Friday, August 31, 2012

My Beautiful Memorial Tat

Here is the memorial tat I got today in my dad's honor! It was one of his favorite movies and he had Kim and I watch it when we were around 5 years old. It's my favorite tattoo :)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

I've been taking some "me" time lately

I apologize for being absent and not updating more frequently. My dad's celebration of life was on Aug 23 and I have sort of been in anti-social mode since. My best friend took charge this weekend and we went to a Portland Timbers soccer game, which was so much fun! I definitely needed that.

Tomorrow marks the one month "anniversary" of my dad's death. It still seems so surreal, I can't believe it. The only thing that gives me hope and comfort is knowing that my dad is no longer in pain, and that he's watching over my family from above. I miss him so much but I know he's better now.

Here are some pics from his celebration of life! Many of dad's friends came and shared their memories and stories :) It was so amazing.

Friday, August 17, 2012

I don't even know.

My heart feels dead. I miss my dad so much. It still feels like he's around, and I want to call him all the time but I can't. I pick up my phone, excited to call him and tell him a funny story or to see how he's doing, and then I realize that he won't be answering his phone ever again. It just hurts. It's a weird, surreal pain.

Please, I beg of all of you, get your skin checked. Even if you have absolutely no moles, or if you are covered in them, PLEASE just have your doctor look over everything. It can literally save your life.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Eulogy

My family has volunteered me to do the eulogy at my dad's celebration of life. I'm pretty nervous about it, but I know I have my family and RJ to take over for me if I can't get through it all. So here is the first draft! Let me know what you all think,and what should be changed or edited!

“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”

"All of you are here today because in one way or another, my father touched your lives. He was an amazing son, brother, uncle, father, grandfather,, and friend. His heart was so big and full of passion and love. Everywhere he went, whether it was to the bank or to the grocery store, people knew him and always struck up friendly conversations with him. He was a friend to all who met him and got to know him. My dad was the best father to my sisters and I. He gave us everything and more, and he loved the three of us with every fiber of his being-with every ounce of his soul. He lived and breathed fatherhood, pouring his heart and soul into all of us. There wasn't anything he wouldn't do for his family or friends. 

I am so happy to see so many of his friends here today. You are all the family he made for himself when he moved here to Oregon almost 30 years ago. Each of you made his life special and happy. I am truly thankful for the friendships you all had with him, and the non-stop love and support you have shown him and his family through all of this.

When my dad became sick and diagnosed with melanoma back in March we all knew he had a long, hard fight ahead of him...and fight he did. He underwent chemotherapy, 4 brain surgeries, and radiation therapy. He did all of those things with light in his heart and always a joke and smile to share. He loved to make the nurses and doctors laugh, and all of the staff at OHSU loved his personality and outlook on life. My dad was a good man. 

When his cancer began to worsen my dad fought harderand stuck out the rest of his chemo treatments. He kicked chemo's ass! In the end, the night that he passed away, he was smiling and making jokes. He was a fighter through and through to the very end...he definitely wasn't one to give up easily. Now he is pain free and I know in my heart that he is here with all of us today, comforted to see us all together in his honor, and possibly rolling his eyes at us, wondering why we went all out for him when he can't even be here to eat or drink with us. 

As this is his Celebration of Life, he will always be with all of us in our hearts and in our memories. We are asking anybody who wishes to do so, to please share funny stories, or good memories you shared with him over the years. One of my fondest memories with my dad is him making me watch Predator, The Terminator, Robocop, and Alien with him as a very young child. He instilled in me a very deep love for action and horror films to this day. 

My dad also used to read the Alice in Wonderland books to Kim and I before bed, and those books remain near and dear to my heart. 

I am so blessed to be a Stewart. Being his daughter has been a true blessing in my life. We had the best dad in the whole world-truly. He was not only my father, he was my friend. I couldn't have asked for a better dad. 

Thank you dad, for giving me love and advice when I needed it. For helping me with math problems and science problems. For cooking delicious home cooked meals and making sure we had our batman cereal every morning. Thank you for taking Kim and I "walking in the woods", and for taking us on picnics with homemade cold fried chicken to the Devil's Punchbowl and building sand castles in the sand. Thank you for taking us to Avery park and teaching us about life, plants, trees, and the seasons. Thank you dad, most of all, for teaching me how to be open-minded and to think for myself. For teaching me that individuality is a good thing, and that the Beatles truly are amazing, and that 'My Girl' is truly the best song ever written. 

You taught us love, tolerance, and acceptance. You shaped us into the women we are today, and the women we will become in the future. I love you dad, and there aren't enough words to ever express that to you accurately enough. I miss you every single day and my heart aches for you every single day. But I know all I have to do is look into my heart and you will be there, always and forever, by my side. By Kim's side. By Teena's side. 

Thank you for being the best dad anybody could ever ask for. Thank you all for being here to celebrate his amazing life. I'd like to raise a glass to Scott-May he Rest In Peace and live on forever in our memories."

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Part of a poem I am reading at my dad's celebration of life

The last two stanzas of this poem are beautiful and I am going to include them in my speech at my dad's Celebration of Life on the 23rd. What do you think?

The Road goes ever on and on
Out from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone.
Let others follow, if they can!
Let them a journey new begin.
But I at last with weary feet
Will turn towards the lighted inn,
My evening-rest and sleep to meet.

