Thursday, January 3, 2013

Remembering My Daddy

Since it's been a year since my Daddy earned his angel wings, I thought it was fitting to re-post the eulogy I wrote and gave at his graveside service.  I hope you see what a wonderful man, father, husband and grandfather he was!!

My Dad was my mentor, best friend, confidant, and teacher. We were kindred spirits. I have so many wonderful memories of the 34 years we shared. Daddy has always been a wonderful father, but the last 13 years have been exceptional – words can’t even describe how our relationship grew in those last few years. He was a hard working man, who always did everything he could to give us everything we needed and wanted. He loved his family, his friends, his occupation, golf, wood, and the beach.

I have so many vivid memories of Daddy, that it was so hard for me to just come up with one or two. Some of my best memories as a child were running around the lumber yard – jumping off lumber, making “oatmeal” out of saw dust, playing in his desk drawer, and chasing the fork lift. To this day, I still get warm fuzzies when I walk through Lowes.

Before Brent & I got married, Daddy and I rented a U-Haul and drove all of my worldly possessions (car in tow) to Houston. Making that two day trek in a cramped truck made for some of the best memories. My most vivid memory – Approximately 40 miles outside Mobile, AL, our truck got very low on gas. There was nowhere to stop to fill up. As we crested a hill, the biggest bridge I had ever seen in my life sat in front of us. We were coasting on fumes, with the windows down. We literally moved our bodies back & forth to push the truck up that bridge, coasting down the other side & into a gas station just in time. We could not stop laughing or crying. When we got to the gas station, we bought a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts and ate the entire box as we drove through Mobile.

I have never seen Daddy happier than he was when Zoe was born. She was the apple of his eye. He came to Houston to visit her every chance he got. Daddy was able to be present for Zoe’s adoption hearing on August 15, 2009. I believe that was the happiest day of his life. I am so grateful that we have memories of that wonderful day that will live on through her. Equally, Zoe loved her Pop. He hung the moon! Every time they would talk (before we said our goodbyes) they would say, “I love you! No, I love you more! NO, I love you most!” I will never forget those words.

Daddy called me at least twice a week during the day – usually at around 2pm. We usually just caught up on what was going on with Zoe, mom, grandma, and Amanda. I cherish all of those calls. I had recently talked him into buying an iPhone, so he seemed to call much more often – sometimes several times a day to get help operating it. Our last big conversation was last week. He called me one afternoon, and we talked for at least 45 minutes (which was a rarety). We talked about everything! I think this was God’s way of giving us the opportunity to really say all the things we needed to before he went Home.

As I stand here today, I feel a strange sense of comfort. I can feel him standing by me and guiding me. I love him more than words can explain! What brings me comfort in this difficult time is knowing that I will see my Dad again one day. I know he will be there to hold my hand when it’s my time to come Home.

To my sweet, sweet Daddy,

I will miss you so much! This world will not be the same without you. Last night’s visitation was a testament to what a wonderful man you were. You will never be forgotten.

Sleep Tight – Don’t let the bed bugs bite! & always know that I LOVE YOU MOST!