July 26, 2008
This is reposted at the request of a dear friend.....
On Monday February 11th 2008 my father, Delmos M. Perry passed away. He had been diagnosed with cancer and had taken his 2nd round of chemotherapy the week before, the strain on his health was simply more than he could take.
If there ever was a text book example of a Southern Gentleman, it was my Dad. Always ready with a story of his childhood to delight a guest or an opinion of current events to spark a debate or discussion that could last for hours or even days… he was always the consummate host. He made sure that everyone was comfortable, well cared for, and lacked for nothing. I think that the driving force behind this was love, and love he did. He was truly larger than life.
I didn't really get to know him until I began to work with him, before this I knew his moods and personality, but not the man, for that experience I will be forever grateful. He was hard, but fair, always fair. I said this to my Mother the other day and her reply was "He always simply wanted for you to be happy, not with material goods, but with life in total." I hope that he realizes that I am happy, a beautiful wife, two good sons and friends that have really been there for me in the last week.
I will always miss his smile, quick wit, and genuine concern for the well being of those around him. Over the last few years I have been fortunate to live next door to him, there have been times that I have stepped out onto my porch late at night, or strolled up the driveway a little and noticed him sitting on the patio playing cards. On a few of the occasions I walked over and sat with him for a while, sometimes for ten minutes, sometimes two hours. I said to him once as I sat down in the chair across the table from him, "Give me some life advice Dad." He put his cards down, sat back in his chair, looked up thoughtfully toward the sky and said "Chase as many women as you can, even if you don't want to catch them, buy all the property you can get your hands on, and don't take any shit from anybody."
There are a multitude of words and phrases that will forever be linked to him in my mind: boggle butt, hoss, s.o.s. pads, I swanny(southern for I swear), gone to chicago, are you deaf boy(pronounced deef), the sound of Dixie being whistled, we'll all be killed, come here you good looking thing, the sound of change and keys being jingled in a pocket…. I could go on for a while. But the one thing that has really had a profound affect on me is the deep sense of loss and a void that I can't imagine ever being filled again, pain like I've never felt. I will always love you Dad.