The morning after my dads viewing and full military honors..

October 19, 2017

Re-Syndicated

The morning after my dads viewing and full military honors..

Dad, oh wow you were LOVING what happened yesterday. You were eating it up with a big grin on your spiritual face. I didnt know how many would show. I believe you had more people at your funeral than grams did. I don’t remember ever seeing so many people show up for something like this anywhere else, ever. The viewing room was so full it overflowed into another room. So much respect, support, and LOVE from so many people. This has to be a tell tale sign of your influence dad, and how you made people feel. I’ve said this before, dad, we don’t get to choose our parents. I really lucked out with you and mom. Of all those peoples lives you’ve positively impacted I get the distinguishing relationship of a father and son relationship with you. How did that happen? I got really very super lucky Dad. Thank you for adopting me. Thank you thank you thank you for adopting me. And dad, even if just a few showed or if it was just us in immediate family, I still feel the same about our relationship. This was just a really nice bonus that so many people came to be there with us. Oh and get this.. Jason was given this really nice poker box with poker chips in it signed by each of the poker players. So many of them! The put a lot of thought and care into the design of the whole box and everything in it and presented it to jason. Oh my god it was so nice.

Dad you wanted full military honors and to be in your uniform one last time. We made it happen dad. We really did! And guess what? When the order came in for you to have full military honors, the active duty navy chief who is in charge of the entire state of Wisconsin saw your distinguished Navy career and said, “Ill take this one”. He traveled a long distance to conduct your full military honors. There were active duty sailors sent from Great Lakes Navy Base to fold your flag. And locally here in Kenosha there is a Vietnam War retired veterans group that came in to participate in the full military honors because you too are a retired Vietnam War Veteran. None of them knew you when you were living in your earthly body. They saluted their Senior Chief, that’s you dad. All of your Medals and Ribbons were on display. A couple people asked what each medal was for and I’m sorry to say I did not know. I remember asking you MANY years ago and I just don’t remember what your answers were.

One thing I WISH I had thought of was to ask the funeral director to let me do a eulogy for you. She did a GREAT job with your eulogy dad. As she was talking on her podium it just hit me that I would have loved to have been speaking about you Dad. I’m not going to beat myself up over it. It’s just something I wish I had done for you. But you know what? Next best thing will be to write these blogs to tell everyone about you, my Dad. I know you will never agree with me, and others you’ve positively affected, because you are so damn humble, but we think the whole world should know about you and others like you. The world deserves to be positively infected with your kind of laughter, love, hope, fighting spirit when things are both good or bad, your memories dad… I’m going to do my part to tell the world about you and I bet the more people who know about your life the better off the world will be. And dad, you loved to serve your country and make the world a better place for everyone. I can’t imagine a better way to perpetuate your service to your country and to the world than to continue sharing all about you with the world.

Dad, facebook is pretty neat isn’t it? You got on facebook I think in about the year 2011? We really didnt talk much through facebook. I don’t know if I regret that or not. Probably not because I saw you in person nearly every single day. And for a while now I’ve literally spent more time with you and mom than I have at my own house. Yeah that’s infinitely better than facebook! It was nice to have both though. Whenever I did see you comment on a post of mine, or like something I posted, I took notice each and every time and I smiled big. I really did. My dad liked what I posted! That’s pretty cool. I havent visited your page hardly ever over the years. I don’t know if I want to right now. That might take some time before I go on your facebook pages. You have two of them! One for your friends who knew you as Larry, and another one for people who knew you as John in the later half of your life. Dad you were always VERY organized, thoughtful, excellent planner, wrote things down etc.. THANKFULLY I was able to easily find your list of passwords and other things like that. I was able to log into your laptop, your email, and both of your facebook accounts. I put the word out in both of them, posting as you, but announcing myself as your son in the very first line, so that all of your facebook contacts could know that you’ve passed on. I don’t know if I want to request to have facebook turn your pages into a memorial yet. I already added myself as your legacy contact. If your accounts get turned into memorial accounts then I will no longer have access to your inboxes. If I can’t get into your inboxes then if someone writes you privately thinking you’re still alive in your body then I won’t be able to let them know otherwise. So for now til I decide what I want to do I will keep your facebook accounts as they are. I love the profile picture you have up! I remember taking that picture of you at the house on the front porch. It’s a great picture of you dad.

