|In Loving Memory Donnie Spencer 7/22/1936 - 3/10/2015|
Its been nearly a year since I posted anything to my blog and with the arrival of spring, I finely feel ready to return to my creative work. I needed to take some time off after my dad passed away last March. He was 78 years old, had a loving wife, two daughters, five grandchildren and six great grandchildren. Dad had been ill for many years and he put up a courageous and brave fight. Even though I thought I was prepared, at least intellectually, when the time came, my heart and spirit were broken and the journey towards acceptance began.
My dad was a self made man with little more than a 7th grade education. Yet he was fascinated with any and everything thing mechanical. He had a beautifully inventive and creative mind, was a very accomplished master machinist and innovative mechanic. My dad was adventurous and loved the outdoors, especially isolated places where no one else could be found. He taught me how to camp in the wilderness, build a camp fire, fish in steams and in the ocean. Since he was so mechanically inclined, he passed that along also.. I grew up being his 'monkey wrench' fetching every tool imaginable from his vast collections at the shop.
As an accomplished race car driver in the 60's, he taught me to work on cars and how to drag race. I learned everything from how to do a simple tune up and change tires, to fixing or replacing transmissions, drive trains, engines and everything in between. At age 5 years old, to the horror of my mom, I water skied on dads shoulders in the ocean. At age 7 he taught me to ride my first motorcycle and let me drive the boat. Dad always hoped for a boy, but was quite happy teaching his little tom boy instead. I'm not sure how many little girls out there got fishing reels and rods, riding boots and leathers, or car spoilers for their birthdays, but these were contestants in my life. When I was 10 years old, he helped host my Camp Fire Girl troop. On our last night, following our bead ceremony, he had taught the girls so much about the wilderness, we gave him an honorary Native American Indian name "The Great White Father." He was proud of that name and certainly lived up to it.
Dad loved his family and many friends, and lit up when he was inventing, tinkering with projects, walking the pits at the drag races, attending the rodeo and watching John Wayne movies. As his illness progressed he was content to remissness about the 'good ole days,' and enjoyed the races, rodeo and movies from the comfort of his favorite chair. He held fast to traditional values and was proud to be a a Spencer. Dad was always curious and resourceful, frequently stubborn and opinionated, but at his core he was a kind enough to give you the shirt off his back, loving enough to say so and help in any way he could, and he was a true dreamer.
My father touched many, many lives in so many ways, I know I'm not alone in missing him. Thank you for loving me and always being there for me. I am blessed to have you as a dad and grateful that you will always be with me. With all the love a daughter has to give, may your heart and soul always know how much you are loved. May you forever abide in the kind of love, peace and joy that makes your cup overflow.
Spring is here, the flowers are blooming and song birds have arrived. The beautiful blue jays have returned to nest once again in my yard. Three is so much life and rebirth with spring, my spirit has been lifted and renewed. Its time to follow my creative dreams once again. Thank you for joining me in these sweet memories. For all of us who have loved and lost, peace be with you. ~ Dawna