by Edie Melson @EdieMelson
Goodbye Daddy, I’ll see you soon!
Today I’m embarking on a new chapter in my life. Yesterday, my dad won his battle with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. It might not have been the way we wished, but there was victory as he left this earth with Jesus to an eternal life without pain.
In honor of the man he was, I’d share a little bit about him. Where my mom is an artist, creating works of art, Jim Mahoney is a photographer. His gift is to take something visible to everyone and show us what we missed. His black and white photographs have won him awards in numerous shows and been displayed in galleries around the country.
And this was his second creative career.
While I was growing up, my dad was a classical musician, trained in the era of big bands. He played in the Dallas Symphony, as well as taught music at our local college, University of Texas at Arlington.
Even while he was pursuing his music career, he was strengthening his vision with a camera. As a child, I remember many vacations when he’d let me accompany him before dawn to be in place to capture breathtaking sunrise shots from places like the Grand Canyon.
And through it all, he constantly encouraged me to discover my own strengths and explore life from the paths I chose. Neither of my parents ever dictated career or life paths, but instead chose to equip us with what we needed to find our own way. And those gifts, especially the courage to do what we love, are some of the most valuable I’ve ever received.
In the past few years, my dad has taught me how to face adversity with grace and humor. As we watched him slowly show the signs of this catastrophic disease, he kept his sense of humor. In later years, he found new ways to show us his love, just through the pressure of his hand or the twinkle in his eyes. The disease may have taken his voice and his ability to remember everything, but it didn’t defeat him.
Through it all, he reveled in the fact that he’d spend eternity with his Lord, Jesus Christ and with his family. It was my honor to give him comfort as he left this world, just like he cradled me as I entered this one.