Extended Family

Grandma Jean’s Recovery Part 1

The Last Farewell

Goodbye Dad

The Blessing

Cy Lines

Grandpa Cy was married for 57 years, a World War II hero, father of 5 accomplished children, and grandfather to 17. He was a blessing. He died shortly after being diagnosed with stage IV brain cancer. Prior to the diagnosis, I had the opportunity to spend a joyful summer with him, enjoying golfing and picnics at my home. In March 2005, he penned the poem below.  He passed away on October 17, 2005, in his home surrounded by loving family. He was a blessing to all of us.
 
My Message
 
Virtue is a ray of Celestial Beauty
The prize of the soul
It does not fear the injustice of time
But greatly conceals only human affection

I will see you once again in Heaven
Where virtue has its just reward
Joy and Peace
Where virtue has its just reward
Joy and Peace

When I first heard the fateful news
Since there was no hope
To return to my beloved family
Crying and yearning
What else could I do?
But to turn to you gentle family one time
You comforted me in my darkest hours
My darkest hour

My soul has returned to these friendly shores
Accepting its final homage
For now I dedicate my singing to you beloved family
You are beautiful and wise
And heaven has blessed you with all of her gifts

Others are less fortunate
You deserve all the praise
Your beauty harbored a gentle soul
All the more worthy for being so modest

While others may be haughty and unfaithful
Heartless and fickle to those that love them
Devoid of every noble thought or reason
It is right they should not be praised

Do not be slaved to your passions
Do not be full of self-reproach
I am looking down from Heaven to help you
Listen to me now and you will have praise and life

I will come to you in the hour of greatest need
At your lowest ebb
And you are ready to listen
Do not be bitter at what fate offers you
Realize that on Earth no pleasure or pain is lasting
You will one day join me in Heaven
Where virtue has its just reward
Joy and peace

My dear family
We will revel in these Celestial honors
In perfect happiness
Where good never fails
And sorrow never existed

Do not shrink from the call of eternal God
He who has experienced hell
Will attain grace in Heaven
And he who sows in sorrow
Will reap the fruits of grace
I love you all.

Robert Henry “Cy” Fuller
November 20, 1924 — October 17, 2005

 

My Remembrance of my Father

My father was a deeply private and sentimental man. He was articulate and believed in demonstrated action. Above all else, he valued the relationships with his family and took great pleasure in the individual success of each of us. He was never meddlesome nor intrusive. Whenever a sounding board was required, he was a phone call or short drive away. No matter what life threw his way, he always answered the opening bell. He never complained nor indulged in idle gossip. All he ever desired was for each of us to do good and be happy. He elevated his station in life many times over through diligent work and lifelong learning. Whether he was placing siding on a house, developing new controls for a turbine engine, machining steel into a mold, assembling a control panel, helping with home construction or providing career guidance, he gave his finest effort. His personal evolution continued and accelerated well into his retirement years. He carried within him several archetypes which served his family over a lifetime. In the end, this king, warrior, and magician of a man provided love in the form of caring, peace, and comfort to those who asked for it. I am proud to call him Dad. 

 The last time he drove his little red station wagon to my house was in June, when he accepted my invitation to come over and paint a picnic table with my 4 year old son Ethan. We worked silently as a team painting that little table, and Ethan was very happy to have learned how to paint from his Grampa Cy. After the painting was complete, I helped Dad ease into the hammock. As he lay there looking up at the bright June sky, he grinned and said, “I remember. I remember 1931. I remember being 7 years old. And I was happy.”  While waiting on the deck for our pizza and Italian beef lunch to be delivered, he and Ethan delighted in blowing bubbles up to the summer sky.   

 On two Fridays in August, we enjoyed spending time golfing followed by a hearty meal on my backyard deck. Although by this time he could no longer drive a car to the course, he could still drive a golf ball.  On our first outing at Atwood, while driving the golf cart to the first tee, he turned to me, smiled and said, “You are not going to let an old man beat you, are you?” to which I replied, “Dad, today, you are not old.” On the 2nd hole, while taking a mighty swing at the ball I teed up for him, he lost his balance and fell to the ground. I hoisted him up by his shoulders. After a moment, he turned to me and sheepishly said with a smile, “It sucks getting old”, to which I replied, “Yeah. But today will live forever.”  

