Day 11 Father

My son, take care of your father when he is old;
grieve him not as long as he lives.
Even if his mind fail, be considerate with him;
revile him not in the fullness
of your strength.
For kindness to a father will
not be forgotten,
it will serve as a sin offering
-it will take lasting root.
In time of tribulation it will be
recalled to your advantage,
like warmth upon frost it will
melt away your sins.

 My father died today.

His body had been crashing for some time.  He was just released yesterday from the hospital and was placed in nursing care.  He had his breakfast and went to sit in a chair and he slipped away.   Such a quiet exit for such a big man.

By the standards of history he was an old man.  When I watch home movies of him in his youth he is like a God.  Don Draper with the black shiny hair and the dark framed glasses of the sixties.  He was lean, handsome and seemingly without insecurity.   Some years ago he lost his powerful voice and hearing.  He did not see well and was often distressed by physical pain.

My mysterious child/parent relationship has been fraught with all the colors of the emotional pallet.  However, of this I am sure:  my Father would have surrendered anything for me.  There is no amount of money, no extra days of life, any dream or wish or temptation that would have caused him to waver in his desire for my happiness and well-being.  I have no uncertainty regarding his love and pride in my accomplishments and I wish that all children could experience the unreserved love of a parent.  It is my most precious possession.

     May the angels lead him into paradise~
            And may perpetual light shine upon him~
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14 Responses to Day 11 Father

  1. Sue Cardoza says:

    Father Matt: Praying for you and your family. Every child should have memories of their father as you do! You have been blessed and possibly that’s why all of that unending joy pours out of you. Enjoy all the moments with your family this weekend. Happy Mother’s Day to your mom. Tell her that we would live to have her visit the country gals from Nativity of our Lady! Sue

    PACE E BENE!!!

  3. Joanne F. Hester says:


  4. Pat Hinton, Sparta, TN says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. I will keep you and your father in my prayers.

  5. Sylvia Deck says:

    We loved watching you with your family – such obvious love and pride beneath the teasing and laughter. You, Charles, Janis, John, Mary and Kelsey will be in our prayers this weekend.

  6. Daphne says:

    Fr. Matt,
    I am so sorry for your loss. My father passed away last year and it is such a huge loss for me and my family – and each of my siblings experiencing grief in way. I too, felt the unconditional love and pride from my father, may that experience help me to pass it on.
    You and your family are in my prayers.

  7. Martha Dolciamore says:

    Fr Matt….May he rest in peace, a beautiful face for God. I am still mourning the loss of my mom last year and my dad six years ago. I discovered a beautiful quotation which I now share with you: “Death is the opening of a more subtle life. In the flower, it sets free the perfume; in the chrysalis, the butterfly; in man, the soul” (Juliette Adam). I will say a prayer for you at Mass tomorrow. God bless…..

  8. Linda Bourne says:

    A beautiful tribute for a much loved father. Our prayers are with you and your family.

  9. Pam Zweifel says:

    Dick and I send our love and prayer support to you and your family during this dificult time. We rejoice that you had such a rich relationship with your father. Such a gift as you let hime go!

  10. Wm. "Gus" Gocella says:

    Dear Father Matt, Ciao! Donna and I are sorry for your loss and our prayers are sent across the mles via these modern inconveniences, that God has given us for instant communications.

    Your relationship with your Father is felt in the words given us by Sirach and realized in your vivid expression and praise of him. You did well. Our condolences are sent with love for you and your family. When my Mother passed away many years ago, I felt a tremendous loss and the hurt in my heart went on through the Mass of Resurection until the very end. At that moment, when the Presider said, ‘Go in peace to love and serve the Lord’, I felt the hurt in my heart had been lifted by Jesus Himself. I knew she was ‘Safely Home’ with my Dad, her family and friends. Father your Dad is ‘Safely Home’, no more pain, no more suffering and with all his lifelong friends and his relatives awaiting our own journey home. God only loaned us our Parents for ‘a little while’ and then He calls them HOME. We love you and continuously pray for the bestest Priest we ever have met and in our 75 years and we have met many. Ciao, e amore!

  11. Brenda Sorensen says:

    Fr. Matt, I am so deeply sorry for your loss of your father you were there to help my father when he was sick and I know you anointing him meant the world to him. I wish I could be there to help you through this time of grief. As you were for me. I hold you and your family in my thoughts and in my prayers.

  12. Joanna says:

    One of the things that made your Dad so special was how he made each of us feel loved and appreciated. It was a true gift, as he was a gift, as you are a gift. Peace to the Family Pennington as you celebrate his life and love and bid him farewell.

  13. June Smith says:

    Father Matt, I was in glorious Yosemite when you posted this and didn’t see it until returning home. My hope is that you are finding peace in the knowledge of how proud your father was of you. And that he doesn’t have to live in discomfort any longer. You and your family are in my prayers.

  14. Jocelyn Roeder says:

    Reading your blog, I happened about a moment that brought tears to my eyes as I, too, remember a man who was bigger then life. As I watched him wither away I could only cling to the faith he taught me, that he would be restored in the glory of God, such is the promise I hold onto.

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