A very important man in my life died last week. My Dad. Victor Rex Jackson. He passed away peacefully on January 24, 2010 at the ripe old age of 97 1/2 . I am thankful that I was able to be with him there in Provo the last week of his life.
Gone is the main man who has been in my life since the day I was born. Who loved me and encouraged me as I was growing up, who cheered me on through my many pursuits in High School and college. He pushed me to try a little harder. He was the one who drove me to college in his big truck, and who with mom wrote letters of encouragement while I was away from home. He is the one who insisted on coming to Arizona (while I was single)when I had ear surgery. He stayed there in the hospital thru it all. This man flew all the way to Japan so he could be there after I had my first baby (LeeAnn). He came from Montana one summer to help me while Dave was away right before Bethany was born. This man is my Dad and he was always there for me.
I love that he was able to travel even through the last year of his life. He would come to visit us once or twice a year and stay for 3 or 4 weeks. He loved playing with his grandchildren. When my kids were little, he would play hide and go seek with them. He read them stories and laughed and teased them. And of course he loved to get them caught in his bear trap. (Bear Trap is holding them tight between your knees and ankles) Then for awhile, he took on the role of the tooth fairy. He liked to put dollar bills under their pillows, even without a tooth to take. He'd put one under his pillow too and say, "Look what the tooth fairy brought me." then the kids would dash off to look under their own pillows.
When LeeAnn was very little she used to call him Grandpa Haha. I think that was started from the little saying he would chant when he had them caught in his bear trap.
Grandpa has you caught in a bear trap
You can't get away, Hahaha!
You can't get away, Hahaha!
He loved to go places with us - for rides out into the desert or trip to the zoo.
He loved to go grocery shopping with me and always wanted to pay for the groceries. I let him help a little bit. As he got older and less mobile, he started riding the electric grocery carts. This was true FREEDOM for him. I did have to watch him though, as he ran into a few things in the aisle. One time shopping we picked up a package of "Depends" - adult briefs. As we were paying at the check out and they bagged the Depends, my Dad said in a loud voice for all to hear, " The man that invented Depends deserves a Gold medal ! ! !"
I will never forget the endearing way that he referred to my as his Favorite daughter. (I am his only daughter.) Almost everytime he said goodbye on the phone or said goodnight in person, he would say, "I love you Bonnie! You're my favorite daughter!" Even though I knew I was the only daughter, it still made me feel special. He called me regularly from Provo, and if I wasn't there he would leave a nice message on our answering machine. I have tried to save those messages knowing that someday he wouldn't be around to call me anymore. Right now there is just one left on the machine that I can listen to on the days when I want to hear my dad's voice again. "Hello Bonnie, this is your old Dad calling. How's my favorite daughter today? Sorry I missed you."
Yes Dad, I am missing you too!!
If you would like to read more about my Dad and his obituary, click here.