There aren’t many times in your life when something happens and you think, “That will affect how things are for the rest of my life.”
One of the first things that I thought Thanksgiving morning when my brother called me was that I’d never have a chance to introduce someone to my parents again.
On Thanksgiving morning, November 24th my father, David John von Nieda died. No real cause for death has been given but he has had heart troubles and surgeries for years and it seems he had a heart attack. He leaves behind his wife Lily and his daughter Caitlyn. He was 62.
My parents divorced when I was 11. My Dad drove off to California, stayed there a while, moved to Maine where he had lived long before and loved and eventually made his way back to New Jersey. My sister and I started seeing him once a week on Sundays. He would pick us up from church and we’d catch a movie, play games and just hang out. That went on pretty much until I got my license. I started driving my sister and I over to his place on Sunday but we stayed less and less long and eventually we stopped going. I moved to Kansas and lost touch.
The last time I talked to my Dad was about 6 years ago. I called and we chatted, caught up and promised to stay in touch. In the time in between then and now I had wanted to call many times but never had the balls to. As the gap got larger it seemed harder and harder to get back in touch. Last year my brother warned me that I might be running out of chances and he turned out to be right.
My Dad is who got me interested in technology and hacking. I use hacking here in it’s proper form, which is basically being curious about everything and wanting to know how it works. He was constantly working on something and I picked it up. Some of my earliest memories are of taking something apart and trying (and often failing) to get it back together. We built, or tried to build, everything imaginable.
Services were held Tuesday at the Brig. General Doyle Veteran’s Cemetery in Wrightstown, NJ. My Dad was a Coast Guard Vet. There was a short eulogy given by his friend Mike and then a flag presentation for Lily. It was all over in about 15 minutes and then we went to the grave site. Snow had fallen the night before so we were unable to see the marker but we saw the area where it was. A few minutes reflection and then we were off.
I’m sure I’ll always regret not talking to him more before he died but I think he was happy and I take comfort in that. And I take comfort in knowing the last thing I ever said to him was “I love you, Dad.”