Monday, January 17, 2011

A Man Named Mervil

Hi farm friends, I am writing with a sad heart this week. This is a difficult time of year for my family and me.  I am one of those fortunate people who grew up with two wonderful, loving parents named Mervil and Dreama. Unusual names for two unique people. When I look back on my childhood it was filled with love and security. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to grow up in a home where I didn’t have two attentive parents and I am eternally grateful. Tomorrow is the fourth anniversary of my dad’s passing. In honor of his life, love and memory, I want to share a little bit about him with you.
Daddy on the left, his brother’s and sister beside him
As I mentioned earlier, my dad’s name is Mervil Perry. Born in Mingo County W.Va to a coal mining family, his unusual name can be traced to a prisoner of war who served in World War I, according to my grandmother. Also, Mingo County is the home county of the infamous Hatfield’s of the Hatfield and McCoy feud. My dad had eight siblings, but lost two of them early in life, just two days apart. They raised gardens, chickens, pigs and had a cellar and smoke house. He grew up loved and with wonderful childhood memories of his own. His parents made sure they sent their kids to college and my dad, as well as most of his brothers and sisters, became a school teacher.
Daddy in his 20s
He met my mom in college and they married and had two girls--my sister Anna and I. Life was good--pretty much always. Daddy had a big personality and always entered a room with a smile and booming voice. He was my hero, softball coach, teacher, biggest fan, role model and disciplinarian. I remember as a small girl walking to the bank with him one day and the lady at the bank called him “honey.” I didn’t like that one bit and I promptly let her know “he is not your honey.” He got a big kick out of that and so did my mom. 
Daddy and his girls
Dad, Mom and their 3 grandsons
About nine years ago he was diagnosed with colon cancer-stage V--the worst case, the awful kind. This was not a man who didn’t have good medical care. He did. He had gone regularly for his colonoscopies as prescribed for men over fifty. As a matter of fact, he had a colonoscopy one year prior to the cancer diagnosis and was given a clean bill of health--which wasn’t really the case. They missed the lumps in his colon. One year later he was at the last stage.

He was a strong man and a fighter. He had three young grandsons and wasn’t going to go easily. He went to Memorial Sloan-Kettering in New York for major surgery. He was on chemotherapy and for the next five years fought the "Big C" with everything in him including experimental therapy at Duke. However, after a few experimental trials, which were no longer working, he sat us down and said he wasn’t going to do anything else.
Our immediate family one summer
In 2006, we had a great Thanksgiving and Christmas. We were thrilled. He seemed to be eating better and taking everything in. Still, we felt as if he knew he was spending his last holiday on earth. A week later we would start to believe and know it, as well. After the new year, daddy quickly went down hill. One morning my mom called and said he couldn’t get out of bed. Richie and I went immediately to help and get him up. I knew that day the cancer had spread to his brain. He knew what he wanted to do, but was unable to make his body do it.

My sister and I went to kiss him goodnight on the evening of the 17th and we both looked at each other in horror. Both in the medical field, we knew his labored breathing meant he was dying. His family came quickly and we all surrounded him through the night. We sang hymns he liked and rubbed his hair to comfort him. He knew we were all there to see him go. My husband tells the story of watching tears falling down his cheeks as my sister, mama, and I got on his bed, clutching him, telling him how much we love him.

In the early morning of January 18th, he left us. It was the hardest day of my life. My sister, mom and all our family will always live with a void in our hearts and lives--forever missing his booming voice, his large presence, his grandiose generosity--him.

He was an incredible man, and I wanted you to know a little bit about him today.


Mervil C. Perry 1938-2007

78 comments:

Brenda said...

I'm sorry for the loss of our Father. You have wonderful memories of a wonderful man. Thank you for sharing about him today. Blessings to you and your family!

Rina ... also Chester or Daisysmum. said...

Oh Amy, my thoughts are with you today, Your Dad sounds like a wonderful person, very special cause he was your dad, who meant the world to your family. Hugs for you.

My Dad passed 11 years ago, and still it hurts a little.
Love to you
Rins

Paula said...

