Daddy, I can’t stop thinking of you. Today you would’ve turned 88. We won’t celebrate, but I will remember. Momma used to say I could convince you to do anything. The year I went to first grade, she found you putting me to bed instead of driving me to school. You told her I didn’t feel well, but Mother refused to believe I was sick. When she told the story, she’d roll her eyes and say, “I told him there wasn’t a thing wrong with her. Cindy just wanted to stay home. That child has her daddy around her finger.”
You had infinite patience. How I hated long division. You dried my tears and showed me how to do it over and over. When I declared it impossible, you reassured me with a quiet smile. And you could listen to my childish chatter for hours. Paying attention that long can be hard, but you didn’t mind at all.
The moment you got home from work, the fun began. You chased my brother and me through the house. When you caught one of us, you’d tickle until we couldn’t catch our breath. I loved those times. Everyone talked about your ‘Buddyisms’—a word twisted into a joke. No one could resist laughing. I can still see the satisfied look on your face when you got the entire room roaring.
I’m so grateful for your contagious faith. You made spiritual things a priority and taught me to listen for the message, even in entertainment. I knew I could trust you to pray for me. When I cleaned your house, I found my prayer requests hanging on the office walls. That discovery touched my soul. You brought me before the Lord even when your memory began to fail. Now that you’re with the Lord, that leaves a gaping hole in my life.
The thing I miss the most is your love. It flowed throughout our home and engulfed all of us. How many times I saw you embrace Mother and whisper, “You’re my sweetheart.” That committed love lasted until Mother slipped into heaven—almost 56 years of marriage. What a legacy! You praised and encouraged me in every endeavor, and told me you believed in me. How many times I saw tears in your eyes after you gave me a hug. Even when I married and moved out of town, your warmth followed and surrounded me.
I’m so glad we threw a party for your fiftieth wedding anniversary. The numerous pictures show the glow on your faces. The year Mom died, I bought you a banana split for your birthday. That last birthday I took a cake to your assisted living, and that weekend brought you home to celebrate. This year I can’t show you my love, but I couldn’t outdo the glories of heaven anyway. However, special memories will wash over me all day. I love you, and I can’t wait to see you again.