My father has passed away.

Albert Axsom — Jay to his friends and family — died in the early morning hours on Monday, July 21st, 2014. He was 73 years old and his 40th wedding anniversary to my mother was just the day before he passed. The cause was complications from a blood clot in his arm that had broken up and migrated to his lungs. He was on life support and my family made the decision to wean him off of it and let him pass peacefully. I was present and a part of that decision. It’s a decision I’ve been thinking about ever since. I’m still convinced it was the right thing to do, but it still bothers me. It’s part of why it’s taken me several days to write this entry.

Jay was not my biological father, but you’d never have known just by observing us. He took on three kids that weren’t his own when he married my mother and always treated us as though we were blood relatives. He was the only father my sister ever knew as our biological father had died when she was only a couple months old. He did his best in trying to raise us and he took pride in us as only a true father can.  He was a voracious reader of books until his eyesight deteriorated too much from diabetes to see the words on the page. He loved to cook and always had a new kitchen gadget to show you or recipe to try when you came to visit. He and my mother spent their summers making jam and preserves which they gave away to just about everyone they met. His cabbage relish is still one of the very few ways I’ll ever eat cabbage.  He was one of the most friendly people I’ve ever known and was able to strike up a conversation with people he’d just met as though he’d known them all his life. He wasn’t always easy to get along with — no one is — but you never doubted that he loved you.

Dad’s passing isn’t entirely unexpected as he has been suffering the effects of his diabetes for many years. Near the end he was having trouble seeing his computer screen and had taken to just listening to recipe videos on YouTube. He had to get around using a walker and was almost always tied to a portable oxygen tank. Trips to a clinic for dialysis had long been a routine for him. All of that is over for him now. He was as good a father as anyone could have hoped for and I am going to miss him terribly in the days and years to come.

16 thoughts on “My father has passed away.

  1. My condolences. All of us must pass through the experience of death, but when you have lived a good life you do so without regrets. Grieving is a process that enables us to cope with the loss and it becomes less painful with time. It helps to remember the good times and celebrate the life that was. It also reminds us to live and love in the present, for we do not know when our time is going to be up.

  2. Sorry to hear this. It sounds like he was a great guy. As Mr. Spock said, “Remember”.

  3. You were blessed to have such a wonderful stepdad. End time descions are very painful to make; I know, my family has suffered through this many times. But in the end, we must think of our family members’ wishes no matter how hard it is. Peace be with you and your family at this time.

  4. I am so very sorry about your loss. He was a really good guy and he will be missed by all who knew him.

  5. When I was a kid my hero was James Bond.
    When I grew up it was the Duke of Wellington.
    When I matured my hero was my Dad.

    “When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished by how much he’d learned in seven years.” [Mark Twain]

    He’s 78 now, and I am always shocked at how frail he is looking. One day the greatest man who ever lived will die. I am dreading it.

    My deepest condolences Les.

  6. The way you wrote of your dad and his passing, I sense he would have been very proud of you and of your blog entry. It is good to be loved.

  7. He sounded like a nice guy , sorry for your loss. He left you with beautiful memories , no one can ask for more.

  8. You will probably never know how thankful I was to read your article. It was very well written and it helped me to put into words the feelings that I’ve had dealing with the loss of my own dad

  9. I’m really sorry to hear of your loss, Les. I hope that you and your family are doing as well as you can be under such difficult circumstances. Your dad sounds like a great guy who will be missed by those who were fortunate enough to know him.

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