I ask forgiveness for my lack of postings.  I believe that last few times I have written I said I was going to blog more often.  I really intend to do so and yet life has a way of intervening of late.

Old Mr. Webster says a promise is:

1-  a statement telling someone that you will definitely do something or that something will definitely happen in the future

2-  an indication of future success or improvement

3-  a reason to expect that something will happen in the future

All of these meanings of the word promise have to do with you having the power to fulfill that promise.

As children we believe our parents.  When, as parents, we told our children that we promise something will happen we made sure it did.  If we were uncertain we did not promise.  Not breaking a promise to our children was very important.  If it became evident after that we would fail to fulfill said promise,  we would sit them down and discuss the situation.  Promises are very important.

Sunday November 16th my father broke a promise to me.  He promised me that he would die at 96 on the seventh hole of the Causeway Club.  He didn’t wait.  My only assumption is that a tournament was going on and his tee-time was noon on Sunday.  I am certain that his golfing buddies and many family friends were eagerly awaiting his arrival.

Les pixMy father was loved by many.  I believe I have mentioned him once or twice in these writings.  He was “Honest Les from Southwest”.  I had the honor of giving a eulogy for Daddy, our niece spoke and my brother concluded with remarks at the service.  During the service many from the community shared the stories of their relationships with Dad.  It was a wonderful remembrance of his life.  In my eulogy I used many movie references as Daddy was a huge movie buff which was a little known fact.  Perhaps I will post the eulogy another day.

He had the gift of gab (or BS as some would say) and was a born salesman.  Luckily that was his life’s work.  He was known from the coast of Maine to all over New England.  In the Bangor Daily News comments after his obituary there was a comment from someone in Minnesota who knew Daddy as a young child when his family lived in Maine.  Cousins from California have been in touch as well as Army buddies from Massachusetts and Connecticut.  Family and friends from Maryland flew up to attend the service.  This man was well loved in his life.

He played as hard as he worked.  He was a “Man for all Seasons”.  In the winter I loved to watch him ice skate.  He was as graceful as any Olympian. .  He was a semi-pro baseball player.  As a kid I thought this a pretty big deal until I discovered it was simply a town team that played other town teams.  If you remember the movie “Field of Dreams” then it certainly qualified as semi-pro!  He was a golfer the majority of his life and won championships and got a hole in one at age 78.   His swimming strokes at the lake were fluid and beautifully executed.  We usually had a deer hanging in the fall from his hunting exploits.

He was genuine and I am not certain I ever saw him without a smile on his face.  In the eulogy I called him an everyman as did our niece.  Indeed he was.  He was a big kid at heart, loved the little ones, tolerated some of we grown-ups at times and I do not think there was a person that did not like him.  What a wonderful legacy that is indeed.  To be loved is a wonderful thing.

For the last few months the quote from “Winnie the Pooh” has been on my mind and facebook page and I even think in this blog.  Pooh said to Christopher Robin, “If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.”  My father could have said those words to us.

Above all Daddy was a man of faith.  He lived it.  He attended a men’s Bible study as long as he could. Wednesday November 12th my father called me.  He wanted to know where Jesus was when the babies were all killed.  It was such an out of the blue question that I said,  “Jesus was not born.” Then I said wait a minute “The Magi.”  So on that last time I was to talk to Daddy we researched the ‘slaughter of the innocents’ and had a marvelous time re-learning and sharing.  Later I came to realize he was cramming for a test he knew was coming up!  It was all too soon for me.

I know Daddy is in heaven.  I sat in front of that casket with calm and peace knowing he was no longer with us.  I hope I was some comfort to my family.  I really needed none myself.  I seem to be grieving in joy and faith that we will be together again.  I believe as I shared on Thursday that. like the scene from “GhOst”, all the love went with Daddy.  I also believe, as I shared from the musical “Les Mis”, “To love another person is to see the face of God.”  We were surely blessed to have been a part of the life of my dad, Leslie William Thurston.

Today I am even more certain that Daddy is in heaven.  One of my brothers-in-law and dear friend shared a picture he took as we were at the cemetery.  He did not join us there.  This dear friend was at the service then went back to his work on the dock.  He was talking with his son and turned around and looked toward the cemetery where we were burying my father.  He had the presence of mind to grab a camera and take this picture.  John told me he believed it summed up some of Daddy’s life with the harbor and boats and all.  For me it showed that heaven was open and awaiting this beloved child of God home.  The orange sunlight is directly over Mt. Height Cemetery.  If there is ever a question of heaven here is the answer.460

Daddy is here with us every time we laugh or share a story or for me listen to my answering machine! I believe I will use the following as comfort for days to come.  “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” ― Dr. Seuss


7 comments on “THE BROKEN PROMISE

  1. What a beauifully witten piece about your father!! So sorry to hear of your loss.And Billy was very rght in having you share this!!! Love your writing and can’t wait to read more!!
    Penny Wentworth Knowles

  2. Dear Kathy, Paula. Susan & Billy,

    Uncle Les was the most wonderful person I have ever known. He experienced tragedies that would have made other people unable to continue in a functional manner. But he was such a strong man — and a man who didn’t want others to suffer — that he was always able to keep a positive attitude.

    I remember a few years after Marie passed away, my younger brother Stephen asked — in the car on the way home from Maine — why Uncle Les wasn’t obviously depressed. (Stephen used the word “sad.”)

    Although I was only (about) twelve years old, I knew the reason. As I told Stephen, “He doesn’t want other people to feel sad.” My parents confirmed that — although that confirmation was not necessary.

    Your Dad was such a sympathetic, empathetic and compassionate person that he never wanted anyone to feel bad. He was truly amazing… and a very loved & respected person.

    I was always honored to have been given my middle name in honor of Uncle Les. I imagine how forftunate you must feel to have had such a truly fabulous father.

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