Today is the Day

Today is the day, 34 years ago, that we laid Daddy to rest in the Welsh Settlement Cemetery. October 7, 1982–the trees had taken on their fall colors of bright reds and golden yellows. I remember the crisp fall Pennsylvania air had a woodsy smell, the smell of the trees and ground preparing to take their winter naps. As I stood by Daddy’s casket, a neighbor kindly offered me her jacket, but I refused. I wasn’t cold; I was angry. Angry that death had taken my daddy way too soon. At 32 years of age, I should have had children for my father to bounce on his knee. Daddy’s youngest, Emery, all of 25 years, had his one-year-old baby at his side. Twenty-five–too young to not have his daddy give him advice of how to have a happy marriage. But then, hadn’t we evidenced that love between Mom and Daddy all our lives. We saw their love daily as they worked together in the home as well as on the farm. I looked past Daddy’s casket across the fields and could see our farm on the hill. Such a peaceful, serene sight, but it brought tears to my eyes. Daddy would never again walk the fields he loved.  He cherished his farm and lovingly called it home. To Daddy, home had a richer meaning than it might for other people. From his beginnings in the Jewish Orphan Asylum to this humble farm, Daddy always considered himself a wealthy man, even if the truth was less than that.

1982jillmomAfter we laid his body to rest in that cold cemetery, his four grown children, along with their own children, gathered our potato buckets and set out for the field on the side hill. As we dug into the rich, cool soil that Daddy loved so much to find the treasures of earthy-smelling potatoes, we each mourned our loss in our own way.

Today, 34 years later, I think… Has it really been that long? In my mind’s eye, I can see Daddy’s crooked smile and hear his robust laughter that many times brought tears to his eyes. But I now see Daddy in my own grown children every day. My Aaron bears a great resemblance to Daddy in his younger years.1982emeryjilldanielle Emily has his uncontrollable laughter, and Kyle has his crooked smile. I know my daddy is with me, and the legacy that he left in the life lessons he taught me daily, will never fade away.


  1. by J.M. White

    On October 7, 2013

    Condolences Judy,, Our Daddy,s are Great, I am lost for words of wisdom,, I miss mine to this day, he passed in 1981,, Take Care

  2. by Joan Reid

    On October 7, 2013

    Judy, beautiful! Thank you for sharing about that very sad day.

  3. by Dorothy Carter

    On October 8, 2013

    Such a nice tribute to your dad.

  4. by Judy Watters

    On October 8, 2013

    Thanks, Dorothy. Our family was blessed. We are still blessed with my mom at 92 years. I hope she is planning to be with us for many more.

  5. by Judy Watters

    On October 8, 2013

    Thank you, Joan. It’s bittersweet when I realize that even though my children never knew him, he continues to live in them.

  6. by Judy Watters

    On October 8, 2013

    Thanks, J.M. We still have the memories and the legacy of life lessons they passed on to us.

  7. by Brenda

    On October 9, 2013

    Judy, I loved how you wrote your thoughts about your father. I know your dad must have been a wonderful man when I look at you. His legacy does live on!

  8. by Maryella Vause

    On October 9, 2013

    Makes me want to sing the old hymn Precious Memories

  9. by Susan Macias

    On October 9, 2013

    What precious memories and words. It makes me appreciate once again that I still have my Dad around and inspires me to purpose to spend more time with him. Thanks!

  10. by Judy Watters

    On October 9, 2013

    Yes, I am fortunate to have the memories of one fantastic role model. Thanks, Susan.

  11. by Judy Watters

    On October 9, 2013

    Precious mem’ries, how they linger
    How they ever flood my soul
    In the stillness of the midnight
    Precious, sacred scenes unfold.

    Precious father, loving mother
    Fly across the lonely years
    And old home scenes of my childhood
    In fond memory appear.

    I love that song, Maryella. It speaks to my life.

  12. by Judy Watters

    On October 9, 2013

    That’s the awesome thing, Brenda. I do have such a precious legacy to remember and to hand on to my children.

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