Becky says:Seemingly small conversations still mean a lot - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Becky says:Seemingly small conversations still mean a lot

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On this morning, 10 years ago, I called my dad for no particular reason, just to say hi and let him know it was NEGATIVE 35 degrees outside and I thought it was nuts!  I lived in Wisconsin at the time.  When we said goodbye, we were both laughing.  I had no idea that would be the last time I heard my dad's voice, or him laughing.  


In the final minutes of that same day, January 30th, I got the call - my dad had a brain aneurysm we didn't know about, it had ruptured, and I needed to get back home to Cincinnati right away.  All I could think of, was wait ... I just talked to him, he was fine.  He died only hours later.  

This weekend, 10 years later, I will emcee The Heart Ball.  At first, it didn't even cross my mind when I heard the date of the event.  I had thought American Heart Association deals with the heart, but AHA encompasses heart and stroke research.  What better way to honor my dad? ... than to volunteer my time to help raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the American Heart Association.  Money that will go towards research, treatment, and I truly hope, one day, preventing what happened to my dad.

He died before I got married.  He didn't get to walk me down the aisle.  He never met his grandson, my adorable 4 year old son.  And worse, Henry never got to see, first hand, how ridiculously awesome his grandpa was.  Someone recently asked my to describe my dad.  I didn't have the words off the top of my head, other than I loved him dearly and I miss him every day.  With time to think about that question, I realized, there aren't words to do my dad the justice he deserves.  I can tell you he was a spectacular father.  He was a high school teacher and coach for his entire career at LaSalle High School in Cincinnati.  When he passed, letters poured in from his former students and athletes.  The day of his funeral, LaSalle closed - because too many people would be gone for the funeral.  It speaks volumes about my father's impact on the people who surrounded him, about the number of lives he touched.  It only confirmed what I already knew, my sister and I were two of the luckiest girls around to have Bob Freemal as our dad ...  even if he left my mom, sister and I too soon.

No money raised this weekend at The Heart Ball will bring my dad back, but the research it funds might just afford some other dad out there, the opportunity to walk his daughter down the aisle.

Oh, and next time you think about  calling someone, whether or not you have some earth shattering topic to discuss ... just call.  Even if it's about the weather, those small conversations ... mean a lot.