Thursday, August 20, 2009

4 long years ago today...

My dad died on this day. He was such a wonderful man. I was very lucky to have his complete support in all my endeavors but especially my art. He always gave me encouragement and made it possible for me to pursue my dream.

Sharing this tribute my brother wrote about him somehow makes me feel that I too am acknowledging how special he was and that he lived a very good life.

IN LOVING MEMORY OF

NORMAN GERARD CHADWICK

On August 20th, 2005, the world lost a great and ordinary man. It was a quiet death here in Orlando, unknown to most. On that day, Norman Gerard Chadwick died suddenly of a heart attack at his home. There was ...little fanfare. He was not a famous politician or a great statesman or war hero or professional athlete. But that day the world lost something special.

Norm was a quiet and gentle man who led a wonderful, honest life with a humility that few are blessed with. He married Maureen, the only woman he ever loved, when he was 24 years old and was happily married until the day he died 48 years later. He raised three happy, productive children who have all led successful lives.

He was a humble man who seldom talked of himself. Always more interested in others and fascinated by science and the world. Few who knew Norm were aware of his personal accomplishments in life as someone who had run within four tenths of the world record in the 100 yard dash, was recruited by the St. Louis Cardinals, was a member of Mensa and a Master bridge player. He won the Toronto Squash Club Doubles Championship 9 years in row and started and built a successful computer company before selling it and retiring to Florida to help his son build a business. But he was much more than that.

He had a great depth of character, respected others, was never needy, led by example, worked hard, loved his country and was impeccably honest. He was frugal with himself and generous to others. He knew right from wrong without needing a law or someone to tell him and was a wonderful listener who genuinely appreciated other people's talents and skills. His broad, easy smile lit up a room when he entered and his peaceful spirit welcomed people into his world. When asked to give advice, he had a unique quality that allowed him to do so without ever passing judgment. He loved fishing and golf and a nice stiff drink at the end of the day. He seemed to have a good day, every day. He laughed easily and rarely said a bad word about anyone. He was completely fascinated by science and nature. He would read science magazines endlessly and enjoyed discussing the beginnings of the universe, string theory and why ocean waves proved randomness. He was incredibly curious about everything and spiritual without being religious.

There have not been many like him. There was a sense about him that was unmistakable and hard to put your finger on. He made people feel like they'd known him forever and that he was a close friend immediately. I think his most amazing trait of all and the reason he was so happy and content in life was that he was always inquisitive. He could sit alone and look at a cloud and wonder how it was formed? What conditions would change its structure? And know how lucky he had been there to see its beauty. He loved sunsets, his wife, his children and a great meal (especially when someone else paid!!).

Norman lived a quiet life here in Orlando for the last seven years before his death, and yet at his funeral there was standing room only. Those he impacted from Orlando and friends from all over the country came out of respect and love for a man who had led a great and ordinary life. I don't think anyone would have appreciated tomorrow's sunrise more, nor complained less that he had missed it. He truly left the world a better place. I wish everyone had the fortune to have a father like mine. I miss him everyday.

His son,

Mike Chadwick.

4 comments:

traceybroome@mindspring.com said...

Any of us could only hope to have such wonderful words said of us when we are gone. He sounds like a wonderful man. I was lucky to have a wonderful father as well and I lost him in October 16 years ago. I still think of him every day! Thanks for sharing this, good words to try to live up to!

Terry Shipley said...

B...words can not express my feelings at reading the tribute you shared about your father. That your brother can express such an insight with so much love and respect only confirms how special a man Norm Chadwick was. He obviously gave his children their sense of the world as he beheld it. I can see that in you.
Our father's are special people we will always, always hold in our hearts.
xxox

Sarah said...

Visiting from my brother's site, Andrew Ludick. This is the most beautiful tribute...because I really can't think of more honorable characterstics to have then all of those that describe your father. What an inspiration and I mean that very very sincerely.

Shelley Sloan said...

Barbara,
I am so glad I found this post. Your Brother's tribute to your father was beautiful and I think that our fathers may have been kindred spirits. My father passed away August 16, 2006. I guess that we have even more in common than we thought. From time to time it still seems like only days ago that it happened. I miss him everyday! Thank you for sharing!
Shelley