He must have been a very special man... hugs to you today.

TexWisGirl said...

May you hold his memories as tightly as he held you as he is still with you now.

Sharon said...

Corgi kisses and hugs to you today, Amy!

Cheryl @ TFD said...

Thanks for sharing this wonderful story filled with love and memories of a loving father. Blessings, Cheryl

Sassafras and Winterberry said...

You write so emotionally about your father. I lost my dad when I was 6. You never forget that special bond with Daddy. My thoughts are with you. He sounds like he was a very special man.
Blessings,
Courtney

Patrice said...

Aren't memories a beautiful thing sometimes! How wonderful that you were raised with such loving parents.
:)

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

What a wonderful heart felt tribute to your beloved father. Thank you for sharing this special post with us all. Thinking of you Amy on this difficult anniversary.

John Going Gently said...

a sad story ....nicely written

Farm Girl said...

thank you so much for sharing about your Dad, I will be praying for you, as I know how hard anniversarys always are and the things you remember and the things you wish you could forget. It sounds like you had a wonderful childhood dear sweet Amy. I am so glad to call you friend and that you feel things. May God bless you today in the cover of His wings.

Unknown said...

Amy, I understand how much you must miss him so. To have someone so loving and involved in your life is a blessing beyond words, but to have that taken away is one of the hardest parts of life. The grief doesn't become easier, I found that it just becomes different and the simplest memory or thought can bring tears at the most unexpected time. How fortunate you were to have each other and to know you will be together again.

Thank you for introducing me to your dad.

Hugs ~Andrea~

thecrazysheeplady said...

Beautiful.

{{{hug}}}

Sharon said...

What a loving tribute to your Father, I'm sure as you wrote it, other memories came flooding in. He will live forever in your heart and I think he knew that. Thank you for sharing him a little with us all.

XXX

connie said...

This brought both smiles and tears..You were so lucky to have such a great dad and thank-you for sharing him with us today..

Bee Lady said...

I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes. So sorry for your loss. I have parents that gave us a childhood like yours. We're blessed.

Cindy

Michelle said...

So sorry about your loss. But, this is such a moving tribute.

Gretel said...

So well written, Amy. I can tell you loved him and miss him very much.

Amy said...

What a great tribute to your dad, that's a huge loss that will forever leave a hole in your heart. Hugs to you Amy!


Amy

Mary said...

Thank you for sharing a little about your dad, Amy. I'm so sorry about the loss of your father. I am sure he would be proud of what you have said about him.

God Bless!

~Mary

Karen Thomason/Gordon Setter Crossing said...

HI Amy, So sorry for your sadness and the loss of your Dad. A very sweet tribute to your father. He sounds like such a nice man. I lost my Dad in Jan. 2008 to colon cancer. It's a horrible disease and took my Dad right at 5 years after diagnosis. I was with him the last 5 weeks of his life. After seeing him suffer so badly, it motivated me to stop smoking, and keeps me a non smoker. My Dad didn't quit in time to save his life, but I hope I have.

Tete said...

Amy, I love this post about your dad and your family. Today is our first anniversay without my father in law. I miss him, but I don't grieve his loss, because I don't feel like I lost him. I know where he is.
My mother has been gone 16 years now- and I know it took about 4 years before it quit hurting so bad. The void is still there, but not the pain.
Daddys are just the best part life and your biggest hero, your first love, your knight in shining armor. He is still watching over you.
Sorry your heart is aching...Tete

Chris at Red Gate Farm said...

Amy what a wonderful tribute to your father. To read about your memories of your father truely brought laughter as well as tears to my eyes. Every father should be remembered this way, with great love from his child. I can't imagine how hard this must be for you every year at this time as well as the holidays.
Hugs from here, Chris

Genny said...

Amy, your dad sounds like a wonderful man and father. How lucky you all were to be able to spend such great times together, being able to cherish one another and show your love. I think that's so important. It's so hard to lose your parents, no matter how old you are. It's a piece of our childhood that can never be replaced.

Inger said...

