Gene Notes

Some random and some not-so-random thoughts on family history.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Ten Years Gone

Frank Bowman Percival, my dad, and known to all far and wide as Hank, died ten years ago today. Sometimes I find it really difficult to believe that he isn't available any more to handle my mechanical or how-do-you questions. You know, when someone is there for you all your life and in one last breath is gone, it's a shock.

So in that sense, it is really difficult to believe he's been gone ten years. He died before my DH and I bought our lot in Tennessee, before we moved 600 miles south and before we built our house. He died before Older Daughter moved from North Carolina to Tennessee and long before Younger Daughter moved from up north to Nashville.

I miss his conversations about hockey. He was a huge Red Wings fan, but loved all hockey. He would watch any team play. He knew the players and their strengths and weaknesses. Fortunately, Older Daughter inherited that.

He could sleep and often did sleep anywhere. One year, cold medication got the best of him and he fell asleep while opening a present. It actually wasn't a holiday, unless dad fell asleep during the festivities.

It was his way or the highway. I remember him giving me driving directions to my Aunt's in Holland, and he kept saying "Look at me." I did and missed what he was point at on the map which resulted in not knowing one of the streets we would travel switched from a two-way to a one-way! One time I drove him to Home Depot and he gave me driving instructions to a place I well knew how to get to.  My siblings and I would laugh about that, because he was well known in this function. I will state that he never got the whole sentence "Look at me, I'm talking to you," out when he was instructing me. He knew I would question his directions. Yeah, I'm a lot like him.

My parents loved to travel, whether it was Las Vegas, a cruise, or Dad's destroyer escort reunions in their latter years. I remember a few trips in the late 1960's to about 1970 traveling to New York, Washington D.C., and North Key Largo, Florida. And I remember trips to Holland, Michigan to visit his brother and his family and Pinconning, Michigan to visit my maternal grandparents. 

Every so often, I'll spout a Hank-ism. And it's like I'm channeling him. I like to think of it as keeping my dad with me.

Copyright 2010-2013, ACK for Gene Notes


  1. Hank was one of a kind. I feel lucky to have known and loved him. It's hard to believe he's been gone ten years.

  2. I miss my Dad's company and his hockey-loving ways too. And also I miss his advice and help on home improvement and maintenance projects...