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Entries in tribute (1)


As I was driving back from the hospital...

...I was thinking I needed to make a facebook announcement to my friends and family that lived far away.

I didn't know at the time it would be considered a "tribute", yet at Dad's memorial service last weekend, Mom wanted my commentary framed on the tables of pictures, next to the wonderful video slide show Reed put together for Grandpa and the sturdy pine box containing the remaining physical parts of Dad, unmistakably labeled "Big John".  

. . . . .

Everybody knew him as “Big John”.

My kids call him Grandpa.

The rest of us call him Dad.

He was lucky enough to meet Regina, the best life partner in the world, and adored her for 58 years of “for better or for worse”.

I was born on his 31st birthday and we shared at least 50 birthday cakes together.  Our last one was only weeks ago.

John was an incredible hunter and loved to fish.  Fish a lot.

He taught me how to take the hook out of a bullhead, rake hay, shoot a small target at a distance, snowmobile, skin rabbits and hate ice fishing.

I learned how to stay safe around power take-offs, bulls and electric fences (he missed on the June bugs...they still creep me out).

His disposition taught me how to play great defense...which turned out to be one of my best life skills.

He and Mom hosted a ginormous party (because Dad knew everybody) in 1979 that was “referenced” by many for decades.  Aka:  My Big Fat Polish Wedding.  That was fun.

He loved to blow things up.  Often.  The louder the better – with some mischief in his eyes every time. 

Dad loved fireworks of all kinds.  All over our country tonight, he’ll likely be part of some shenanigans somewhere.

This Independence Day is so symbolic...final freedom from his body which just decided “enough is enough”. 

In celebration of the freedom that our forefathers stood for in order for us to have this country, let us all remember that freedom doesn’t come without some consequences.  Ever. 

So when the celebrations of our country’s independence start exploding in the sky tonight, I’m sure the loudest ones will have me reminiscing of when Dad would get the mischievous look on his face and say, “Watch this.” – the cue to cover my ears...because some sort of “boom” was on the way.   

Tonight:   Big Boom = Big John.

Tomorrow he can get back to hanging out in his tree stand and fishing off the dock.

Freedom inspires, Dad.

Rest in Peace.

John Syryczuk (5/27/26 – 7/3/12)                                                                       Cindy Daniels   7/4/12