Dad Died Today



Dad died today.

I had sat with him most of the morning, but he didn’t talk much. Had other things on his mind, I guess. A few days ago, we had talked about the books I have written and he asked me about a character named Samuel Moses Cardiff. I told him I developed much of the character based on him. He smiled, “Not the mean parts, I hope.”

“No dad, not the mean parts, just the horse sense parts.”

Dad was a horseman and if a “horse whisperer” really exists, he would look like my dad, not Robert Redford. He raised and bred quarter horses for more than fifty years and not long ago, the American Quarter Horse Association rewarded him with a statue of a horse. He never had any money, to speak of, but his horses were rich in talent and they competed, and won, on all levels and in many different events.

Over the next few days, things will be said about my dad. Much of it will be good, but some will not. My dad was ornery and cantankerous long before he got old. He was also caring and loving, though he didn’t show that side of him as much as many would have liked. He lived the life he chose and he lived it on his terms. He has the scars to prove it. Many of his decisions costed him dearly but he didn’t complain. He accepted the good, as well as the bad.

He was tough, hard-headed and opinionated. He always thought he was right. He lived his life like a John Wayne character. Like the image of “The Duke,” dad believed in this country and believed in the ability and promise of the young people. He was an active leader in Boys Scouts, 4-H Clubs, and high school rodeo. He was more than willing to help a young cowboy or cowgirl train a horse, learn to throw a rope, or tighten the braid of a lead rope.

I’ve written before that he and I did not get along very well. Either we were too much alike, or not enough. Who knows and at the end of the day, who cares? He was my father and I am proud to be his son. Even before he knew me, he gave me his most valuable possession, his name. I am Kwen Delos Griffeth Jr. and my dad died today.

I will miss him.

Categories: Musings | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “Dad Died Today

  1. Terry Harris

    Kwen Delos your Dad was very special to me and I don’t remember him being ornery. I remember his love of living life to the fullest and in his own way. I also remember his laugh the most honest and enjoyable laugh I have ever heard. He was a true cowboy of the old school class of cowboy and true to himself. We will all miss him. I hope we can get together soon and talk about the days of our youth. Kwen will forever be an important part of my youth and a smile will instantly appear whenever my thoughts turn to the cowboy of my youth.

  2. Phil Crockett aka Noah

    We learn so much from those we love. When we learned that my mother had colon cancer it was a tough row to hoe. The weekly pilgrimage to Preston lasted over a year. Dad unexpectedly left us first, followed by his bride nine months later. That was thirteen years ago. We now rely on the lessons learned to teach the next generation. Memories are the lifeline we maintain, in both directions of life, to link us to the past and future. My memories of my parents are now shared with my children and grandchildren. It’s how I make them smile. (You decide who is smiling)

    Take time to grieve and reflect. Don’t forget and pay it forward.


  3. Diana

    Delos I’m so sorry for your loss your dad was a great horseman and I learned a lot from him and I am sorry how it all ended wish you could have spent more time with him he always talked about what a great son you were and all you achievements so be proud and always keep him in your heart and I will try to keep my promise to him to continue raising his horses and getting them out there and telling everyone that the breed came from Kwen Griffeth

    • Debi Long Young

      I was sorry to hear about your Dad; he was a legend in the Canyon; everyone always knew when he had returned. My deepest sympathy for your loss. Such a good man.

  4. Louise Somsen

    Delos, I had not heard about Kwen’s passing until today. I am very sorry for all of your loss.I think of you and Scott and Glenda, Kwen and Evevelyn as such a happy part of life ” up Cub River ” I don’t know if it’s age or sentiment, but since mom died I think of my childhood more, and more.
    With sincere sympathy to all of you
    Louise Hansen

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