As I sit here Thursday night writing this post, I have to tell you, it’s one of the most difficult posts I’ve ever written. I know Friday is usually education, but education can be put off a little while.
It’s been 12 hours – just 12 simple hours – since my Daddy went to Heaven. I can’t even really process it. In my mind, I was supposed to have him for many more years. My heart is shattered knowing the many things we’ll never get to do together. But instead of focusing on the wishes, I want to share who he was.
My Dad was a strong man. He was a strong man for my entire life, but more so since he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, kidney failure, and COPD. I was still in college when that happened. I thought my world was ending then, but God pulled him through and we got nearly ten more years.
Dad continued working full-time, even with the restrictions. He just kept pushing. He made me proud.
Three years ago, he ended up on daily at-home dialysis. Did that slow him down? Nope! He would be on his dialysis machine for 9.5 hours during the day, then he would go out for night duty, continuing his full-time job.
Those things are amazing! But do you want to know what I cherish the most?
When I was a little girl, my Daddy was the one who would come in and play Barbie with me because my brothers refused. He would dress Barbie up and I’d tell him why his choice of clothing was wrong. And he played along. Sat right there on the floor with me.
He used to drive a big truck – that’s what we called it anyway – and we got to go to work with him during the summers. Riding shot gun in his truck is where I began writing my very first stories. I wrote about horses who talked and a bunch of other things. Even though they weren’t great, he listened to me tell him every single one. He told me they were great and to keep writing.
One Christmas, the movie “Mean Girls” had just come out and I got it. I was excited, but no one wanted to watch it with me. Dad did. He even got a few chuckles out of it, even though I knew it really wasn’t ‘his thing’.
See, my Daddy didn’t care if something was ‘his thing’. He only cared about the happiness of his family. He might not have been perfect, but he never stopped loving us and letting us know he cared.
It makes it easier to know he had a relationship with Jesus. And I am blessed that I have my mom, two brothers, two sisters-in-law, and a nephew. Not to mention the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Daddy, you may be gone too soon, but I’m so glad I got you for as long as I did. I’m glad God blessed me with you. I’ll always be your sweet pea Bert.