The opening sentence was missed on video “My Dad Taught by Example” I used several stories to amplify what a portion of what I learned from my dad, Stephen R. Pohlit, Sr. whose passing we honored on September 8, 2012 at the Visitation Church, Johnstown, Pa
The main lessons I discussed are:
1. Everyone is so special and this is so profoundly evident when you think about the probability of any of us being here at all.
2. Honor Thy father and mother. I didn’t always do that as well as I could. As my brother David says, the older we got the smarter our parents became.
3. Do not hold anger and resentment…release negative emotions.
The biggest one is most of the time very little is needed to be said.
My dad was born and raised in poverty.A small community not far from where one of the 911 planes went down. As a boy I traveled with him to visit his mom and the only bathroom was the outhouse. I could never figure out how two parents and 9 children ever lived in that small place. Today I cannot figure out how two parents and four children ever lived in the home where I grew up which was not much bigger. We had running water and there were 5 less people . Of course we were not at the poverty level…we thought that is how most people lived.
There was land where my dad grew up and he would show me what he did on that land as a boy. He told me the stories of playing basketball and helping his dad who worked in the mines. When I reflect on his stories he was always helping his parents, a sibling a relative, friend and strangers.
It took some time to appreciate the dimensions of this man who always focused on the family and always served…he served in WW11 in the Air Force and for over 20 years on the Johnstown Pa police force. He really served everyone he touched…and everyone loved this man…especially me and all his children.
What my dad loved was his wife, his children and he absolutely adored this song
In late July I traveled to visit my dad who had been in nursing home care for only about 3 months up until the day I arrived. On that day …the day I had thought I would be visiting him in a very comfortable setting, he was moved to a hospital. That day on my arrival I learned along with my brothers of additional health complications.
All of this was happening fast. Until May 15th he was living on his own and doing a fine job of taking care of himself. Three months later all of that had changed and he knew he would no longer be able to be on his own. When I visited with him I also felt he knew the time remaining for him was short.
We laughed, we hugged and I told him I loved him. He told me he loved me and those are not words that he said much throughout his 92 years on this earth. He didn’t grow up in the era of saying I love you to his children….but we knew…we never doubted it. I felt the next time I would see him, it would be for the service to honor his physical body in its resting place. I remembered my mom left in September a year ago and I had the feeling my dad had decided he would join her. They had been married 62 years.
My dad leaving was very different for me than my mom. I suppose since he had been doing so well up until the last couple of months, I hadn’t really focused on him transitioning. With my mom, I knew for quite some time that leaving here was only a matter of time. For the family she gave us the trial runs a number of times. My dad didn’t. He just got ill then weak and in a short period of time left us.
Both my parents demonstrated no fear of death. I am sure that had to do with their strong faith. My faith evolved from theirs. I observed both of them experienceing the passing of a lot of relatives and friends. Their life moved forward, never stuck on what was no longer here. Thinking about it I never asked either one of them about their feelings of seeing so many people leave. I wish I had asked and had that discussion.
By their example I knew there was more to all of us. With my mom’s impending passing I really began studying the physical and the non-physical. In doing so I was able to celebrate her passing. Her quality of life in my eyes was not that positive and had not been for quite some time. However, she was not leaving and she had a reason for that. I suspect I know but that is only a guess as only she knows. That studying also diminished the rage I still carried for my sister leaving at a very early age. I was able to understand more and forgive. Is all of that released? No but I am working on it.
When my sister in law called me on Sunday to say dad was weakening and may not make it through the night, I was stunned with the realization of what was happening. Then I turned to my favorite resource Home With God by Neale Donald Walsch.
That book was the foundation for what I wrote and delivered at my mom’s funeral . That book reminded me of the physical and spiritual cycle of Essential Energy… God manifesting in the physical plane and transitioning to the Energy Essence plane. I knew I was intended to allow myself to feel the pain of the losing my dad’s physical self and honor the joy of spiritual oneness my dad was now experiencing. His suffering, his humiliation of having all parts and functions attended to by others was over. I am grateful for all who have helped him and especially my brothers and their wives who have done so much in the months leading up to his transition.
I am blessed to know that he has been at peace and not in pain. If you knew him like I do you would appreciate the message that my dad is the greatest demonstration of being so happy with where he is with life ..every part of it ..as a boy..as a serviceman in the Air Force ( which he has continued to talk about with such pride all his life) as a hard worker, and most of all a husband and father.
I was with this man following a very serious accident where we both survived and with him and my mom when the they lost their only daughter and I lost my only sister who was closest to me biologically and energetically. My dad’s presence and posture during those times is a great example for me ..the only sibling to have those experiences he demonstrated how we are intended to navigate life. Dad would say, “we will do what we can do and leave it up to God”
My dad leaves me with the most profound images of how we are meant to enjoy this life. It took me a long time to recognize this. I could say I wish I would have understood a lot earlier. My dad would say…you gained the understanding and that is what is important. Now it is my opportunity to carry on the legacy of my dad. I accept and I am focused on doing that and will have him with me as I too go forward and be more like him. Like him, I will demonstrate what marvelous things happen when you move outside of yourself and love life and all the life in all.
….and oh how I miss that man and just knowing he was always there.