 On the subsequent Friday, we met at Macktown, on yet another clear, crisp summer morning. After convincing the starter to give us the 8:30 am tee time for the next 8 weeks, we went to the snack bar for coffee. While standing on the outdoor patio waiting to start our round, he looked carefully all around, smiled, and said “This place never changes.” to which I replied, “This is Heaven on Earth.” He laughed and agreed and we walked to our golf cart. We played a best ball format round of golf. This means we both would tee up and then play the next shot from the best previous shot. Often times throughout the 18 hole round I would drop a ball for Dad to hit. He would get out of the cart, carefully select a club, walk to the ball, then turn around, smile and say, “Am I supposed to hit that ball”, to which I would reply, “Dad, today, you can do anything you want.”  He would then smile and take a mighty swing. And he never missed. 

  Dad, today, I would like to tell you we still have six more rounds of golf to play. And we will. And I’m not keeping score. 

 On Sunday, October 9th, Ethan enjoyed riding to Grampa Cy’s house and eating a slice of key lime pie with him, Gramma Jean, and Uncle Bob. Ethan delighted in “serving” cashews on our pie. Grampa Cy and Ethan reflected on that wonderful day in June, painting that picnic table.  

 The following Wednesday morning I spent with Dad alone, while Mom made arrangements with Katy and the visiting nurses association. I brought fresh donuts and several Peter Sellers Pink Panther movies and a photo album movie I had edited the previous weekend. We watched various scenes from Pink Panther movies, and he would howl with laughter at the antics of Peter Sellers. After 45 minutes, several donuts and a glass of milk, he retreated back to the living room to his soft green chair. After an hour had passed I put the photo album movie in the DVD and let the main menu continue to loop the song “Try to Remember”. After about 10 iterations, he woke up, looked at me quizzically and asked, “Why does that keep repeating?” to which I replied, “Dad, I made you a family movie. If you would like to see it, we can go back to the kitchen table and watch it.” He said “That sounds like a good idea.” 

 As he was shuffling back to the table, I started the movie. When he heard the piano introduction to the first song, he immediately shed tears and we embraced. I said “I love you Dad. We will meet again.” We watched the entire movie, and he would make comments like “Ah, the good ole days.” and “Ah, I remember.” I said “Dad, the world is better place for you being here. You and Mom have produced 5 beautiful children who love you dearly and 17 beautiful grandchildren who have evolved as a result. And this is the irrefutable evidence.” The movie ended, he smiled and said, “You were always good at pictures.” to which I replied, “I had great subject matter.” 

 Mom returned two hours later and he suggested they watch the family photo album together. As they watched, reminisced, and wept, they embraced and reaffirmed their love for one another. And Mom said “Cy, your work is done here. You worked hard and provided for your 5 children and all the grandchildren are well taken care. Your work is done. You can go at anytime.” 

 The following Sunday, October 16th I returned with my 6 week old baby Jacob. Dad was resting peacefully in a chair in the corner of his bedroom. I set the baby seat on the desk across from him. Jacob was wide awake and staring at Dad. I asked, “Dad, would you like to hold baby Jacob?” He replied, “Why yes I would, if I can.” I placed Jacob in the arms of my father, and he held him closely for 10 minutes.   In the kitchen I served turtle pie to Ken and Katy. I brought the pie tin back to Dad and offered him some. He said “Oh boy, does that look rich!” Then he walked to the kitchen, sat down, and ate a big slice. We said our goodbyes. 

 The next day Dad left us, surrounded by loving family. And he left the world a better place for being here. I love you Dad. And I’ll be seeing you in all the familiar places.  

 Charles Fuller 

 October 20, 2005 

Dad by His Garden Dad, Ethan, and I Dad and Ethan Painting Dad Blowing Bubbles Dad Holding Jacob Dad Holding Jacob

 

 

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