You are so blessed to have had such a good Dad. I know how difficult it must be for you today and my thoughts go out to you. This was a wonderful tribute to a great man. Thank you for sharing this with us.--Inger

Lisa said...

I don't know what to say. Just Hugsssssss.

Your post made me cry. My parents are both still living. Hopefully I won't have to go through this for a very long time.

God Bless.
Lisa

Country Gal said...

Sorry for the loss of your father.
My father who was a kind humorus man passed 15 years ago of cancer of the asofagis which they now know of the cause , back then we called it heart burn now known as acid reflux diesease if they knew then what they know now he would be alive today !he struggled for 5 years on and off with kemo and all. My parents were married for over 40 years when my dad passed, and my mum passed after she was given a clean bill of health a week before she suddenly passed away at home thanksgiving weekend ! Its hard I know but they are always watching us and with us in our hearts and memories !

A Primitive Homestead said...

Such a wonderful tribute to your Father from his loving Daughter. Your story brings tears to my eyes. I am sure he would be proud of you remembering him. It is so sad to lose such special loved ones. It seems so many in this day do not show true TLC to their family. It is a shame those who do are taken way to soon. Blessings!

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Your heartfelt tribute really touched me. Thanks for sharing your memories.

Mom L said...

A beautiful memorial - how generous of you to share this special man. I've lost both my parents, but both had quite long lives. I still think often of them and, even though it's been 4 and 11 years, I still see them in my dreams. You'll find little things will bring back a sudden memory of him.

Nancy in Iowa

Jen said...

Loved ones will always be missed... cherish the wonderful memories :)

Angela said...

Such a beautiful and loving tribute to your daddy. I'm so sorry that he passed away just too soon in this life.

Hugs to you and your family,
Angela

Beth said...

What beautiful memories and beautiful memorial. Thank you for sharing your bitter sweet memories. Tears came to my eyes while reading your words.
God bless you on this difficult day.

Terry said...

I'm so sorry, Amy.

Leah said...

Very very touching post - well done!

Maureen said...

How blessed you are to have had such a wonderful person in your life. And to have him as your father no less.

Janice Grinyer said...

Sometimes when it seems that its most needed, I will have a dream, and I get to hug my mom again...

Im wishing you the same dreams, Amy...

Rebecca said...

Sounds like an amazing man and father and I'm so sorry for your loss, but I am glad for all your wonderful memories and the years you had with him. God Bless you and your family at this time!

Katerina said...

It is so sad to lose the loved one. I lost my grand-dad last year, he was diagnosed with colon cancer five years ago.
Your dad will always live in your heart. Sorry for your loss.
God Bless you and your family!

V.L. Locey said...

That was a very touching entry. Thank you for sharing it with us, I know how hard it can be to lose a parent.

Jill said...

A beautiful and touching tribute to your dad.

Country Whispers said...

What a touching tribute.
May you find happiness and comfort in the good memories that you have.

Kay's flowers said...

That was beautiful and brought tears to my eyes. What a grand way to remember your Dad and to let the world know how much you love him. Thanks for sharing.

Deb said...

It is so hard to loose someone you love...you have such wonderful memories....thank you so much for sharing them with us...you are a good daughter...

Windy Meadows Farm said...

Thank you for sharing your heartfelt memories. They have made us all pause and reflect, either on someone we've lost, or to hang on for dear life to those we love and let them know how much they mean. Thanks...
-Mary

Kritter Keeper at Farm Tails said...

oh amy you must know how i did not want to read this...but i wanted you to know that i did...and you know exactly what i am doing now...we love him. he was so good and your uncle misses him so much. he has a huge void in his life now. its just not the same...i hate that this has happened...i know your pain...

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

Amy, my eyes welled up reading your post. Your dad sounded like an incredible man! My dad's been gone 23 years and I still miss him. All I can say is to remember all the happy times. Thank you for sharing your dad with us.

Mary

matty said...

Oh, Amy, what a beautiful story and what a wonderful man! Your love for him shows in your words; how fortunate you all are.

