Dad: Wish you were here, you are missed. You left us far to young at 56; and that was 47 years ago. The things you missed. Mind you, I'm aware that you are in a far better place and haven't had to deal with many of life's hard turns. You had enough of them yourself.
You lost 2 sons to illness when they were small; you didn't get to meet eight of your12 grandchildren - and they would have been blessed by knowing you. So far you have 24 great grand children and your legacy has a way to grow yet. My older sister is watching over Mom. Mom is in her mid 90's and undoubtedly will be joining you before too long. She has many stories to tell.
As a music teacher you blessed the lives of hundreds! Your family legacy in music continues to grow. Most of your grandchildren have musical talent. One taught himself the piano and is now composing. Many others play at least one instrument, including your G. Grandchildren. My youngest son plays a multitude of instruments and teaching music is one of his choices for college. Other than music, the arts in general have flourished. Among your family are artists, actors, photographers as well as other arts. I'm sure you are proud!
As your only son, I had done my best (what I can) to maintain your legacy. I haven't gotten all things right. I've been blessed with nine amazing children. I still have a lot of memories of my youth; the things we've done together and the lessons I learned. The camping trips; Yellowstone and most of the West Coast. The fishing trips where you showed me that they can be caught - unfortunately, my sons haven't had the same experience as I would swear that fish can see me coming and stay away. You taught me the joy and power in the music of Beethoven, Rimsky-Korsakov, Holst and so many others. Today I can't create my art without the creative influence of music. I remember the great times in the pep band at the games - we thought we were the show!
Most important: you gave me the Priesthood of God; and it has been passed on as many my sons have served missions; became Eagle Scouts - and especially many are now great fathers in their own right. Your daughter and great granddaughters are strong and faithful as well. They are teaching their children much as they have been taught.
Not all men have influenced so many; and I'm not the only one who misses you.
Thank you, Dad!