My dad has passed away. Man through all my life I have never once had to do or say something as hard as saying that one sentence.
As a child and young adult I never knew or appreciated all he did for me, but now that I look
back I can see that everything he did was always for me. He did or said everything possible to make sure I succeeded and I think he felt my failures worse than I did. I think he
somehow blamed himself for any and everything that went wrong. He loved me that much. I don't know that I will ever be loved like that again. How do you say goodbye to that?
I just keep thinking back to all of these random times with him. How he would take me fishing and every time he would have to get up and get something and I was watching
his pole a fish would bite. Or how he would hide in the hallways and scare me when I was watching scary movies at night. I remember him teaching me to ride my bike, or making
me a Barbie house since he couldn't afford to get me one. He never knew how much I loved that or how much it meant to me as I got older and had kids and truly understood
the work he put into it just so I could have one. I remember him standing outside the delivery room when my son was born. He would come and see me every day.
He was my best friend.
You know I told him many things when we knew his time was coming. I told him I loved him I told him he was a great dad. But I never had the courage to tell him how
strong I thought he was. I think it would have embarrassed him. At 17 this man went to Vietnam and saw so many many horrible things. He lived through situations we will only see in movies. He had to live
through nightmares. He came home, not to be loved and called a hero, but to be shamed and condemned. He didn't come home alone though, he brought home many demons in his mind.
He brought home memories he would have to relive constantly. Then he met mom. She was the love of his life. I remember how they told me on their first date he told
her he was going to marry her. They were a strong couple who had an even stronger love. She was always his number one and he was hers. I think mom was the only one he ever
told about what he went through. Mom was the only person he trusted with that. How someone could have that going on in his head and still be such a good father and husband speaks
to his strength. That was only one of his battles. Dad also battled alcoholism. He fought that every single day and after that gambling. He fought them and to me he won. He never
went back to them.
One thing dad wouldn't or couldn't do was back down. He was strong and brave. He saw it as is job to protect and take care of us all. From mom to even my children and husband, dad would
do whatever it took. I knew no matter what time or day, if we hadn't talked for an hour or a month I could call him and he would be there.
No matter what was going on dad made sure we had what we needed. And he made sure to tell us he loved us, even as a 40plus year old woman my dad would
call just to tell me that he loved and missed me.
Dad was also an amazing grandfather. He loved my kids and had cute little nicknames for all of them. He had a special bond with each and every one. I am so saddened that
they wont have more time with him.
I know he is always going to be with me in my heart, but I'm sorry I'm selfish I wanted him to be here forever. I will miss him every single day and think of him
every single day. I know in my head and in my heart that I had the best dad who loved me. Ditto Dad.