He loved adventure and laughter and life. His friends and family were of the utmost importance to him. He was an incredible craftsman who worked for MGM during its heyday, and later for Walt Disney. He helped build Disneyland, and worked on so many of the movies that we all know and love. He was proud of his work, but knew what was truly important in life; our little family.
Some of my special times and memories of just my Dad and me; going to Disneyland, Friday nights at the movie theater – double features, spilling a coke and popcorn all over him because I got startled at a scene in “Jaws”, (and he didn’t even get mad at me!) going out to dinner together when my Mom was in her art and pottery classes. Later in life, after my Mom passed, I travelled with my Dad to Florida. We went to Disney World and had an AWESOME time together. Dad even came on vacation with Richard and me one time. We all experienced New Orleans for the first time together. And all of our visits and holidays together… these are the memories that I hold dear to my heart. Even though he’s been gone for 15 years now – I can close my eyes and remember those times; I can see his adorable smile and almost hear his voice.
He weathered a lot of hard knocks in life and had to be the strong head of our family, even when his heart was breaking. Sadly, I was the cause of his heart breaking on more than occasion. But, I always knew that he loved me and would be there for me at any time. He was incredibly proud of me (for the most part) and wasn’t one to shy away from giving compliments – or criticism when needed.
One of my final conversations with him before he died surrounded Richards and my desire to adopt a child. I asked my Dad if he loved me, his adopted daughter, differently than he had loved Sharon Lee his birth daughter who had died when she was only 14. I remember his words exactly, “Cindy Lynn! Blood means absolutely nothing. I wasn’t blood related to your Mother and I would have laid down my life for her. I love you exactly the same – possibly more”. They always told me that because I was adopted I was special – I was chosen. I feel so blessed that God saw the three of us would be a perfect family. I am only sorry that we were together for a relatively short period of time, compared to many families. Having that close of a bond, while so beautiful and cherished, almost makes it harder to say goodbye. But, I wouldn’t have changed it for ANYTHING!