Remembering Dad: A Year Gone By

Remembering Dad: A Year Gone By

Frank Jorett, 2006

Frank Jorett, 2006

Dear Dad-
It’s been a year since your journey to a better place began. Every day, we think of you and most times, we shed a tear. No one said adjusting to our world without you would be easy.
In my mind’s eye, I talk with you. I hear your infectious laugh – especially when you tell a joke – and you laugh all the way through the joke. I hear you tell a story from the past; Your incredible memory holds names, dates and places most of us have forgotten or just can’t quite remember.
You wanted to have one more trip on our boat – and you were with us all season this year. You were on Lake Winnepesaukee and Chesapeake Bay. You were with us in Ocean City in June and probably for the first time – you spent all day on the beach and went in the ocean. You went to spring training in Florida with mom and I. You were at the Phillies games despite a disappointing season. I talked to you about each game and heard you offer those Phils advice (they didn’t listen).

Bustleton Swim Club, July 2013

Bustleton Swim Club, July 2013

You were at the swim club under your tree with all your friends and with mom, of course. You were with Steve shopping, at church, at Sandy Cove and all the places you enjoyed with your son.
Every place we go – you are with us. Even if it’s around the dinner table – you are in our hearts and souls. While we can’t see you now, we know you are watching over each of us.
Hundreds came to pay respects last November 2nd and we are still bowled over by that show or love, support and remembrance.
This year has passed quickly – as most years do once you get to be of a certain age. We know you want us to be happy and live our lives with joy and verve. It’s a little more difficult without you here to share our lives. We move forward with your zest for life in mind – every day.
OceanCityJune07_02We know you’re happy that mom is so very busy with her new normal. Her friends are always around; Steve and I visit with her and talk with her often. We’re helping her – and she is helping us with her love and support.
We hope you are resting well and being the social butterfly you always have been. Keep playing cards and bingo with your pals; keep watch over us all and know every day you are in our hearts.

We love you and miss you.
Brenda Jorett Breskin
– and our family
Nancy Jorett
Stephen Jorett
Sue Jorett
Doug Breskin
Adam Breskin
Rob Jorett & Bonnie Taggert
Mike Jorett & great-granddaughter Fiona
– and your many friends, extended family, Philadelphia Fire Department colleagues, Aritsans, Bustleton Swim Club, church, FOP apartment residents and staff, and so many more people whose lives you touched.

Finding My Rudder

Finding My Rudder

A major event that I produced is now past. Everything went well; the event was well received; kudos’ were exchanged and I move forward. Except I need to adjust myself.

It’s been just over six Imagemonths since Dad died; nine months since his surgery and about a year since he found out the cancer was back. Grief is an unknown for most people. We do not know how we’ll deal with the sadness and loss. For me, every day brings a moment of memory. Some days are better than others. Tears flow now as I write this.

My amazing cohort in the planning of the major event that just passed spent some time on the phone with me advising me that basically, I need an attitude adjustment. During the stressful weeks leading to the event, some of my actions and reactions were off the charts; we all have intense moments. What she described to me gave me extreme pause and the knowledge that I have been rudderless.

My new normal is without dad. Baseball season reminds me of that every day. He was who I talked with about the Phillies’ pitching; a great Chase Utley play to first and whether Ryan Howard can make it through the season without major injury. The day before the event, we orchestrated a photo-op at a school. To take the aerial photograph above the scene created by children, Ladder 24 came to the scene. The firefighters assisted me into the bucket of the extension ladder and from 90 feet above, I snapped the shots.

Dad was a retired firefighter. Ladder 24 is the last fire truck he stood in front of in May 2013. My mom, dad, husband and son were Imagedriving back from a Sunday lunch and I knew we needed to stop at the firehouse. The firefighters on duty knew me and welcomed us into the house for a short and meaningful visit. Dad was in his element; talking about firefighting days, sharing stories with the men on duty. The photo I have of mom and dad at the firehouse that day and in front of Ladder 24 mean a lot – especially now.

My son was grateful to see his Pop-Pop in his element; the camaraderie of a firehouse is like family. I grew up knowing this. Dad’s easy-going, happy ways made him always popular among his colleagues. That is why I have felt rudderless. I know I’m turning the corner; I feel as though if I could just talk with him for a minute, I’d get my bearings again.

Time will pass; I will make the needed adjustments in my attitude; I’ll breathe and wait while situations play out. Dad would want me to do that. I can hear him now.