I think of you every single day daddy. I miss you so much. I miss hearing your voice and opinions, even unwelcome ones. I miss being able to video chat with you and see your smile and hear your laughter.
I remember being mad when I wanted you to be my friend and you set me straight in no uncertain terms by saying, “I am not your friend, I will never be your friend, I am your Father!” Now that I am a parent, I totally understand that statement. I sure didn’t get it back then, it hurt my heart. But I survived and got over it.
I remember the time, I raised my voice to mom, yelling “that’s not fair” and before I could say anything else, you were inches from my face, telling me that “you better never talk to your mother like that again, you may have a $1900 mouth (I had braces), but you’ve got a two-bit tongue” “and if you ever speak to her like that again, you’ll be picking your teeth up off the floor.” I can still remember how much my lips were trembling and my legs were shaking.
I remember always relying on you to get the bats out of the house and the one time one swooped into the living room as I lay on the couch with a cast on my leg, my crutches nowhere near me and everyone running out of the house.
I remember that ride on your motorcycle when we came into the driveway a little too fast and skidded to a stop and tipped the bike over. I remember planting a garden and snapping green beans and mom cooking the fresh green beans, with ham and potatoes and cooked it for hours. I can almost smell it!
I remember when Mom got my long hair cut for the first time and you wanted to know who the child was in the front yard and it was me.
I remember learning that we do not use words like hate or fat. I remember learning that your table and chair were the only things you had control over in that entire house (I don’t know how many times you told mom and me that when we thought about moving furniture we could move everything but those two items).
I remember running rescue squad with you. It was hard when you were the Chief and I was only a member. I always felt you were harder on me than the rest of the EMT’s, but even if you were, it challenged me to be the best I could be.
I remember being at a campground sitting on the banks of a pond or lake, I was about 13 and I think Bubba was maybe 5 and the three of us were fishing. I never liked it because I had to be quiet, or it might scare the fish away. For hours we sat there, you were catching fish and Bubba was catching fish, and nothing was getting hooked on my line. When I finally did catch a fish, it was so small, I knew it had to be someone’s bait that got away. That was the end of my fishing career.
I remember so many things in the 50 years that I knew you, I could go on forever. You taught me how important it is to be honest, no matter what the cost. You taught me that your integrity will carry you far in life and that when trust is broken, it can take a long time to rebuild it. You taught me that if you want something, you work for it. You taught me there is a difference between wants and needs. You always provided for our needs growing up, even if it meant you had to sacrifice for it. You not only taught but modeled what unconditional love looks like and you always was there for anyone that needed a helping hand, even if you were so tired and exhausted and wanted to say no.
It has been almost two years since you left us to go live with Jesus. I remember the last time I hugged you and you said I love you. I will never forget that moment.
Happy Father’s Day Daddy! I love and miss you so very much!
For all other Father’s, may you have a great day spent with your family. For those without a father in their lives, may you know that you have a Heavenly Father that loves you very much!
Blessings to all of you!