I want to tell you about a man that made me so mad at times that I wanted to scream. I want to tell you about a man that I love so much I’d die for him. I want to tell you about the man that I call Daddy…
I will forever cherish the fragrant childhood memories of my Daddy. As a young girl I remember him pulling tangles out of my hair so tenderly that I was amazed that it didn’t hurt. As he hand picked those tangles he talked to me telling me he loved me & he was picking on my Mama telling her that’s how you do it.
I remember being sick, burning up with fever & Daddy wiping me down with ice & alcohol… I remember him sitting with me at the hospital after I had surgery and I wanted chips, he got me some Bugles–to this day when I get a bag of Bugles I think about that night. I remember getting ready for school, breaking into tears because I felt bad and Daddy rocking me & I was almost too big for his lap, he told my Mama I could stay home from school with him.
I remember Daddy being so mad because I had done something stupid…. I remember him telling me why I could or couldn’t do things. I remember the good things about growing up because that’s all that matters. I had loving parents that worried about me having what I needed in life.
I remember a hard working man, a proud man, a man that would do just about anything for anybody. I remember a man that took care of his family with everything that he had.
My Daddy taught us to be strong, to be proud, to not take BS, to work hard for what we wanted. He worried about us being responsible with our money. At times he would share his opinion with us whether we liked it or not but, he always had our best interests at heart.
My absolute best memories are of us camping during the summers when I was a teenager. Daddy would work an extra week on the boat so he could take 3 weeks off to spend time with us at the camp. We would load up the boat with supplies and head out to our little paradise with Nanny, Uncle Hub & their kids…. we would put out fishing lines in the lake, go frogging at night and eat like royalty. We learned how to swim out there–Daddy tied a rope to us and made us swim across the bayou as he sat on the bow of the boat holding onto that line for dear life, giving us just enough slack so we had room to swim. I got up early one morning and went swimming while everyone was still sleeping, boy when he got up and saw me in the water he went to yelling get out of that water girl. Well I cut my knee on the way out, still have a scar from it, he wanted to stitch it with needle & thread… not happening…. We would take a small TV with us, I remember watching wrestling out in the middle of the woods & thinking now this is the life.
Daddy never asked for much, he was happy with the simple things in life. He did not always say I love you but, when he did you could feel the love. As I got older when I would tell him I loved him, he’d say oh get out of here with that mushy stuff… his response most of the time was “me too” with a slight smile.
A few years ago I was blessed to be able to take Mom & Daddy to a Celtic Women concert… He loved the Celtic Women, he called them his girls. When we got there he was tickled pink, I remember him clapping along with the songs and lights gleaming in his eyes. During intermission we went to the restroom, Daddy & I were in the back waiting on my Mom, Daddy turns to me & says “In case I forget to tell you later I had a good time” I smiled from ear to ear, my heart overflowing with joy that I was able to do this for him and I thought about the elevator scene in Pretty Woman.
The past few years have been rough seeing my Daddy slipping away, losing his memory, trying to talk not being able to remember the words.
Now I have to say Goodbye to the man that I call Daddy and I don’t know how to do that. He will always be a part of me, he will always be in my heart & in my memory. He gave me a lifetime of lessons that have made me the woman I am today. I thank God everyday that he blessed me with such a strong man for a Daddy. A man that was soft & kind when I was crying and hard as steel if I’d done wrong. He knew how to balance the good & the bad. He was stern when he needed to be & loving when I was hurting.
Thank you all for being here with us and supporting us through his journey home. It is greatly appreciated. My dear sweet Mama will need your support in the next week, months and years to come. She will need calls to say Hi, visits for coffee & invites to dinner. She cared for my Daddy and did it well & for that I am forever grateful. All my love to everyone….