Many, many hugs!
Matty

My Farmhouse Kitchen said...

Oh Amy, I find myself in tears...i am so sorry for your loss...sounds like you had such a loving and happy family. You were lucky...and you know it. I lost my dad in an airplane accident at the age of 8...a loss that has been with me my whole life. i am 54 years old and everday i feel an empty heart and memories of a sad and difficult childhood. and i have felt the pain of losing my mother to cancer as well. she died in august 2006 after a short fight with pancreatic cancer. as i read your post...i understand your loss so well . i think losing a parent is something you never get over.

Blogging is a special place in that we can share our stories...the happy and the sad...and we feel like a family.

Sending blessings to you and your family,

Kary

Tonia said...

What a Wonderful Man! You were so blessed to have him as a father as I can tell you know! What a Beautiful tribute to him!

Anonymous said...

Dearest Amy,

What a loving tribute to your father and to my brother! He
was so loved by all of us and is
now so missed by all of us. He will forever live in our memories and in our hearts. And, who knows, maybe he still watches
over us!

We love you.

Velva said...

Cheers to Mervil! This was a beautiful post in his honor.
Thank you for sharing him with us today.

My mother is from the coal mines of West Va too. Born and raised in Logan County.

Velva

Missouri Gal said...

Oh my gosh Amy, I'm so sorry! I can't imagine the pain you and your family feels. I really enjoyed seeing the photos of you Dad. He looked like a wonderful and loving person, just as you described him!
Hugs to you and your family! Nicole

Holly said...

You never get over the loss, but I've noticed with my mom, that the good memories prevail and I even remember things that I'd forgotten.
Hugs to you today:)

Fi said...

Beautiful tribute to your lovely Dad Amy :)

Unknown said...

Amy...such beautiful memories of your daddy...I am so sorry you lost him too early.

Thank you for letting us "know" him a little...

xoxo,

annie

Carla said...

What a wonderful tribute! You were a lucky, lucky women--but you already know that.

Ginny said...

What a sweet tribute. Your father has passed his talents, parenting skills, and joy for life to you. He lives on within his children and grandchildren. That is the best legacy a anyone can have. Having a loving parent is a blessing and such a rare gift these days. I am happy for you and your wonderful memories of Mervil. Thank you for sharing him with the rest of us.

abby jenkins said...

Mervil sounds like a real stand up guy. You were so fortunate to have such a exemplary role model in your life, and such wonderful memories. That "honey" story made me laugh, the rest of the story made me cry. I lost both my parents to cancer when I was pretty young and I miss them everyday. Your dad will live forever in this post, and he will continue to touch people as he has touched me today. You and your family are in my prayers, I'll tell my parents to look up your dad.

Lisa Sall - Sall's Country Life said...

Oh the anniversary of the passing of your dad is so rough, and guess what? So it will be for the rest of your life. My dad has been gone for 28 years now and I still remember it like it was yesterday. Isn't it a tribute to our dads that it is all so heart wrenching to us all these years later? To make such a huge impression on us tells us the remarkable kind of person they were... unforgettable!! You did a beautiful thing by posting a small part (I'm sure) of your dad's legacy and sharing it with all of us. I know he is looking over your shoulder and beaming with pride! Keep his memory alive by grieving his loss, and rejoice with the memories of his time here with you.
Take care dear Amy, Love Lisa S.

Phyllis said...

Hi Amy,

Thank you for sharing your story with us. From such humble beginnings of a coal miner family, your dad was wealthy beyond measure. And that you had such a wonderful and loving father also makes you beyond fortunate. My thoughts are with you.

Maura @ Kisiwa Creek Photography said...

Oh Amy I am so sorry I missed this post. Such a special post and I was just so busy trying to find what to write that I never checked your blog. I really am sorry. Your Dad sounds like such a wonderful father...you were very lucky to have had such a loving family. Even through my tears I had to chuckle as I read your post again and saw what you said to the lady who called your Dad 'honey'. I can only imagine how hard it was for you and your family to go through this. I know time makes things easier but I understand how this date would be a sad memory for you. I hope today is a better day. Hugs to you Mini Me.X

Anonymous said...

