Ten years ago today we buried my dad. I've had weepy moments all day.
Growing up, I was such a daddy's girl. I went with Dad everywhere. He got me up early on Saturday mornings - usually we went to the jr varsity football games, and then maybe we would go junking in the poorer side of the tracks. Dad would tell me stories about growing up in those neighborhoods. Sometimes we would go to the salvage yards and get little parts for my old pick-up truck. I just loved those morning with Dad. We always held hands as we walked - even when I was a teenager. I should mention that they always started with a cup of coffee. And we talked. Lots.
I'm sorry my brothers and sister missed out on this part of Dad. I know he spent other times with them. I know he loved them just as much as he did me - and he loved me lots. But they did not purpose to spend time with Dad. And I did. Yet I was jealous when Dad taught my brothers how to jump hurdles and run track races - when he taught them how to play football, and block, and throw and punt a football. I could have done it, too! But I'm thankful for the time we built houses together. I'm thankful for the time Dad drove across Texas with me to help me move. Just the other day I told someone about our trip up into Colorado to get wood beams for my house. Dad did not think I could pull a 27' goose-neck trailer by myself. But I did, and he was impressed. And we stopped in Manassa, CO, home of Jack Dempsey while Dad told me stories of my grandfather boxing. We ate pie at a little cafe there and of course, we drank coffee.
I'm thankful for the years I had with Dad while he battled cancer, although it was a tough time. He was a trooper to the end. Every day he got up, got dressed, and went about his business as best he could - up until three weeks before he died. He just did it - without complaining - because that is what you do. What strength! With his hearing all but gone, communication was rough, but I listened while he talked. He told me old stories of his life.
My dad was not perfect. He made some mistakes. But his heart was always in the right place. He was always trying to do good. I love him for that. Not only did he mentor so many others, he was my hero.
Dad, I miss you today more than ever. When I promised I would
take care of Mom, I didn't know how hard that would be, but I remember
your love for her, and it is an example set before me. You taught me
well. You poured your love and strength into my life. You made sure that
I knew God and Jesus as my savior. I thank you for those things. But I
still miss your smile, your piercing blue eyes, your sense of humor,
your love for others, etc. You were so awesome.