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Cleo K. Hathaway, June 2, 1925 to March 3, 2010 - King Rat
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gkr
Cleo K. Hathaway, June 2, 1925 to March 3, 2010
Grandpa Weiss and Grandpa Hathaway
Grandpa Weiss and Grandpa Hathaway (and me)

My hero died this morning. My grandfather, Cleo Hathaway, Gramps, was the man I want to be. He grew up poor during the depression, spent World War II on a tugboat in the South Pacific, and manufactured furniture with his father afterward. He joined the Seattle Fire Department and made a career there for 25+ years. But most of all he was a loving husband, a doting father, and an awesome grandfather. I remember after a Christmas event for my Cub Scout troop when I caught him outside when he wasn't supposed to be there. He'd played Santa for us and I hadn't realized it was him.

I got to share the last year of his life with him. Though often frustrating, I couldn't say no to the man who's meant the most to me my entire life.


I'm in a state. Holding together though. So, please tell me about your hero or heroine.

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Comments
gargoylettelc From: gargoylettelc Date: March 4th, 2010 05:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I'm soooo sorry to hear this!! My condolences to you and Grandma. You've had such a tough time lately. My hero/heroine... I guess I don't have one that stands out, but several people at work, a few in family, that I can only aspire to be.
evillinn From: evillinn Date: March 4th, 2010 06:16 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm so sorry, hon. I'm sorry for your loss, but so glad that you had him in your life, and so grateful that you were able to be with him lately.

In the spirit of heroes...

Cliche as it may be, my mom is my hero. She was dealt a pretty crappy hand as a child, and fought against the residual effects of that through her adolescence and young adulthood.
She had me at 22 and worked hard to provide me with a good home. She reveled in my joy and taught me that I was valuable and capable. And while I am grateful for this selfishly, what makes her my hero is that she believes this about every child she meets.
She has always been, and continues to be bold in unexpected ways. She's kind and gentle and patient. Despite the odds she's faced, her internal compass continues to point her towards joy and kindness.

Thank you for asking about this and bringing the importance of this to the forefront. I think to raise the discussion and notion of our personal heroes is a remarkable way to honor one that has passed.

Lots of love to you, Phil.
daystars From: daystars Date: March 4th, 2010 06:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Phil. You're in my thoughts.

My hero is my dad, who raised me as a single parent. I didn't fully appreciate the sacrifices he made to help me succeed until I was an adult. Even now, it's hard to comprehend.
cirocco From: cirocco Date: March 4th, 2010 06:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, God rest his soul. I'm so sorry, Phil. Here is the eulogy I gave at my Gran's funeral in 2005. She was my heroine.

***

I think we're all familiar enough with the outlines of my grandmother's life that I needn't recount them here. My late uncle Steve would write of her: "My mother was a woman who overcame many difficult challenges in her life with extraordinary will, love for family, and constant faith in god. I am old enough now to realize how many of those challenges could have resulted in bitterness. Rather, my mother's love and strength of character was a joy to be around and set a fine imprint on all subsequent generations of our family."

When Wil, my former fiance, first met Gran he told me afterwards: "Everything I love about you... I can see now where it comes from." I think that's true of many of us gathered here today; her blood runs in our veins. I think that as long as we carry on her legacy she shall not perish from this earth; a legacy best exemplified by the following passage from Luke:

"Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise."

So if any of us are clinging to grievance and anger, I ask of you: release yourself from it. Forgive. Let it fall away from you like the heavy weight that it is and love one another, for all our human imperfections. As long as we do this her spirit shall remain.

Thank you.
bork From: bork Date: March 4th, 2010 06:46 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm so sorry Phil.

my_poison_apple From: my_poison_apple Date: March 4th, 2010 07:07 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm deeply sorry to hear it. You're in my thoughts. ♥

...

