Letter to the Editor: A tribute to "Ollie"
July 30, 2012
I worked side by side with my father for eight years, and every day at lunchtime there were lectures – lectures about politics, nature, responsibilities and many more.
But one topic came up more often than all the rest and that was about death. My father would tell me (his exact words): “Don’t you leave me in a hospital plugged into machines. You just let me die! And I don’t want any kind of ceremony – don’t want a bunch of people mulling around talking about me. You got that? Promise me that you’ll do as I wish.”
And as difficult as it has been, I’ve kept that promise. I did not have a wake or a gathering of sorts, except for a dinner at my house with my sons and my brother and my mother, sharing stories about “Grandpa.”
Whenever my father and I had a rough day at work – cement kicking too quickly, warped 2x4s, or yes, a friendly visit from the building department – he would go home and reward himself with a beer. But not just any beer – it had to be Coors in a bottle, and warm of course, like most Scandinavians drink it.
Well, here’s to you dad, after a rough day of transitioning to your next life. May your journey be long and peaceful.
Love from all your children: Erik, 62; Heidi, 60; Aleta, 57; Kjell, 54; Gregg, 52; and of course your wife of 63 years, Carolyn.
Aleta Henrikson Okada