I lost my wonderful Dad about 7 years ago. He was an old-fashioned guy, very much in love with my Mom, Irish (who loved his martinis at 5) and, I think, a bit overwhelmed with a house filled with women (My Mom, me and my sister). He was a man who grew up with very strong women, having lost his father before he was 3 yrs. old and having a Mother who raised him, his older brother (who ended up a 4-Star General), 2 older sisters and the baby (my Godfather, Eddie - born less than a year before their father died). He was born, lived and died in Nutley, NJ and gave a lot of who he was to his hometown in service as Town Treasurer and assorted other roles.
He found a replacement Dad in Charles Nabor, my Grandfather (my Mom's Dad), who he met in Drum Corp, after he came back from military service (in Hawaii - the only place my Dad ever lived besides Nutley). It was through my Grandfather at one of the Cabelaros' competitions, that he met my Mother, Dorothy Jane Nabor.
My Dad once told me he fell in love with my Mother at first sight - in fact, he proposed on their second date. My mom promptly stopped seeing him for almost a year after that. Dad won out in the end. He was 40 when he got married (Mom was 35) and I was born 2 1/2 years later (my sister 18 mos. after that). We definitely had the oldest parents in our class, but I think it made us much more independent.
Dad died from complications of a series of strokes he had suffered for about a decade. He died on a day that I was going to see him and I believe that he did that on purpose. Every time I'd see him, before I left, I'd make him promise to hold on - for another visit, to see my sister's 2nd child born, to just hold on. I think he just didn't want to make any more promises.
The day of my Dad's funeral, wind chimes rang outside my window. I couldn't find them, neither could my landlords (they were so loud they woke everyone up). I still hear them, mostly when I need to. And I take it for what it is, Dad touching base and letting me know that he's there.
And I still miss him.