My Father Passed Away Yesterday

William Thomas Cain IIIMy father passed away yesterday.

Sad. Heartbroken. Mystified. Lost. Bewildered. These are a few of the emotions I’m feeling at the moment.

It wasn’t supposed to end like this.

Father. Friend. Mentor. Hero. He was all that and more to me. To us.

Anytime I needed something all I had to do was ask. All of my friends that knew him liked him. My father has always been popular with them. In some cases, he’s been a father figure. He was the type of person that would give you the shirt off his back, even if he didn’t have one.

Writing this, I am realizing the things he taught me. Speak softly, carry a big stick. He was always encouraging, but never forceful. I appreciated that. Many of my friends had parents that pushed them to do things, not for them, but because thatโ€™s what their parents wanted.
My father once told me he didn’t push me into things because he wanted me to be able to make my own decisions. Be your own person. Be responsible for your own actions. Be kind to others. Help someone in need, even when you don’t really want to. Not for any other reason then it’s the right thing to do. Never be afraid. Even if you are, you can overcome it. Stand up for yourself and others. I now see that the lessons this uneducated man. Holy shit. In essence, he was teaching me the ten commandments.

Not because it’s what he wanted, but because it was the right thing to do.

An ordinary man doing extraordinary things. Not because it’s what he wants, but because it’s what others need. That is the sign of a true hero. He always did what he needed to do.

There were many times growing up that he wasn’t always the father I wanted, but the father I needed. I am the person, no, a citizen of this world because if the values that William Thomas Cain III instilled upon me. I am the man I am today because if the love and respect that we had for each other. In hind sight, I see him as the father I wanted as well as needed. Without him, I would not be who I am today.

He was always concerned about other people. Sometimes he’d act like he didn’t care, but we all knew he did. You can’t hide a kind heart.

The last thing he said to me was, “Is your mother OK?” I said yes. He said, “Good.” Even in the end, always putting others before himself.

People say as long as he in in our hearts he will never truly be gone. That’s true, but it would be really nice if he was still here.

I appreciate all of the sacrifices he ever made to make sure we had the best. Without the sacrifices that my father made for us, we would not be the people we are today. We learn from our parents the kind of people we will be in our adult life. For me, I am forever grateful that my father was my role model. If I can be just half the man of humanity that he was, I’ll truly be in great company.

Responsibility. Honor your commitments. Work hard, but also play hard. You can do whatever you want with your life. Love your wife and family and never let them go. I will miss the late night chats that I had with him at the shore.

A couple of years ago I asked him to go fishing on the bay. He said he really didn’t like to fish. I asked why we went all of those times when I was a boy. He said, “Because you wanted to go and I wanted you to be happy.”

He was the wisest I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.

One of he things I’m proudest of in my life was that i was fortunate to have him in my life and call him My Father.

If a persons wealth is measured in the people that love them, then my father was the richest man on earth.

I have always loved him and will always miss him…

Comments

  1. Candice says:

    I am so sorry for the loss of your father

  2. Rob says:

    Bill,

    Your Father was and still is a great person in my mind, and I feel very fortunate to have known him.

    I have so many great memories and experiences w/your Dad dating back to the late 80’s / early 90’s.
    Too many to list here, but there have been a few that have I reflected on this past week:

    The time you, your Dad and I piled into his truck and took a Saturday afternoon cruise to the South
    Philadelphia neighborhood where he grew up as a kid.

    All the times I hung out w/your dad in the basement at the house sharing several of his favorite beverages
    [I can’t remember the name, but I can still see the aluminum cans!] and him showing me how to use a
    pellet gun-rifle the right way early evening Target practice sessions. Fun times. He was very patient w/me as
    I recall.

    Also, the “too many” Sunday evening dinners w/you and your parents and Derek.. everybody making me
    feel welcome, even though at that point, I’d long worn out my welcome for the weekend. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Everyone, mostly your father was the one that made me feel very welcome and “at home”. I will miss him.

    If there is anything I can do, just let me know.

    Rob

    1. Rob,

      He always thought of you as family. As do I.

      BC

  3. mccicc says:

    That was a touching tribute, Bill. I’m sorry to hear of your loss but happy to hear how he gave you all you needed to be a fine man. My thoughts are with you and your entire family.

    – Maura

  4. Terry says:

    Sorry to hear about your loss. I miss my dad alot and what you wrote was true and as usual your dad would be proud you were his son.

  5. Joanne Curran says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. I didn’t know your dad or you but God bless you. I have never read anything so beautiful and probably never will. You and your dad are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Joanne C.
    Phila., PA

  6. donna cressman says:

    Derek, this is absolutely beautiful, i know how hard this is. Words cannot describe how you are feeling. Your dad will be misssed by many family and friends but will always be in everyones hearts/.

  7. Florence says:

    That was beautiful, remember your dad was and always will be proud of the man you turned out to be. I will cherish every moment I had with your dad because even though I had a great father as well, I believe your dad took over where my dad left off and for that and all of his love & caring I will be forever thankful. I will always remember your dad by the way he showed the world and me what love really is, just by always calling your mom his beautiful bride and how lucky he was that she married him. I hope to one day to meet a man just like him or at the very least be able to raise Lucas to be just like him.

    With ALL MY LOVE, FLORRIE

    1. He thought of you like a daughter. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. jon says:

    Well stated.

  9. Debbie Matynka says:

    I am so sorry for the loss of your Dad, and its a great loss to many….He was always such a great man, always happy anytime I saw him and always made you feel like you were his own. He will be greatly missed…..my prayers are with all of you <3

    1. Thanks Debbie. And, he was always the life of the party.