This is a tribute to the great loves of my life named John; my Dad and father-in-law Pap Bartley. I miss you both every day.
Here are some old photos of my Dad. His Polish heritage with the accordion (check out those boots), school photo, pics of him and his parents. Handsome devil on his wedding day.
This was taken at his 75th Birthday Party. His children and some of the grandsons.
He was proud of his service in WWII. This photo was taken in front of the POW camp. He had been wounded by a machine gun, note the bandage on his leg. He spent 6 months recovering in a French hospital. The signature reads Love to Mother and Dad, son, John. Also an old photo with his father, my Grandpap Klisiewicz, Polish immigrant.
This is my favorite picture of my Dad taken on his final fishing trip to Lake Raystown, Autumn 1997, by our friend Larry. I have had this created in water colors and it adorns the wall in my upstairs family room. I gift a framed version to each of my son's when they establish a new home. My Dad, loved the outdoors.
My Dad bought the boys this awful fireman's helmet for Christmas, it had a flashing light and SIREN!!! My family at Mount St. Ann circa 1965. Bob, Dad, Jeanne, Mom, John & me.
These two fathers stepped up and taught my three sons all the important lessons in life. How to work on cars and love them with a passion, do house repairs and garden, hunting and fishing, love of football and sports, wonderful work ethic and...from my Dad...how to have a great time!
They both took tremendous care of me during the 16 cancer surgeries. The two of them physically carried me into my home when I was too weak to walk after spending many weeks in the hospital ICU. During the 18 months of 100 plus chemo treatments, they played messenger between my office and my hospital bed carrying my work to and from each day. Each of them came to my home twice a day to help me move from the bed as I was unable to get up on my own. As when I was a child, they bore my weight in their arms. I don't know what I would have done with out them.
Pap Bartley was such a blessing in my life and the lives of my three sons. Here he is with my boys in front of the Indianapolis 500 pace car, with Tommy on his first Christmas and Rob's Graduation
We had such a strong bond. He always called me "My Bonnie" and referred to me as his daughter. I cared for him deeply and at his request, remained at his side for 9 days until the moment of his death. Truly one of the greatest men I have ever met. Two years later, I was privileged to be with my own Dad at his death. As life came full circle, I bore his weight in my arms as I held him in gentle embrace, singing to him and never letting go until I was assured they had taken his hands on the other side.
This Father's Day I make the trek to the grave sites of my loving Dad, Grandfathers and the most fantastic father-in-law in the world, Pap Bartley, to honor their lives with a single rose and a heartfelt prayer.
Today is a day of memories for me, this day to honor my fathers. While I have great sorrow, I celebrate their lives.
I feel a sense of loss for the fathers who gave me the gift of life and guided me along its early paths. I am grateful to you, Lord, for having graced me with two such wonderful men in the role of father to me and my sons. Your light shined most spectacularly through their presence in my life.
I take delight in the memories of the good times- their daily visits to my home were the highlight of ordinary times and the joyful celebration of holiday dinners as we gathered around my table laden in the abundant harvest of love and family.
God of Abraham and of Moses, Lord of the living, hear my prayer on this day. With reverence I visit the sacred shrines at the burial places of my fathers, where their bodies were placed within the womb of the earth to await the final day of glory.
I pause to be united with them in your spirit.
I come on a pilgrimage of prayer to keep the flame of love alive in my heart. As I read their names upon the marker stones, I rejoice because I rest in the knowledge that their names are written for all ages in the palm of your divine hand.
May the breath of creation that surround these graves -in the trees, the grass and earth, the song of bird and brilliant sun - join me in prayer. I know that nothing dies, rather life is only transformed into new life with you.
Holy are these graves, holy this earth that holds in its gentle embrace the bodies of all who are buried here.
With reverence, I leave this rose at this grave, grown with love, adorned with memories and with my faith in the reality of that earthen Easter morning when all the holy dead shall arise in the splendor of your glory.
Until that day, grant eternal rest to your servants, John Florian Klisiewicz and John Morrison Bartley - fathers extraordinaire.
I'm dancing the polka for you today, Pap, love ya!
By ArtedeFoundPartes on 06/16/2013 @ 03:02pmDear, dear Bonnie, such Love. Thank you very much for sharing. God Bless You. Sharona
By PutmanLakeDesigns on 06/16/2013 @ 12:58pmWhat special men they must have been. You were very lucky to be blessed with not one, but two wonderful souls. Ann
By Guest on 06/15/2013 @ 08:28pmBonnie, You were loved by John as much as you loved him, more than a daughter-in-law. He used to talk about you when we met at Betar's, the apple of his eye for sure - no others could come close to the love you shared. Touching tribute to you Dad.
By luvncrafts on 06/15/2013 @ 01:46pmBonnie, What a beautiful tribute and prayer! Great photos too. ((((HUGS)))) I am glad you have such wonderful memories!
By Guest on 06/16/2012 @ 12:42pmVery moving tribute, you are blessed to have such great Dads. Thanks for sharing.
By Guest on 06/16/2012 @ 03:02amWhat a wonderful tribute. Bonnie, from the day you entered our house for the first time, Dad embraced you as the daughter he never had. Just look at his face in that photo of you two dancing, he lit up when you were around. He loved you so, I think you must have been connected in a previous life, kindred spirits. Thanks for this remembrance of Dad it is great