My parents are my heroes. They've never been anything less than 100% supportive of me. My dad paid my way entirely through college while never saying a word about my choice in pursuing an academic field that was the polar opposite of his sociopolitical ideology. I didn't even realize until the past few years I respect that he let me make my own decisions and supported me 100% in doing so. I do suspect my mom was behind a lot of his tolerance, playing peacekeeper. I deeply admire her dedication to maintaining both a healthy family and an open heart.
machine_logic From: machine_logic Date: March 4th, 2010 07:39 am (UTC) (Link)
So sorry for your loss.
webcowgirl From: webcowgirl Date: March 4th, 2010 07:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Phil, you are about the only hero I know. I wish you knew how much I admire you. You would be the example I would hold up to my kids of how to live life in a way that would make other people proud to know them.
faerieburst From: faerieburst Date: March 4th, 2010 07:57 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm so glad I got to meet him and glad you had him in your life. My thoughts are with you and your family.

My hero is my father. He isn't perfect, and he gets it wrong sometimes, but his courage and his desire to do what is right, not what is easy, never wavers. He makes the world a better place by being in it, and I admire that greatly.

~Aramada
h2so4 From: h2so4 Date: March 4th, 2010 02:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm sorry to hear of your loss.

My Grandfather was also one of my heros. He was a man who could fix anything. He was an inventor and an innovator. I spent many hours in his
workshop where he taught me many important lessons in life while also teaching me how to work on mechanical and electrical devices.
betanoir From: betanoir Date: March 4th, 2010 03:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm sorry Phil. I hope you take comfort in all of the time you got to spend with him.

My heros are probably Bridgit, my brother Kris, and Jason.

Bridgit for all of her faults has always been there, has always supported me, and has shown me how to make the best of even the worst situation. She's reminded me what it means to be unpretentious and loving and opinionated. She treasures the people close to her.

My brother is wickedly witty, crazy smart, can build impeccably, can bake impeccably, and to top it off he is an incredible musician. Anything he's ever put his mind to, he's done and he's done it the best that it can be done.

And Jason. Jason stood by me at my worst time and I know that I can count on him for anything. He's overcome so many hurdles and continues to do so by meeting them head on. Similarly to Bridgit, he reminds me that to be unpretentious is a goal to strive for and to truly appreciate and love those that are close to you.
gkr From: gkr Date: March 4th, 2010 04:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Jason is a great hero.
amaranthyne From: amaranthyne Date: March 4th, 2010 04:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure I really had a hero growing up. If anything, it changed every year or so with the books I'd read during that time.

Since I studied him in 2005, however, my hero might be Oskar Schlemmer, who ran the second iteration of the theater workshop at the Bauhaus school (Weimar & Dessau). He was a force in the school's thought that preserved the idea of "man, as the measure of all things," to the point of including the history of philosophy in his later life drawing classes. Yet, his heroism came when the Nat'l Socialists removed and destroyed a set of murals he'd made for a museum, that were declared communist, "degenerate" art. Among his writings is the letter he wrote to the authorities, in which he logically argued that the principles of non-objective art were the product of ideas that predated the First World War and had nothing at their source relating to the ties of which this art was accused.

It didn't help, of course. But the mind and balls required to put himself on the line to rationally reason with his accusers, for art!

That and The Triadic Ballet is something else.

Edited at 2010-03-04 04:32 pm (UTC)
moriae From: moriae Date: March 4th, 2010 05:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
my thoughts and condolences to you and your family during this time.
raqsindira From: raqsindira Date: March 4th, 2010 07:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
My love to you, Phil. I have many heroes, and you are one of them.
mariquita From: mariquita Date: March 5th, 2010 08:32 am (UTC) (Link)
My condolences, Phil.

I have to say my father was my biggest hero. He died one month after I turned 19--he had just turned 72. (Obviously, I wasn't planned.) If I had more sense, I would've known to spend as much time with him as possible, and learn from him as much as I could. To this day, I miss him SO much and wish he were here.

If it means anything, I've always thought highly of you and had the greatest respect for you. Let me know if there's anything I can do. Seriously. *big hugs*
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