So today Mom and I are going back to the funeral parlor to meet with the funeral director at 11 am. We’ve never done any of this before dad so it’s all new to us. You were the one who handled matters like this with paper work and figuring things out. Your body will still be in the viewing room but you won’t be there to handle this as you always did so easily. It’s going to be hard but we can do it dad. We are told there will be lots of paper work. I have no idea how long this will take, or what it all consists of, but so far the funeral director has been so helpful in all of this. We picked a good funeral parlor by all accounts so far.

So dad, I hope you don’t mind all these public posts I’m making for the whole world to see. I need to for my own therapy. It may be a little self ish on my part. I am hurting. I miss you so much and I am sure I will miss you every day for the rest of my life even if I live to be 100, which I don’t think I want to live that long by the way. My second most important reason for writing this is because I believe you are receiving my love, dad, and I want you to feel love overflowing for eternity. You deserve that and I’m hoping I deserve that, too. My third most important reason for writing all these posts for the whole world to see is, like I mentioned before, you loved being of service to your country and for the whole world to be a better place for everyone, and what better way can I help you accomplish that dad than to share with the whole world about my Dad, Dad. It’s not about forcing anything, but just about sharing to anyone anywhere who intrinsically wants to receive your light.

Dad, a life span on earth is so short compared to eternity. I will see you again shortly. I cannot wait to see you again dad. While back here on earth living in this temporary body I have it sure seems like an eternity to have to live the rest of this life without you, but I know in reality this is nothing and we will be together again Shortly. Thats what I said to you when I last saw you in your temporary body. I said see you again shortly ok? And you nodded yes and gave me a quick wave. I thought I would see you again shortly like I ALWAYS had. But this time it will be in heaven. And I know it will be heaven because you are there and that is where I want to be. One day not far from now you, me, mom, jason, and soooooo many others will be in heaven together and that is for eternity. That’s the real treasure. It’s not here on earth. But that’s not to discount the treasures that can be had here on earth. That’s not reason to not live this life to the fullest. You lived your life in your temporary body to the fullest and you fought to do so even when things were bad and not easy. Most people quit when things are too hard. Its easy to be well when things are going well. It’s a true show of character, soul, and spirit to squeeze all you can out of life even when life is the toughest. Dad, I believe you know about that just as much as anyone and especially more than the average person. You struggled to breath for at least a dozen years before your passing. Whatever one struggles with in life, Breathing is a vital behavior because without it your body is dead.

Well dad, mom just got up. I think I typed out mostly everything I wanted to for now, a day after your services. And we need to meet with your funeral director in about an hour and forty minutes from now.

I will see you again shortly ok?

I love you,

-Tom

p.s. Dad this is really hard on me. I go back and forth constantly between feeling better and feeling worse again. Be patient with me. I know your dad passed on when you were even a little bit younger than me when you passed on. So you know what I’m going through. I could never totally empathize but of course I was sorry dad that your dad passed away so long ago. I never even got to meet him, my grandpa Larry. He passed on before I was even born. I don’t have any kids. You never got to be a grandpa. If I ever have kids ill be in the same shoes as you dad. Ill be making sure your grand kids know all about their grandpa they never got to meet. You would have been the best grandpa ever. I don’t want to say I regret not making you a grandpa because I know you admired my sense of responsibility, among other things, not loosely getting a woman pregnant and creating a disastrous situation. Dad you were always incredibly responsible in every way. I want to be responsible, like you, too. And so far I am. In love I have not been as lucky as you. I mean, you and mom have your problems like every marriage does, but you found mom and she found you. It all started on a blind date. I guess the blind date went well dad?  44 years of marriage. WOW! Most people divorce and maybe some of them rightfully so. Others divorce because they don’t want to work past there problems. You and mom worked passed your problems. Right up to the end dad you LOVED doing things for mom. I guess I didn’t really appreciate that until after your passing because when you and mom did have your problems here on earth it did upset me GREATLY. Sorry to ramble dad. Ok we have an hour and 32 minutes til mom and I have to see the funeral director now..LoL See you again shortly dad..

Bye for now.

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Lisa Kot Rigsby Much love & prayers sent your way Tom Birkenmeyerbeautiful words

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ReplyOctober 19 at 9:35amEdited

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Evelyn A. Roper Beautiful. He certainly had to be a great man, and he raised a wonderful and loving son.

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October 19 at 9:37amEdited

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Darlene Rigsby Thank you sir first of all Tom Birkenmeyer what a beautiful way to honor your daddy. Sorry for your lost. Prayers and positive energy for you and your family

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Diana Marieta A wonderful tribute and honor to your dad…Know he is with you and is so proud of you. He is in Paradise…

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Sandy Wolfe Tinsley That was beautiful Tom. He sounds like he was a wonderful man. 

