Sunday, June 21, 2009
Letter to My Dad
It's been more than four years now since you left us. It feels like such a short time. I can barely attend church on Father's Day I still miss you so terribly. Fortunately today, the speaker didn't go in depth with a "Father's Day" theme, and I was able to persevere. I couldn’t sleep tonight and lay in the bed thinking about you. I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep, until I’ve talked with you a while.
The only spanking I can remember ever getting from you, was when brother and I waded into the murky pond in the woods. I can imagine the fear that caused you to want to make good and sure we never did something like that ever again. How frightened you much have been for us. I believe it was that same year, that you took us to the first county fair we'd ever attended in Shreveport.
I remember the day you left for Vietnam. What a horrible day, as Mom burst into tears on the couch. I'll never forget her anguish at your leaving. But I also remember our elation the day we met you at the airport on your return. I ran to you first and held on for dear life. I was the only one who was allowed to go with Mom and your brother to pick you up. I never thought to ask why, but the memory is still vivid.
You always involved all your girls in sports as well as your son. Not only did you coach brother's teams for years, you encouraged us to be cheerleaders so we could be involved as a family. I can remember having to help brother practice in the front yard because there were no other boys to help. I can't say I was having a good time, but it didn't hurt me, did it?
You took me to the local grocery store when we first moved back to Rison, holding my hand and introducing me to everyone. You seemed so proud of me. You explained that it was just nerves, the night you escorted me across the field at Homecoming and I couldn't stop yawning. You walked me to my groom at my wedding and kissed me on my cheek.
You took it as "just another girl" when LeLe was born. After having four girls and only one boy of your own, it was hard to get too excited. You loved hearing her little voice calling you Papa. You were so proud of her being a majorette like her Mama. And she loved her Papa so much.
When J was born, you came directly to my bedroom and stood at the foot of my bed, while I finished feeding him. You couldn't wait to get your hands on your first grandson. The first boy in so very long. You attended just about every game he played whether it be T-ball, baseball, or football. You sat in the rain at his high school graduation.
Your favorite Christmas song was "The Little Drummer Boy" and one Christmas LeLe played that for you on the piano. You then read the Christmas story to all the grandchildren. What a witness you were.
You painstakingly created lovely things out of wood for us. You had creative hands, and I remember how beautiful they were before you had to work at the gas station. Then they were stained and your nails split and broken, as you worked so hard to provide for your large family. You and Mom worked tirelessly to provide for all our needs and most of our desires.
You battled the cancer for so long. Even as I stayed with you for long hours at the hospital, you held on to your dignity so well, that even in your pain and suffering you were always concerned with keeping yourself covered in my presense. You listened to me when I said it was time to go home. But rather than burden us with trying to care for you at home, you went on to be with the Heavenly Father. What a horrific day that was for us. But what an awesome thing for you! I wonder who was first to meet you?
You've come to me in dreams several times since then, to comfort me and let me know you are happy. You confirm there is a Heaven and we will see each other again before long.
You were loving and faithful to our mother for 48 years. Not many children have such a role model. You said my name like no one else. I can still hear your voice calling me by my name.
On the day I get to Heaven, I want your voice saying my name to be the first thing I hear.
Happy Father's Day.
I love you and I miss you.