“Let us not love in word or speech but in deed and in truth” ~ John 3:18
A quote from John in the Bible which means ‘love in action’. Together they lay out the foundation in effective living. My dad Howard C. Gordon had to battle the darkness faced throughout life with the loss of my sister ~ Kathy, my brother ~ Howie and my mother ~ Ellie. He eventually did find light and truth through love of life, forgiveness, hope and kind ways – it is in this action - no matter the obstacles he had to face dad infused these energy’s toward making the best of the worst circumstances. Dad would do his best in not dwelling into the darkness but go forth in the light.
My dad was a shy, kind, humble and a wise man. He was my teacher – guru. When ever I was feeling low on my self, or missing my mom, brother and sister – he was there to cheer me on and make the best of what we got. He was the remover of darkness and with a small smile or joke would bring the light to me.
Dad was best known for being a good a gardener, woodworker, and passionate cook. He was proud of his Dorchester roots and relied on the valuable lessons he learned there throughout his life. Anytime he met someone from his home time, he beamed with joy and reminisced the good old days.
As you know the Gordon family endured many losses, and he would always say “Ellen things could be worse, we have each other”. My husband Joe came into my dad’s life about 2 years after Kathy died, immediately they formed a friendship that flourished into a ‘father and son’ kind of relationship. They enjoyed many family outings with us; the yearly Sam Adams stock holders meeting and my dad liked Joe very much and considered him like his own son. When the kids came along, Joseph, Colleen and Matty….my dad glowed with happiness in their presence. My daughter was a spitting image of my sister and had the same mannerisms….he loved his grandchildren so much. The last months of his illness he baked with Colleen every Sunday morning and was so proud of her willingness to learn and the boys loved watching the foot ball game with him and enjoyed our Sunday afternoon lunch’s at the Fowler House. Our family had our own booth there and there were many of laughs and fun times. Another family became important to my dad, my best friends and in-laws. My aunt and my moms best friend always had a Tuesday ritual to attend Kelly’s Landing to play keno and have lunch, the bar tender of course was from Dorchester and again my dad felt at home there. My dad really was sad after my mother died and my mother in law stepped up to the plate and made sure he was invited to Ward events, she had a way with my dad in getting him to come over for Sunday dinner, most recent to celebrate my birthday and Joe’s. He really enjoyed the Ward family get together when he was invited, he could not resist. My best friends Terri, Laurie, Beth, Sue and Gail always enjoyed cook outs in the summer, birthday party’s and/or Halloween fun with him, they hugged him as if it were their own dad, and my friends knew he was “a one of a kind gentleman”.
I should mention my special bond with my dad. It was a connection that words could not express other than the fact I had wonderful memories of being in his around him. I remember as a young girl dressing up one summer evening to have a father and daughter night out, we went to the Museum of Fine Arts to see the Pompeii exhibit. Pig tails, paten leather shoes, a yellow dress and purse, all dressed up and on a date with dad ~ I will never forget that night. He took me to the movies at East Milton Square once a month. Friday nights in my early teen years was special because he would take me and Kathy to the South Shore Plaza to walk around, we would meet up at 8pm at Brigham’s for an ice cream, we got to bring a friend and I remember our friends would say “you have the best dad in the world”. As a kid every Saturday was a family day we did trips to Castle Island, Nantasket Beach, Cape Cod, Apple picking and much more. Sundays’ we had the tradition Irish Sunday dinner.
No matter what adventure in life I wanted to do, Dad WAS always there to support me even in my late teen years. I wanted to be a model, and even though we had very little money he did invest in me going to modeling school and I did do a few beauty pageants. In 1996 I was La Femmena Model of the Year. He was so proud of me. Later in life I decided I wanted to go back to school and get an associates degree, Mom and Dad gave me a party for graduating, you see school was very difficult for me and they knew how important it was to get a college degree. He supported me in every adventure. The latest Yoga, that’s all I talked to him about yoga and the sutras and all about how I found yoga to help me find my inner guru and how it helped me cope with the losses in my life. He listened – never judging me; he knew if it was important tome then he was happy.
The month of January 2013 was very hard for me and I cried almost every day because I knew he was not going to get out of this alive, he had high hopes of beating his heart and kidney disease. Facing all his medical issues he always maintained a positive and hopeful attitude. Unfortunately, after many talks by his talk that this was it, he accepted his demise.
If I had to say in a word what described him the most was FAITH. When Jesus said, “It is done unto you as you believe”. I think he totally believed that. The gift of life is not complete until it is accepted. Faith is a great adventure, a stimulating pursuit, a worthwhile attempt purpose. What I learned in a gardening kind of way because as you know Joe and I where in the midst of a gardening 101 (I should stress intense) he was very specific and kind of a perfectionist about gardening.
I will put this in terms of how my dad thought of life. A seed must be left in the creative soil of the mind until it can mature. There is a time for sowing as well a time for harvest. Plants must not be pulled up or interrupted in the process of growth. They must be watered with hope, fertilized with expectancy and cultivate with enthusiasm, gratitude and joyous recognition. In a word “Good Natured, he eliminated doubt and uncertainty and always maintained hope and gratitude for what he had in life.”
This past Friday night, the night before he died, he was slowly slipping from earth to heaven, I laid my head on his chest, as tears dripped on him ~ I sang an old Irish/Scottish Proverb. It totally ties in with his sunny disposition and he loved the sun:
“May the long time sun shine upon you
All love surround you and the pure light within you
Find your way on, find your way on”.
His last words to me a few days before he fell into unconsciousness he said “Ellen I love you, I have always loved and will forever”. I will never forget those words from a father to me his daughter. My dad was my guru, hero and forever “long time sun”. As we say in yoga Namaste which means “I see the light in you, and you see the light in me”. In memory of my father June 9, 1935 - January 19, 2013, donations can be made to Father Bill’s and Mainspring http://www.helpfbms.org.