About nine years ago I bought my first house, I was excited, it was small but it was mine. It was in a location in Filer, ID tucked back by the swimming pool. The day before I closed on the house I went over and started cleaning up the weeds around the property. That day changed my life forever. I met two of the best people in the world: Perry and Bernnie Dyke. Ill never forget the first time we met, I was out pulling the weeds and Perry came up to the house and said, you must be the new neighbor. I said yes sir I am your new neighbor. I am Garth York. I am Perry Dyke he replied, from that day forward I found a friend that taught me alot and that I knew would be a friend for life.
Perry at the time was an 85 year old man married to Bernnie who was about 80 yrs old. Bernnie suffered from Alzheimer’s and would tell me the same story 100 times but every time I acted like it was the first time I ever heard the story. I grew attached to Perry very much. I had a job at the time that I got off at 7am every morning and when I would pull in Perry was waiting on his back porch to have a cup of morning coffee with me. Through the years Perry shared his life stories with me from world war II to working with troubled youth in Nevada. I learned so much from this man that I really did start to build a grandfather relationship with him. He was very fond of my kids and always wanted them to come play baseball or kickball in his yard so he could watch them.
In 2006 I had moved to Twin Falls, ID but still visited Perry and Bernie. In 2007 I had moved back to the Filer area clear across town but would still go and visit my friend. In 2008 Perry told me that he was going to have to sell his home due to his and Bernnies health and find something smaller. A mutual friend of Perry’s and I had offered to build on to his house and allow them to live next to them. Perry and Bernie moved there, and I would visit. Perry was at peace out there, no one to bother him, light traffic. One day when I had went over to visit, Perry was out on the back porch and told me that Bernnie had really started to get bad and that he was going to have to put her in a home.
This devastated Perry I could tell. He told me it was like divorcing his wife of 50 plus years. Berrnie got really bad and passed away on Nov. 2, 2009. Perry was put into a nursing home right across the street from my work. This time of year in the business that I do, I was unable to really go visit him as much as I would of liked. On Nov. 22, 2009 I went to visit Perry and when I walked in his room he just didn’t look like the man I had grown around. He had looked like he had aged several years just in a short time.
That day was the first day that man had ever brought me to tears. I went in and he looked at me for a min. and said Garth and I said yes how are you doing. He told me he hurt (he had a cracked pelvis) I told him that I had stopped by for just a minute to say hi. As I was talking to him his eyes would roll back into his head and at that point I knew I need to let him rest. I told him that I was going to go but I would visit another day. I took him a sympathy card for the lose of his wife. I told him I would leave it there for him to read. At this time Perry stuck his hand out and up into the air and said come here. I went to him and grabbed his hand and he pulled me down for a hug: The words he told me next would make anyone cry if you were in that situation…….”This is this old boys last ride” I told him that I had to go and I would see him again.
I left the nursing home with tears running down my cheek, knowing that I was about ready to loose a friend. Several more times I would take my lunch from my work and walk over and see Perry, we would sit and visit but I could really tell his health was getting worse. Each time I left I always told him that I would be back to see him in a couple days. Dec. 20 th , 2009 I went over and seen Perry, He was half awake and half asleep. I told him hi and he opened his eyes long enough to tell me hi then I asked him if he wanted to visit, he opened his eyes and told me Garth I am just going to give up. Now normally a person would say what for or why do you want to do that, me I just said I know you want to Perry and you do what makes you feel better, but I will sure miss you pal. He smiled and said Ill miss you too.
That day was the last day I seen Perry alive. Perry passed away Dec. 26t h ,2009 in the nursing home. It was hard for me to soak it all in however I knew he wasn’t in pain anymore. I really do think he died of a broken heart after his wife passed away. At Perry’s request he did not want a funeral he just wanted a family prayer. When I found out that Perry just wanted that I went into my spare bedroom shut the door and prayed like he wanted. “God on this day I pray for a dear friend that has joined you in heaven with his beautiful wife, He is a good man and I want you to look out for him, set with him God and listen to the mans stories as I did, He is full of wisdom and is a very strong and courageous man. Please take Perry and Bernie In to the heavens and let them be free but together. I will love and miss both of them Amen”
Well you are in a place now where there is no pain my friend. You are with your beautiful wife again and probably looking down on your friends and family. I do miss you but I will never forget you. You have brought so much to my life and you have brightened my life. I was a better person for knowing you and Bernie. My boys are heart broke that you guys have went to heaven but I told them some day we too will be in heaven sitting on Perry’s back porch playing ball laughing and having a good time. I know this sounds silly Perry, but after you passed I told the boys that we were going outside to play ball so Perry can watch. Parker said I thought Perry was in heaven and I said he is son and he will watch from heaven.
We went out and played ball Perry and it was so cute, Parker keep saying did you see that Perry I scored a goal. Anyways I will miss you but I know someday we will be sitting up on a cloud somewhere talking the good talks again. I miss you and love you very much Perry. Tell Bernnie that we love and miss her too. Take care old buddy…………Until we meet again Love you always Garth, Chance and Parker
P.S When I am fishing is there anyway you can watch above while I fish and pull some magic and let me catch a big one.