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In memory of David Tarasovich

My father died one month ago.

He was 61. He died quietly, and unexpectedly, in his sleep. I miss him.

I’ve been thinking about him a lot, trying to decide what words were right. The two of us had a complicated, confusing, and often infuriating relationship. We were so much alike in so many ways, but also managed to piss each other off all the time. So as I look back through my memories, it’s not all rosy, but I realized I have a lot to thank him for.

He was creative.

He (and my mom) passed that on to me and my sister. Dad was always making things. Welded sculptures, stained glass, woodworking, sketching little doodles on scrap paper. His regular work was as a tool & die maker, and later a bicycle repairman, and he always had side projects to keep him entertained. He never stopped making new things, it was just part of who he was.

He was never bored.

He loved to learn new things, and took to hobbies with gusto. Some stuck, some didn’t, but he always had something fun to look forward to. His latest? Beekeeping.

He was cheap.

Because of that, he found fun things to do that didn’t cost much. Bike rides, nature walks, a few bucks for an entire day at the Yale Peabody Natural History museum looking at dinosaur bones.

He hated waste (did I mention he was cheap?).

So he was into upcyling and repurposing before it had a trendy name. Part of my Christmas box this year was a set of drinking straws recycled from carbon arrow shafts, that he had made just for me.

He loved nature.

I remember LOTS of walks in the forest, trips to the beach, days at the arboretum, adventures in the marsh. He’d photograph all sorts of bugs and birds and creatures. He built bat boxes. He’d feed the birds.

He could be silly.

Funny songs, stupid jokes, ridiculous grins. Things weren’t always peachy, but he could be a hell of a lot of fun.

So to honor Dad, here’s what I’m going to do. You may not have known him, but maybe you’d like to join me.

  •  Make (and remake) stuff. 
  •  Learn new things. 
  •  Enjoy nature. 
  •  Recycle. 
  •  Research a subject that fascinates you. 
  •  Invent something. 
  •  Be silly. 
  •  Have fun.

You can read more about Dad on his business blog, Your Bike MD, and in the Savannah Morning News.

  • http://www.knitgrrl.com knitgrrl

    That is a wonderful tribute, Mercedes. Sounds a lot like my relationship with my (similarly creative and awesome dad). xoxo

    • http://www.kitchensinkdyeworks.com/ Mercedes

      Thanks, Shannon. <3

  • http://www.pipnmilly.com/ Fiona

    Very sorry for your loss, Mercedes. Even when they die unexpectedly and ‘young’, as my father did, too, it is good to be able to focus on the wonderful legacy they have left behind.

    • http://www.kitchensinkdyeworks.com/ Mercedes

      Thank you, Fiona. It was tough to write, but it felt good to think about the good memories.

  • vitamarie

    Such creative memories, hold them close to your heart.  It is hard to lose a parent when you too are also “young”.   So sorry to hear of your loss – may some of his creative spirit continue to flow with yours. 

  • http://twitter.com/jeaniebabb Jean Babbage

    I think the fact that he was only 2 years older than I am to be most disturbing. My parents both died at 52. I guess I’m doing OK.  I feel like I share a lot of your dad’s traits.
    You have faced a lot of transitions in the past few months. Here’s to a period of stability so you can clearly see your path.

  • Lisa

    So sad to hear about your father.  To honor him I will continue to explore my new found love of recycling things!! 
    God bless you

  • http://www.kimwerker.com/ Kim Werker

    Oh, Mercedes. I’m saddened and touched to read this. To recognize your challenging relationship yet celebrate his greatest qualities takes some serious insight. It sounds from your description that he’d smile at your plans.
    In many ways, I feel like I only began to understand my father once I was an adult, and he’s had enough health scares in the last couple of years that I’ve grown to try to celebrate our relationship rather than dwell on how insane he can make me. This reminds me to continue to do that.

    Big hugs, kiddo. xoxo

    • Mercedes

      Thanks, Kim. I also began to understand my dad better in recent years. I’m glad that I did. <3

    • http://www.kitchensinkdyeworks.com/ Mercedes

      Thanks, Kim. I’m glad to hear your dad is doing ok this week. I think only in the last few years have some of the more complex parts of relationships really started to become more clear. Sometimes it’s hard to come to terms with, but the honesty helps in the long run to appreciate things for what they’re worth.

  • Ellen Davis

    Simple and beautiful, your father would be proud.

  • MaryS

    Sorry to hear this, but a very nice tribute to him. 

  • shelley

    Ahh, you are blessed to have come from his linage!  You are a jewel in his crown!  Carry on!

  • http://www.kitchensinkdyeworks.com/ Mercedes

    Thanks, everyone for your kind words and thoughts. I appreciate them.

  • Debbie Scott

    Thinking of you and your loss. Fathers are complicated creatures that I never will understand. They pass on some nice things to us, we see that in ourselves. Remember the good times not the bad. Thank goodness for our creative passions. Take care.debbie

  • Sue

    I happend onto this site because of a link from somewhere else about a pattern then I read your tribute to your father.  I am glad you can carry on the things that meant something to both of you.  Thank  you for reminding people to do simple common sense things we often take for granted.  Take care.

  • Shaun

    I’m so sorry Mercedes. You honor him beautifully with your words. Thanks for sharing.