Monday, September 30, 2013

John L. Day

August 14, 1926 - September 30, 2013

Born in Knoxville - the day after Fidel Castro - the day Henry Ford announced the 40-hour work week – the year Route 66 was commissioned - his was a life that stretched from Calvin Coolidge to Barack Obama.

Dad’s decline at 87 was related to vascular dementia. But he maintained his good humor pretty much throughout. During his last year or so, he embraced his inner curmudgeon, fantasized about running off to Hawaii with the young girl who gave him his bath, and gave some thought to overthrowing the administration at one local healthcare facility.  

For a couple of years this proud man
Suffered the indignities of his body's betrayal
a slow decline, of this faculty, and the next
...until Dad was gone

But our father's body remained

Before the zipper closed
That last glimpse
As we sat counting the interval between breaths
Checking his color, his hands, and feet
His chin uplifted in some plaintiff avian expression
I remember thinking
So, this is how the world ends

But I look at my hands and see his age spots
I touch my cheek and feel his whiskers
I have a sardonic thought
and think...Dad

With Mom (Eilene) on one of many cruises.

Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
Forgive our foolish ways;
Reclothe us in our rightful mind,
In purer lives Thy service find,
In deeper reverence, praise.

In simple trust like theirs who heard,
Beside the Syrian sea,
The gracious calling of the Lord,
Let us, like them, without a word,
Rise up and follow Thee.

O Sabbath rest by Galilee,
O calm of hills above,
Where Jesus knelt to share with Thee
The silence of eternity,
Interpreted by love!

With that deep hush subduing all
Our words and works that drown
The tender whisper of Thy call,
As noiseless let Thy blessing fall
As fell Thy manna down.

Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.

Breathe through the heats of our desire
Thy coolness and Thy balm;
Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm.

---John Greenleaf Whittier


Anonymous said...

I offer my sympathy to you, Richard, on the loss of your father. I read about your father, and realize that your sense of social justice is part of your father's legacy.

Anonymous said...

What a great guy! I'm sorry to hear of your loss.

Richard Innes said...


I am sorry to hear of your loss.

Richard Day said...

Thanks Y'all.


Anonymous said...

I continue to keep your family in my thoughts at this difficult time, Dr. Day.

Your father would be so proud of you and the fact that you stand up for what is right.