Hi Journal & Friends,
Daddy is at peace now.
He made the transition from this life into the next this morning shortly before noon. He died the way he lived: in charge. That makes me smile through my tears. He refused to be a "vegetable", refused a tracheotomy, and refused being put into a long-term care facility. So, he had them remove the intubation, but his lungs just could not keep up. He lasted for an hour breathing on his own, before the CO2 built up.
It hurts me I could not be there. But it comforts me to know he was surrounded by love... my big brother and his wife, and Daddy's new wife, my other brother and family... were all there. They prayed with him and loved him on his way.
In the Army, Dad was with the military police that was sent to Hiroshima, Japan-- ground zero-- after they dropped the bomb. Later he became a cop on the Los Angeles police force. He went to law school at night, and finally became an attorney, mostly practicing Administrative law. He was particularly proud of the case he took all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States... and won! Later he became an arbitration judge, and finally-- a lifelong dream of his-- he was appointed a Federal Court Judge.
Our relationship was rocky to start, due to the divorce of Mom and Dad when I was 10 years old. But after I met Jesus, and learned what it meant to be forgiven and to really love, I changed. I could truly forgive my Daddy, and reached out to him when I was 25 years old. Our relationship got better after that, and I loved and respected him.
And oh, the stories he could tell! From the wild and wooly "cowboy days" in Oklahoma, to the cop years with the car chases and all that... to the famous clients and cases he rubbed elbows with as an attorney in Southern California. I tried to get him to write an autobiography, but he wouldn't. I've not talked a lot about him here... Daddy was BIG on privacy. But now I proudly introduce you to my Daddy:
The Honorable Frank Ray Brown,
Judge, United States District Court.
Daddy was an Army Ranger. He had this 1945 portrait taken in Japan while stationed in Hiroshima as part of the military police (can click any pics to enlarge).
When I close my eyes, this is how I remember Daddy... in his suit and tie at his law office. Strong, decisive, a powerful personality.
Daddy drove up here to Oregon with my brother from Southern California in 2002. It was winter and snowy... and he wore his favorite sweater all the time.
The last time I saw him in person was 2 years later in 2004, when he drove up here to Oregon, to visit my Mom who was dying. They reminisced awhile, and remembered that "we really were in love, weren't we?" He was so gentle and tender with her. Before he left, he hugged her, called her "Babe", and kissed her on the lips. Later, she was like a teenager... it's as though she went back all those years, to the good times before the divorce, and had such a smile on her face. I always thought that was such a kind thing for him to do.
Yes, they did have a time when they were "really in love". Us four kids are proof of that love.
Daughter of Frank Ray Brown
1921 - 2011