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ReplyOctober 19 at 10:12am

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Audrey Fox Beautiful, heartfelt sentiments!

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Tracy Wardlaw That was a wonderful letter from a loving son. I am praying for you today my friend. Hugs

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ReplyOctober 19 at 10:24am

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Clarissa Winchester This is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing all of this with us. 💜💜💜

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ReplyOctober 19 at 10:57am

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Lisa Talley Praying for you

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Connie Guevara Thank you for sharing that with us Tom . Big hugs and prayers for you and your family. I know what you’re going through. I was there when my mom died in 2014. And my dad died March of 2015.

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Heather Gauthier BIG HUGS and Thanks to Your DA for his service

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Crystal Marie Bliesner The love for your dad is so special.

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Julie Ann Walvatne What a beautiful post about your dad, Tom. You truly were blessed to have such an incredible father…. it’s an absolute pleasure to read your words of honor and love for your dad…. thank you for sharing his life with us….. praying for you, your mom, and brother today.. hugs💖

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Katrina Taylor Case Much love!

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Karen Colón Beautiful…… keep expressing Tom! 🤗hugs!

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Donna Capodicasa thank you for sharing, healing sent to you , mom and your brother 

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Giselle Toner Tom, your dad sees all of this, and I know he’s loving your tribute to him! ♡

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Krista Brookins Love ya Tom. Hugs my riff roaring friend.

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October 19 at 2:34pm

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Minnie Autymn Lilith Max Hon….You are an amazing person…truly. Your Dad is so very proud of you. Much love and prayers to you and your family. 

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Kevin Kornelik Your Dad was a strong man that accomplished everything so effortlessly. That was the Senior Chief that kicked in everyday. Your Dad has left his mark on the world. He had an impact on thousands of sailors during and after his tour of duty. He was a great military man. So often I thought that the Navy and your Dad represented the same ideals. You could not separate them because your Dad was all Navy. He was also a good friend that was there whenever you needed him and so glad we were friends for over two decades. It will be so hard to fill this big void that your father left. I struggle to move on but your father would telling us to move forward with our lives. Although he is gone, he is still here with the memories and life lessons he taught us. As time goes on we will hurt less but never forget.

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Sheri Lyn And you are not a novel/story writer why? Gifted! ✌️😊Sending love. 😇

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Andrea Bernstone Your beloved father is so proud of you, your words are so eloquently expressed. My heart breaks for you all but then rejoices for the fact that you have the most wonderful father and he has a amazing son 💝

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Beverly Gordon Norman Prayers for you Tom! So sorry for your loss. 🙏🏻❤️

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Lola Schiefelbein Stunning dedication, Tom…your dad heard every word, I know…

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Patsy Rideout What a wonderful way to honour your Dad & you know, he knows, all of this & is proud of who you are. Stay close to your Mom, she’s gonna need to see you as much as before, maybe more. Another way to honour your Dad is in being good to her & help her with things he may have done before. Very touching comments. Stay strong in your weakness & remember others’ weakness when you are at your strongest…good humans are harder to find these days. Peace to you & your family.

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Patsy Rideout “THE ROSE STILL GROWS BEYOND THE WALL”

Near a shady wall a rose once grew,
Budded and blossomed in God’s free light,
Watered and fed by morning dew,
Shedding its sweetness day and night.
As it grew and blossomed fair and tall,
Slowly rising to loftier height,
It came to a crevice in the wall,
Through which there shone a beam of light.

Onward it crept with added strength,
With never a thought of fear or pride,
It followed the light through the crevice’s length,
And unfolded itself on the other side.

The light, the dew, the broadening view
Were found the same as they were before;
And it lost itself in beauties new,
Breathing its fragrance more and more.

Shall claim of death cause us to grieve,
And make our courage faint or fail?
Nay! Let us faith and hope receive:
The rose still grows beyond the wall.

Scattering fragrance far and wide,
Just as it did in days of yore,
Just as it did on the other side,
Just as it will for evermore.

Clear Dotby A. L. Frink

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ReplyOctober 20 at 2:28am

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Lorraine Cohen  R.I.P  may your papa’s soul have an easy rise! Tom sorry to hear aout your papa passing on 

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Connie Ziegenhagen Tom my deepest condolences to you and your family! I read all of that post and I remember feeling just that way when my dad passed away. The ups and downs and back and forth feelings and all of it! XOXO MY friend

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October 20 at 9:50am

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Linda Simon A beautiful tribute to your dad. I thank him for his service. I thank you for speaking about his personality. Such love from a son. He heard you.

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