13+ years ago my Dad passed away from cancer. It was a Monday and my Mom, my sister and I were all in the room. I was holding my Dad’s hand and had his bible in my lap…I remember it like it was yesterday. In his last moments, I remember thinking I should do something memorable like read Psalm 23, but I didn’t. Instead I sat there…holding my Dad’s hand….waiting as he took his last breath and feeling my heart beat so fast I was sure it would beat out of my chest. I’ve never had that much anxiety take over my body, but I also felt a sense of peace knowing he was going to a better place and he would no longer feel the pain that had consumed his body over the past 5+ years. I remember his last breath. I remember looking at the clock and thinking I will never forget this moment. I will never forget this year, I will never forget this day and I will never forget this time….and I haven’t. 1:18 am on March 15, 1999 I was holding my Dad’s hand as he took is last breath and today I still remember like it was yesterday.
Today I remember my Dad, a great man who molded me, taught me, inspired me, supported me, encouraged me, pushed me and helped me realize the important things in life. My Dad is no longer with us, but his memory is strong in my heart and every day I think of him and want to make him proud still. His strength is in my body, his empathy for others is in my heart, his knowledge is in my head, and his smile is on my face every time I look in the mirror. My Dad was a smiler…I don’t do it as well as he did, but I know his smiles are in me. He always had a way of connecting with others just by smiling.
And today, I may cry because I miss him…I may feel anger that he is gone, but mostly I will remember to smile…because I know if he were still here, that is exactly what he would be doing . . . . . SMILING.
This blog post today is simply for me, a journal to document my words and thoughts about my Dad on this day, Father’s Day. I wanted to pay tribute to him because he was the Greatest Dad. He was loved by everyone and he is still missed dearly. He was the most amazing man and the best father anyone could hope for. I know a lot of people will say that today, but in his case these words are very true. I could write for hours how he always made time for us, on how he took us fishing, hunting or just for a drive up to the store to buy a bottled coke & piece of candy. He made us work in the summer instead of us going up to the local pool to swim, which now I realize was a character building experience. Although at the time, being a kid, it didn’t make me happy. Now I laugh and appreciate him teaching me about working hard. Without a doubt, he was absolutely the hardest working man I’ve ever known~! A Farmer, a carpenter and a man of many other talents. He worked hard all his life. One important thing was that my Dad always made sure we were always a priority growing up. Loving us. Teaching us. And just being there & spending time with us. Yes, he was the greatest Dad. He taught me to be honest & work hard and he taught me by example. He lived a life which I can only hope to emulate in my own lifetime. And for my Mom, he was a wonderful husband, partner & friend. In every aspect of his life he excelled in just being amazing. He served in the military (Air Force) and fought in a war to keep safe the freedoms I enjoy today. He was a man of honor! And finally my Dad was a true friend to anyone who knew him, loyal & trustworthy always. He would give up his last dollar if he even thought someone needed it more. He was so giving of himself, his time and anything he had. Material things were not as important to him as helping someone in need.
My Dad was adored by anyone who met him….his personality would draw people in…his smile let them know they were welcome to stay. So, today I honor his memory. I honor him. He was loved by so many, he was respected by everyone who knew him & he is still missed!