Lifetime of lessons learned from my father

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Oct. 12, 2004, was a Tuesday, a beautiful bonus summer-like blue sky sunshiny autumn day. It was a day I will never forget ... not the sunshine or the sounds or the words that came out of a doctor’s mouth as I stood alone in the “quiet room” at Kootenai Medical Center’s emergency room waiting for my mother to arrive. “We tried to resuscitate him but he was already gone.”

Poof! With a single sentence my world tilted on its axis. Before 8 a.m. on that beautiful sunshiny morning my father was dead at age 75. My daddy, my friend, my touchstone. Most of the rest of the morning was a blur of calling family, helping my brokenhearted mother navigate the details of what must be done in those first few hours.

There will never come a time that I don’t catch myself reaching for the phone to call to share something with my dad, a laugh or an indignation or a head-shaking current event. When I find myself missing him the most is when I’m the most grateful to have had a father worth missing.

I received a lifetime of lessons and advice from my dad. A few months before his unexpected death, we met for lunch and I remember saying that he didn’t look well and to take care of himself. We had a really touching conversation about life and death. I’d just returned from a trip and he shared that one regret was that he thought he’d have time to travel in retirement, but at age 75 travel had simply become too difficult. He encouraged me to travel and see the world while I was still young enough to do it.

For this past week I was traveling in Amsterdam and I thought of my dad a lot. The nine-hour flight, the walking along the narrow cobblestone streets, boating on the canals, observing the city scene from the hotel balcony in the wee hours of the morning, my father was smiling down.

“Years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

— Mark Twain

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The Old Pleasantview School on west Riverview Drive is a local treasure. The annual Pleasantview Community Association Cowboy Breakfast is a fundraiser for restoration and maintenance of the old school as a community center, which is a registered National Historical Site. Breakfast will be served from 8 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, the homemade biscuits, honey butter and jams are not to be missed. 18724 W. Riverview Drive, 5 miles west of Post Falls.

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Highlights of Things to Do:

Tonight, Mayors Awards in the Arts with the Coeur d’Alene Arts Commission at Hagadone Event Center, 6 p.m. Free and open to public.

Friday, sixth annual St. Vincent de Paul New York Runway Elegance fashion show. 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Coeur d’Alene Inn.

Saturday, Hayden Marathon begins at Honeysuckle Beach. Information: 208-755-9260,

“Home Tweet Home” Tea to benefit On Site for Seniors at the Lake City Center, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. www.onsiteforseniors.org

Unity in the Community dinner, 4 to 7 p.m. at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church with the North Idaho Pride Alliance, $5 per person.

Also on Saturday, the 10th annual Junk2funk fashion show, with artists creating fashions out of recycled materials. 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Coeur d’Alene Eagles.

On Sunday the U.S. Army Field Band and Soldiers’ Chorus perform a free concert, 3 p.m. at the Post Falls High School Auditorium. 208-773-5016

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Happy birthday today to Jim Hamby, Bill Everson, Nancy Kosonen, Jessica Moore, Steve Fitzhugh, Lori Gravelle, Bob Cox, Allan Knight, Lynn Jackson, Mollie Sommers, Marlea Kruger and Mike Way and tomorrow to Michael Pereira, Chris Pasquale, Greg Worley, Genie Riegert, Chad Anderson, Cindy Odd and Warren Anglin. Happy birthday on Friday to Tom Elliott, Jeff Yates, Donnie Murrell, Alan Brown, Kathy Getchius, Kirk Hjeltness and McKade Brown. Saturday celebrants are Nick Smoot, Jeff Johnson, Margaret Eddings, Derek Scharf, Serena Pratt, Kathy Pierce and Judy Bennett. On Sunday Randy Bohach, Leslie Lien, Jeff Elder, Dave Chambers, Karen Hammond, Linda Polley, Gary Grhamm and Suzanne Metzger put on their party hats. Cheers on Monday to Braxton Kurtz, Don Sausser, Dee Jameson, Shawn Gust, Beth Peters, Katie Smith, Wayne Hammond, Elizabeth McGregor, Laurie Dixon, Beth Myles, Greg Cossette, Dave Smith, Peyton Brown and Patty Cheesman. Born on Oct. 16 are Jordan Hudson, Misti Flood, Kathie Lyon, Pam Nygaard, Brad Perry and Mike Farquhar.

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Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri can be contacted on Facebook or via email mainstreet@cdapress.com. Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.

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