Thursday, March 21, 2013

Celebration of Life

I have talked a lot about my friends and family on my blog, and the caregivers and docs that I have had.  Today, and on every March 21 (since 2007) I need and want to talk about my dad. People tell me that the reason my dad and I didn't always see "eye-to-eye" is because we were very similar. We didn't take any shit from anyone, cursed like sailors, may not start the fight--but would put an end to it, we also cared for our family and knew that family came first--always.  Unfortunately for my father I was a bit rebellious (to put it mildly) through my high school and undergraduate years at Western.  I grew up a country girl and still consider myself to be that, family comes first, 4 stations are programmed to country radio, I wouldn't start a fight but I would sure as hell finish it, and my mom is my best friend.  My father got to witness me change from a rebellious teenager to a stable adult, and that is something I am thankful for everyday.

When we lost my dad, it was the hardest experience for us Greenaway Girls.  We bonded instantly more than we had and I am happy to say that out of the tragedy of my dads death my mom, sisters and I became a pretty tight knit group of wise-ass women.  It is genetics, but it also could have been that first Christmas where we drank beer for days and watched all the Harry Potter movies, bonding comes in mysterious ways.

You always knew where you stood with my dad. Everything was black or white, grounded/not grounded, etc... He would follow you to the moon and back to encourage you, or give you a look that could make you run like hell to discourage you.  I want to thank him for helping put together the woman I am today. My thick skin and rowdy sense of humor, my ability to jump into any verbal argument and think I am winning, understanding the importance of small town, community, and taking care of family, and that even though I was born a girl, I can watch sports, cuss like a sailor, stand up for myself, and always, always stand up for others.

My dad used to write little poems to my mom, and my sisters and I (like in the yearbook for high school, or in a card) so we wrote one for his obituary in the paper. We aren't funeral people,we are celebration of life people. So today, on the anniversary of his passing, I want to share with you all the poem us 4 Greenaway Girls wrote--we have carried on the poem tradition in wedding speeches as well:

January 5, 1950-March 21, 2007
Rick Greenaway grew up an Okanogan hometown boy,
His family and friends was what he enjoyed.

Rick spent all of his life loving his country,
In work, and in play, and as an MP in the army.

We'll remember him patriotic, hardworking, loving and stern,
He taught us so much, but with so much more to learn.

Rick, a Tri-Chevy fanatic his entire life,
Traveling to car shows with his girls and his wife.

He spent time in the shop, working and building all sorts of things,
And always taking time to work on school projects and letting us girls spread our wings.

He loved watching the Speed Channel, NASCAR and football,
But going to Las Vegas Speedway, was his favorite of all.

His preferred place to be (away from Malott):
The goose cabin with his friends, hunting and playing and eating a lot.

His hair turned gray with a wife, three girls and no son,
But he taught us to work hard "Heads down, butts up, and carry on."

No father of three could have been prouder,
To have girls that "think for themselves" and speak even louder.

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