Monday, March 7, 2011

March 7th 2011 Goodbye Daddy


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.




Loretta
Daughter of Frank Ray Brown
1921 - 2011

41 comments:

Mom to the Fourth Power said...

What a kind and amazing man! You were truly blessed. I'm sorry for your loss... Thanks for sharing pics and a little about your father.

~Margene

Deb Willbefree said...

Oh, Loretta, I'm so sorry. How wonderful that you have some sweet memories of your dad. He was a very handsome man, by the way. How sweet the two of you look in that photo.

You have my deepest sympathies. I know that you also have the Lord's comfort.

Deb

Sean Anderson said...

Wonderful post. Wonderful man. What a moving story...Thank you for sharing. Thinking of you this evening.

oh_mg said...

Very sorry to hear this, Loretta. You and your family are in my thoughts! ♥

pinkvision said...

all my best wishes with you Loretta, may your daddy rest in peace.

dailyseeking said...

Very, very sorry for your loss.

Christine said...

I am so sorry Loretta, for you losing your dad and that you couldn't be there. But with you am happy he is standing before God. Hugs and blessings. Thank you for sharing your pictures and your story. YOur dad sounds like a determined and focused guy.

Kimberley said...

I am so sorry for your loss Loretta. Thanks for sharing these stories about your Dad. I really love the family picture...so beautiful.

Sending you positive thoughts and hugs. Take care Loretta.

Ginger Farnsworth said...

I'm sorry for your loss, Loretta. HUGS and prayers for peace and comfort at this time.

writingtowellness said...

Loretta, I am so sorry about your loss of your Dad. No words can ease your grief, even one's faith can be tested at times like this (personal experience here). Your father must have been remarkable because as someone once said, "Any man can be a father. It takes someone special to be a dad."
Jan

~ Darla ~ said...

I am so sorry to hear this, Loretta.
Wow, I got goosebumps reading about your dad and seeing the pictures. He was quite a remarkable man. May he rest in peace. ((hugs))

PS - you and your sister were absolute dollies.

spunkysuzi said...

What a wonderful tribute to a wonderful man!

MargieAnne said...

I'm so sorry you didn't get to see your Dad again. Thanks for the lovely tribute to him.

He was a strong and brave man.

Methinks you take after him.

Blessings and [[[[[Hugs]]]]]

The Brown Recluse said...

Loretta, what a special man he was...what he did for your mom just brought tears to my eyes. I see why you are such a special person.

I'm so sorry for your loss. Knowing that he is at peace and in paradise tonight must surely bring you some joy in the midst of your pain.

I loved your pictures, and the tribute was beautiful.

Bringing Pretty Back said...

Loretta, I am so very sorry for your loss. I am sending you a big hug from Michigan. Your father sounds like a dreat man. The part that he kissed your Mother and called her Babe... so so touching.
Kristin

Ice Queen said...

Loretta, I am so very sorry for your loss. *hug*

Cinner said...

Loretta, I am so sorry for your loss. I wish you would have been able to see him, glad he was with family. This is a lovely tribute to him. he sounds like he was very kind too. I sit here with tears understanding how you must be feeling today. a big hug is being sent your way. prayers to you and your family. c

Anonymous said...

Dear Loretta,
My deepest sympathy on losing your father. What a great man. You are in my prayers.
Nancy

The Merry said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, but thank you for sharing the memories. I'm glad that you were able to reconnect with him.

'Yellow Rose' Jasmine said...

Loretta- what a lovely post about your beloved Daddy. Thank you for sharing him with us. It feels as if you are at peace in this moment. I wish you all the best.

Rebecca Stewart said...

Mom called me and told me about Grandpa Brown. It was really weird because this morning, about an hour before she called, I was in the shower and I got a feeling, I just knew that today was the day.

Thank you for giving that mini-bio of his life. I don't have many memories of him. The only clear ones really are when we went down for that one Christmas. I really wish I could have gotten to know him better. I suppose there will be plenty of time later!

Love you lots, Loretta!

Karen Elizabeth Brown said...

Loretta: Thanks for sharing such a sweet tribute to Dad. I know that any regrets will be eased when we meet him later and have eternity to spend sharing with each other.
Love, Karen
The Youngest Daughter

Sheri - The Motivational Girl said...

What a beautiful post! It brought tears to my eyes when he kissed your Mom. I'm so sorry for your loss. :(

MizFit said...

Im late but still sending you my thoughts and chiming in at how beautiful your post/pictures/WORDS/thoughts are, Loretta.

Kristina said...

Im sorry to hear about your father.....but what a wonderful picture you gave for us to see/read about him. Those memories are worth more than ever NOT having a relationship with him. Keeping you in my prayers!

Ms. PJ Geek said...

hugs..what a wonderful tribute

R. Reed said...

What an amazing man it sounds like he was. I lost my dad in January completely unexpectedly. I am so sorry for your loss, you will be in my prayers!

Katie J said...

What an established man he was. It was nice to learn more about him.

Hugs and prayers Loretta.

Sandy said...

My condolences Loretta. It sounds like he was an amazing man who lived a long, productive and exciting life. I'm glad you had a lot of good years with him. Nevertheless, it's never easy to lose a parent. My thoughts are with you Loretta.

Dawn said...

Soon as I saw the thumbnail of this on my list...I knew...and I'm so sorry to hear your news.
Beautiful memories here of your Dad.
My thoughts and condolences are with you
Dawn

Anne H said...

Bless your sweet heart, Loretta!
Big hugs from across the miles to you and yours.

Rettakat said...

Thank you to Everyone for such warm and wonderful comments! It's meant a lot to me, and was very touching. And I know some of you are going through your OWN hard times, too. So I appreciate it all the more knowing that.

Continuing on,
Loretta

Lisa, motyok said...

I would love to hear about those Oklahoma days so sometime. Maybe YOU should write the book of his life. Sorry for your loss, but I am glad to hear that you made things as right as you could. I have been separated from my father for years and recently made the efforts to reconcile as well. I hope we get to the place of respect and affection as you did. Thanks for witnessing to all of us.

Cat said...

So sorry to hear about your father's passing Loretta
death is a strange thing...
I wanted to thank you for your kind words you wrote to me at Darla's PJ party...they really really meant alot
Lots to say but just feel perhaps is not the right time...we will connect again

love and light

Nancy said...

I'm so sorry to hear this Loretta!!! Rest in Peace Loretta's wonderful daddy. :-( (((hugs)))

M Pax said...

Loretta, I am so sad to read this. I'm sorry I wasn't around yesterday to read it sooner.

My heart breaks for you and your family. Love is the greatest thing we give and get in this life.

My deepest sympathies to you and your family.

mamajuliana said...

I am so sorry. Memory Eternal.

I am glad that you and your father could reunite. One day you will reunite again!

Beginning Anew said...

Dear Cyber Friend, I am so sorry for your loss but so glad that you were able many years ago to make peace with your dad and have a special relationship with him. I know the days ahead will be tough and I pray God's strength and peace for you.

♥ Kim

Shelli Belly said...

L~
What a beautiful memory that you shared with us. I'm so sorry for your loss.
Praying for peace.

PeacefulBird said...

You've written a very amazing story here, Loretta. I feel privileged and honored to have met your daddy in this way. I'm so touched by your forgiveness and by the part about him visiting your mom when she was dying. It must leave a very empty place in your heart to have lost both parents. Do you feel that their love still surrounds you somehow?

bbubblyb said...

What a sweet post about your dad Loretta. I'm so sorry about your lose *hugs*.

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