health issues, he supported and protected her. She was his world. While his second wife did not want Mom's urn in the house, he wanted her brought back home once his second wife passed away. She stayed with him in his room in assisted living for the last 2 years of his life along with her Senior picture. Dad and Mom did argue, but never about the important stuff. That was discussed behind closed doors with measured voices. Mom was the only one able to put her foot down on top of Dad's and I inherited that "right" after she passed away. I had never seen him so lost as he was right after she passed. It took DAILY calls for a while to remind him he was still needed. But we convinced him not to follow Mom at that time.
Now he is with both Mom and Butch. Where we WANT him to be since his body was too ill to continue. My sisters and I are at peace with letting him go. He didn't WANT to leave us. He WANTED to stay and continue to watch the younger children grow. He didn't want to leave the adults. He fought very hard to stay, his strong spirit was in direct conflict with his extremely weakened body. We knew his body would win. We jointly made the decision to each tell him to let go, that we were all alright and that we loved him. He is at peace. He no longer hurts. He can taste food again. He can hold the love of his life and his son again. He will wait on the other side with all of the rest who have gone before him for the rest of us to eventually join him. He will be terribly missed. It is just under 2 weeks since he left. He was not alone when he passed away. The epic loss to my life is just starting to hit. He will ALWAYS be my daddy and my hero.

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