December 20th started as most mornings do. My alarm went off, and I got up. That's where it changed. I drove to Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. My mom, brothers, myself (and a few others) sat silently as 2 officers in the Navy folded an American Flag, and set it on a podium with the urn containing my Dad's ashes. In the distance, another officer played "Taps" on the bugle. It was eerie. The horn bounced off of every headstone in the place and made its way out to sea. This was finality. This was closure. This was respect. My Dad deserved nothing less than the most honorable ceremony.
Now just a week later, so much has passed. Most notably, I had my first Christmas without my father. I don't know how to explain my thoughts surrounding this, but I missed 1 thing in particular. My Dad had the best talent when it came to guessing his presents. You could wrap a super soaker in a box filled with pennies and cans of baked beans, and he'd be able to tell you what brand of backed beans were in the box, and the color of the super soaker. This Christmas we didn't get to see him guess his gifts, but I know he would have been right on, just like every year.
As 2007 comes to a close, I think of all the good times I had. Free trip to Japan, becoming an uncle, buying my first new car. But the death of my father overshadows it all. I'm sorry 2007, but you have sucked.
2008, I look foward to meeting you.
Originally uploaded by jonnyups.
How does one even begin to describe the life of a 62 year old man who meant the world to him? Bare with me as I search in my mind to find words that don't seem to come easily.
My dad. I knew him all my life. I could talk for days about the experiences I've had with him. From the car shows, to the drive to Utah and back, to camping, fishing, bird watching, ambulance chasing, and even him giving me my first camera. He has shaped my life in a way you could not know. I could talk for the same amount of days about the things I've learned from him. How to change my tires, how to treat a lady, how to appreciate the beauty in a pile of metal with 500 horsepower in it, and how to love. These are just the tip of the iceberg.
In his final days he was in pain. Cancer is a bitch. Cancer is ugly and cancer is dirty and cancer does not fight fair.
March 18th, this was the day my dad went to Urgent Care thinking he had pneumonia. Later that day he was told that it was not pneumonia, but a mass in his lungs. This morning, less than 9 months after diagnosis, my dad took his last breath. My mom and I were at his side, and it was peaceful.
He was a man of integrity, I hope you knew him. I'm sorry I can't paint a picture that even begins to portray how amazing this man was.
~ Ronald Edward Upson ~
September 11, 1945 - December 7, 2007