My Dad: David Morgan Moulton
- August 10, 2015
- Posted by: Rochelle
- Category: Creativity + Inspiration
Last week, I said goodbye to my father for the last time.
100% true to form, he was cracking wise and fully present until the very end (lung cancer). I now realize what a profound gift that is—to have both the time and the motivation to say what is most important.
We shared lots of memories those last few days. First up? The day he was determined to teach me to ride my bike without the training wheels. I was scared and kept delaying the inevitable. That day he just took them off, promising me he’d hold on while I rode down the incline that was our driveway.
I was doing just fine until I realized he’d let go and boom! There went my confidence and off I flew into the giant pricker bush at the edge of the lawn. Took hours to get all of them out—it looked like I’d been attacked by a pack of badgers.
But the very next day, my dad insisted I get back on the bike and do it again. I was very careful to avoid that damned bush…
He had tried college, but it didn’t take. Bored and restless, off he went to join the Army. I came along during his stint in France and my parents used their base in La Rochelle to travel around Europe. This was heady stuff for a small town Connecticut boy and it left him with permanent wanderlust.
He would take us on all sorts of adventures when we were growing up. We didn’t have much money, but he’d toss us in the back of the Buick and off we’d go. To the shore for the day. The mountains for a weekend. And Vermont. Always Vermont. Because no matter how much adventuring he did, that man loved to walk (and drive) the hills and countryside of his first and forever home.
While the other neighborhood dads drove station wagons, mine got a motorcycle. He had a sense of adventure that always astonished and delighted my friends.
Later, when he met my stepmother, they rode their bikes across the U.S. and Canada on their vacations and long weekends. That’s when they weren’t in Vermont skiing or golfing.
My dad was always in motion—my pals christened him “the energizer bunny”. Always up for a party, a 200 mile round-trip drive for the best sausage he’d ever tasted (and was craving that day) or a jaunt to the pick-your-own roadside stand to make his legendary blackberry pie.
Even after his treatment robbed him of his sense of taste and he could barely walk, he insisted we all pile into the car to his newly-discovered BBQ Exchange to sample their pulled pork and six barbeque sauces (50 miles round-trip). His last meals weren’t hospital food, but hand-delivered plates of his favorite fried chicken and spaghetti with meatballs. His beloved wife Judy and BFF Kathy made sure of it.
My dad lived every minute of his life to the fullest, exactly the way he wanted to.
And really, that’s the best epitaph of all.
Thank you Popster. For showing me the way and having the most elegant and true-colored exit one could hope for.
There will be no other posts this week or next. Just a heartfelt thank you for reading this and indulging me. Thanks for being there…
Rochelle, I am so, so sorry for your loss. Your dad sounds like an incredible man — and he looks so young! I buried my favorite cousin (68-years old) about a month ago. Also cancer. I really do hate cancer….
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Truly sorry! He is everything we should all aspire to be!
Thanks for sharing, brings back fond (although bittersweet) memories of my mothers last days whom we lost to lung cancer 12 years ago.
Blessing to you and your family during this difficult time.
Rochelle, I learned to ride a bike exactly like that, with my dad assuring me he was right behind me, holding me steady, except he wasn’t, he was already hands off only I didn’t know and wobbled on with confidence.
Thank you for telling us about your wonderful dad, so sorry he has gone.
What a story. Take care, Rochelle. And take all the time you need and deserve. We’ll be here. <3
Rochelle I am sorry for your loss but happy that you had such great times with your Dad. I lost mine at 16 but even then he had left a lasting mark on how I would live my life. Joy in the adventure of business and a genuine love of people are the things he taught me and my brother. Also that service to others is a privilege not a chore. These lessons served me well and although I am now 59 his memory still makes me smile. You always love your Dad.:)
God bless you and your family.
I want to thank you for telling your heartfelt story about your dad. I can feel all the love you had (and will always have) for him, and for the great dad he definitely was! I loved each story you told, and could feel not only your love for him, but your admiration for someone who went to whatever lengths he had to in order to reach his goals, whether it was to get a special food so many miles away or to be there for his daughter and other loved ones. How blessed you are to have had such a special dad!! It strikes me that his drive, regardless of the personal cost has, arguably, made you the undaunted, unforgettable person that you are. Thank you so much for telling the beautiful story about your special dad, Rochelle!! I’m so sorry for your loss, but so happy for you that you have such rich memories of your oh so special dad!!
Dear Rochelle. Just wanting to wish you love and love during the time ahead! I had to say goodbye to my mother and sister a few years ago. Keep remembering him! Keep talking about him! Keep feeling his love for you! Keep going to his favorite places! You’re a great inspiration to us all! Beautiful photo of you both. Sending strength and courage for you and your family from Ireland! Pina x
Great tribute Rochelle. Peace
My sincere condolences on the loss of your father. While he is no longer physically present his spirit will always be with you as evidenced by your memories.
So lovely, Rochelle, and inspiring. Lucky you.
Sorry for you loss. Your tribute really let me feel your loss as well as introduce me to a wonderful father!
Beautiful tribute Rochelle. Loved the snapshot of a life well-lived. Thanks for sharing, and peace and blessings to you and the family.
A beautiful tribute to a wonderful father. You were blessed to have his love and inspiration. Sorry for your loss. He lives on eternally….Forever in your heart.
I’m so sorry for your loss. Your dad and family will be in my prayers. This was a beautiful tribute.
I’m so sorry to hear about your father. Iat sounds like he was a great man, and you were very blessed! My thoughts and prayers are with you.
What a lovely tribute to your dad, Rochelle, a man whose heart was clearly as big as the open spaces that he loved.Very sorry for your loss, but happy that you have so many wonderful memories to cherish….
Thank you – really – for sharing. Life is short and precious. Appreciating the love and relationships we have in our lives – whoever those people are – is essential.
And losing a parent is so tough.
As so many of your commenters say – I hope that these beautiful memories find a home in your heart, and bring a smile to your face in years to come. And, over time, replace the tears.
best wishes from England, Helen
What a lovely tribute Rochelle! You convey it in a warm, honest, gutsy, authentic and courageous way – all the attributes that you promote in your work life. I hope that someone writes something like this about me when I die.
I am sorry for your loss and envious of the love that you so obviously shared with your father.
Karen (England, UK)
This was a beautifully written tribute; and well said from your heart. My mother left us three years ago at the young age of 99. Her wisdom and beautiful memories live on within my brother and me, our children and grandchildren. You will eventually get to where your smile returns, and memories bring you smile. My condolences to you and your family. May his memory be for a blessing always. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.
Shelly and I extend our condolences on the loss of your dad.
Thanks for sharing a story of a many who really had heart and made a difference and a mark as a parent. In the last several days so many of my close and good friends lost a parent. I find it very important to share and recall how our parents help shape their children, and the stories should remind us to cherish our moments with them as they approach later life; I know you did.
My sympathy for your loss.
Grief is love not wanting to let go.
Peace love and light to you and your family.
My Condolences of losing your dad. The article is truly a tribute to a great dad
R.I.P. – “the energizer bunny”.
Good Morning Rochelle…
Thank you for sharing this, seems like we all must go thru this.
Glad to see you took such a wonderful path…
Such a beautiful and moving tribute to your father. What an inspiration to others to live life to its fullest! Peace to you during this difficult time.
Rochelle, thank you for sharing your beautiful memories with us. I am so so very sorry for your loss and sending you the tightest hug.