Wow. I great sentiment to your father. You are a lucky woman to have such wonderful parents. I am glad you have good memories of your father.

Take care.

Melissa

Eggs In My Pocket said...

No matter how many years pass by, it is so hard to get by without thinking of someone so special in your life. My heart goes out to you. What a wonderful post to read! blessings,Kathleen

FarmHouse Style said...

Amy, what a beautiful tribute to your Father. My family and I had a very similar experience with my dear Grandfather. Your words reminded me how difficult it was to let go of such a strong yet gentle pillar of our family. The good thing is the love they gave us lasts forever.

Sending hugs and smiles.

Rhonda

Anne Marie said...

oh my goodness...how terribly sad that you lost your Dad that way...he sounds so interesting and quite like my grandfather - raised to work and to love those around him...

peace and love to you!!
xo+blessings,
Anne Marie

Danni said...

Oh, your words and memories are powerful ones, Amy. Your dad sounds like he was a remarkable and loving man. The love you and the rest of your family have for him is testament to the kind of life he led and the way he loved you. Reading about him makes me wish I had known him.
I'm so sorry he isn't here with you today.

Dog Trot Farm said...

Amy, such a lovely tribute to your dad, I am sure he is smiling down from above with such pride in his heart. My childhood was very similar to yours, a very happy, safe and secure loving home. I am blessed that I still have both my parent's and I do not take one day for granted with them. I am thinking of you and sending blessings your way. BTW~my high school music teacher's name was Dreama, I have never heard that name since.... till now.

Anonymous said...

Reading your post gave me chills, brought back so many memories of my mom and watching her die 11yrs ago, I will never forget that night....but so thankful I was there with her....they are never far from our minds. I miss her each and every day as you miss your dad.
What a wonderful post and tribute to your father.

Janet, said...

What a wonderful tribute to your dad. Thanks for sharing your memories.

Laura @ Our Wee Farm said...

that was truly lovely to read - all your gorgeous memories of a great man. I had huge tears in my eyes by the time I finished reading.
You and I are lucky that we've such wonderful dads. Big hugs x

Leslie @ Farm Fresh Fun said...

Thinking of you and your wonderful Daddy. What memories he made for you! How blessed you all were to be at his side as he passed at home. Wishing you comfort and happiness as you reflect back...
(((hugs)))
Leslie

Suzan said...

Love your chickens!! I'm going to have some in 3 years when I retire!!

The Herde Verde Chicken Coop

Stay warm,
Suzan

Teresa said...

What a lovely tribute to your father, Amy. How blessed you are to have had such a wonderful man to guide you through life. And how blessed was he to have such a loving and dear family. It warms my heart to hear how you remember him. I'm glad you shared this, Amy.

Joy said...

That is a beautiful tribute to your father. I am sorry for your huge loss. Thank you for sharing the story.

Anonymous said...

Amy,
What a beautiful post! Your daddy sounds like a wonderful man, and reading about him brought tears to my eyes. I lost my 55 year-old mom to pancreatic cancer in 2009. She didn't get much of a chance to fight, and she didn't pass in peace like your dad.
Sharing in your loss,
Donna in WV
catsandbeetles@hughes.net

Neurotic Atty said...

I can't believe I found this post...I just followed a Facebook link to your blog, then scrolled through some other posts, and (for some reason) stopped on this one. My brother died of colon cancer on December 21, 2007. He was 44. Much like your father, it was far too late for him by the time he was diagnosed. He lived for only 26 months after his diagnosis (at the age of 42). Then just yesterday, my sister told me that her 39-year-old neighbor had just been diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer, which has metastasized to his liver (like my brother's had). We were talking about his chances for survival, which seem very slim...but maybe not. Maybe your dad and my brother can see to it that he has a better outcome than they had...

This N That said...

I too had a loss in Feb..2004..My beloved husband..They say it gets better with time but I say it ain't so...Please accept my heartfelt condolences..Your post was a nice tribute