Still 'round the corner there may wait
A new road or secret gate;
And though I oft have passed them by,
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun.

It is a J.R.R. Tolkien poem and the whole thing is beautiful, but the end is even more fitting and I feel it will be a beautiful addition to my speech. My dad loved Tolkien and I know he would be happy :) Let me know if you all have any uplifting quotes/poems about death/passing on! Please post them in the comments--any type of quotes and poems are welcome so long as they are uplifting/positive. It's a celebration of his life, not a funeral :) Thank you!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

This Hurt Never Goes Away

There are some moments during my day when I realize that my heart isn't hurting and I am okay. Then there are other parts of my day where all I want to do is scream, cry, throw things and throw up. I get sick to my stomach when I remember over and over again that my dad is no longer in my life. He's dead. That's a lot of weight to carry around for the rest of my life whenever somebody will inevitably ask me about my parents. I know I can speak to him anytime I desire. I can just start talking, or praying, or write him letters. It's just not the same as having him here, in real life, available to hug and kiss and hear his voice one last time.

I was watching an episode of How I Met Your Mother last night on Netflix and it was about Marshall's last words from his father before he passed away. It's easily one of my favorite episodes. It's so real, and so touching. It got me thinking about what my last words were to my dad, and what his were to me. I was leaving the room, after I kissed and said I'd be in there later, then I said to him, "don't give the nurse any hell, dad!" to which he replied, "no worries-only the EMTs!". Then he said "See ya in a bit"...and that was that. He died a few hours later.

After he died I got to spend some alone time with him. I placed my hand on his heart and I kissed his forehead. I told him I love him and that he was and always will be the best dad in the whole world.

I miss you, daddy. I miss you so much it hurts. It causes me actual physical pain. I want to call you SO badly and hear your voice again and I just can't, and it's tearing me apart.

I just needed to vent a little. Please tell your loved ones how you feel about them as often as possible. You never know when they may be your last words to them.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Great quote!

I read this and it's one of my favorite quotes. I have a lot to update on but I am going to wait until this evening to write a long post. Until then, here is this great, inspiring quote:

"Cancer cannot destroy peace, suppress memories, silence courage, conquer the spirit, kill friendship, corrode faith, or cripple love."

Talk to you all, soon :)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

An indescribable pain

The hardest thing for me right now is wanting to talk to my dad. I find myself hearing a joke, or having something happen in my day and I just want to call him and tell him, and I can't. I can't ever hear his voice again, or call him, or leave him a message. It tears my heart in half and it literally stings every time the urge to call him strikes, which is several times a day. Nobody prepared me for that feeling of longing when I talked to others who have lost their parents--it's nothing I was prepared for. It hurts. It's an ache that is impossible to describe. I wouldn't wish this pain on anybody. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Dad's Obituary

Here is the final draft of dad's obituary. It will be posted in tomorrow's paper and online indefinitely. He will be so missed. Thank you all for your love and support.

Scott William Stewart
Dec. 12, 1954 — July 27, 2012

Scott William Stewart, 57, of Corvallis died at Oregon Health & Science University from complications of melanoma cancer.

He was born in Chicago, Ill., to Jack and Jeanne Stewart. They lived in Jenkintown, Pa., most of his young life. Scott graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 1977. Following graduation, he traveled across the country, stopping in Corvallis and making that his new home.

He began his culinary career at the Big O Restaurant, where he worked for several years before being hired at Burton’s Restaurant. Scott worked there for close to 20 years before it closed in 2006, at which point he and three of his co-workers partnered together to form Affair Catering, an endeavor which he loved and thrived at.
One of his favorite things to do was to take the girls to Finley Wildlife Refuge. He loved it there and they all enjoyed their nature hikes.

Scott also loved music and enjoyed a vast record collection of well over 300 albums. In addition, Scott was a member of MENSA and the Scottish Society.

Scott was previously married to Lonnie Schwab; they had twin daughters, Kimberly Stewart and Melissa Stewart. Scott also had a wonderful relationship with Teena Peaslee, his stepdaughter. He was like a dad to her and they shared a close bond through the years.

Survivors include Scott’s daughters, Melissa Stewart of Monmouth, and Kimberly Stewart of Albany; stepdaughter, Teena Peaslee, and grandson, Austin Peaslee, of Lebanon; eight siblings, Jack Stewart of Point Marion, Pa., Tom Stewart of West Chester, Pa., Marcy Doheny of Hatboro, Pa., Chuck Stewart of Warminster, Pa., Molly McMaster of Collegeville, Pa., Andy Stewart of Wycoff, N.J., Amanda Stewart of Lansdale, Pa., and Betsy Petrasic of Harrisburg, Pa.; and 13 nieces and nephews.

All will treasure the memories and the loving presence he had in their lives.

A celebration of life ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. Aug. 23 in a private room at the Linn County Fairgrounds in Albany.

As this is a time to celebrate his life, we encourage everyone to think of their favorite story or memory of Scott and share it with everyone. Also, we would appreciate it if everyone wore bright colors instead of black, as this is not a funeral and it is what Scott wanted.

Donations can be sent to the Melanoma Research Foundation, P.O. Box 759329, Baltimore, MD 21275-9329.