Oh How He Loved…
And so began the instructions for my mom, Dixie, as I helped her learn to use her new laptop (with her old phone) to scan and send the death certificate of my dad, the love of her life, Neal Myers.
- place the document on a flat surface
- open up the scan app on your phone
She’s amazing, my mom. I really miss my dad. I know she misses him more. To be technical, he was my stepdad, but anyone who’s known me for any length of time knew when I spoke of my dad I was talking about Neal.
He was a veteran of WWII, raised two children and another three, plus four grandchildren. He was the President of Florida Power, started a bank, deacon of his church, practiced law for 68 years in a firm he founded…and so much more.
My dad was quiet, patient, steady, and kind. He was fiercely loyal, had a quiet intensity to his love, he was beyond brilliant and very faithful. Neal didn’t tell you what to do, or teach you by explaining. He taught by example: In the way he lived, and worked, and loved. Oh how he loved.
My mom is a light, a joy, a bringer and giver of love. People gravitate towards her like moths to a flame because they sense something, maybe not quite sure what, but know it is something they want, something they should be around. Neal was an intelligent, steady, attentive gentleman who had this incredible way of gazing at things, an intuitive knowledge that he was seeing something special.
I would often catch him gazing. At the ocean, at artwork, and I would ask him, “What are you thinking about?” As with many of his answers to questions, there was a pause. He would say, “Oh nothing, just looking at the pretty ocean. Isn’t it beautiful?” He had a soft sweetness around his eyes, this same adoring look, whenever I caught him looking at my mom. I never had to ask what he was thinking about then. He’d smile and say “Isn’t she beautiful?”
Neal was a beacon to Dixie’s light, a home for the fireflies of her spirit to dance, her voice to sing to and be heard and, her sparkle to radiate. He knew IMMEDIATELY when he saw my mom what it was people saw but couldn’t quite put a finger on. That specialness of Dixie. He knew he would delight the rest of his life basking in her love.
A couple of mornings after Neal died, mom got up from her seat at the breakfast table and plopped herself down in Neal’s chair, which had been directly across from hers. She said to me, “I’ve decided I’m going to sit over here and see what it was that he (Neal) had been looking at all of these years!”
I smiled and said, “Well that’s going to be pretty hard to do Mom, because all he ever saw was you.” ❤️
In loving memory of Neal Myers, April 21, 1921 – February 14, 2018