Today is the sixth anniversary of my father's passing. We miss him every day, and wish so much that cancer had not robbed us of many more years with him. I know there are many people reading this today, and feeling the same way about a loved one. I admired him for so many reasons, and loved being his little girl. I wanted to share what I wrote to be read at his funeral service, so that others could get to know him, and remember him today.
Remembering My Dad
It is hard to put in to words all the emotions and memories that are flooding my mind. I simply want to say that I sure do love my Dad and will miss him more than words can say. I am so grateful to have had him for so many years, and for being there by his side as he went to be with the Lord.
He will forever be a man of great courage, not only by the way he fought his battle with cancer, but in the way he served his country in Vietnam. He taught us to honor the American flag, love our country, and pray for the troops, wherever they might be. My two brothers even spent time in the Army, following in his footsteps. I know that made him so proud.
He was a man dedicated to his family, showing us the world during his military career. We spent so much time together exploring far away places, and experiencing things like water skiing on the Panama Canal and walking up Mt. Vesuvius in Italy. He took us boating and camping that our family might steal away and be together, creating memories that have lasted a lifetime.
He was a man of integrity and honesty and never in my life do I remember him telling a lie. He showed us the value of hard work and never seemed to run out of energy before he had cancer. He was organized and cared for his household in a meticulous way, and we often joked that his garage was neater than our house. He loved his Park Avenue and would refuse to drive it if the forecast called for rain, lest it should get dirty.
He was a dedicated Alumnus and his love for FSU and the Seminoles was apparent in his home, his cars, and certainly in his dress. Even to his last weeks in the hospital and hospice house, he held up his finger and told everyone the Seminoles were number 1. Bobby Bowden would have been proud to hear the song Dad made up and sang in his honor. Our children grew up wearing garnet and gold and we would often find hidden FSU decals secretly placed on our cars.
He had a sense of humor too, as many of you well know. We were in stitches thinking back to his antics and I am grateful for his funny side and the memories we have of him laughing.
He considered my Mom the love of his life, married 60 years, and together they showed us children what it meant to be committed for life, till death did they part. Often far away from extended family, they stuck together and made it through many a difficult day. My mother’s care for him during his battle with cancer certainly extended his days, and we are grateful for how she unselfishly served him, stepping up and taking care of many things he had always taken care of.
My Dad also loved his church, his Sunday school classes, his fraternal brothers the Masons, the Eastern Star, his Scottish and Southern heritage, and of course his cat Sheba.
Thank you Dad for leaving a legacy of courage, patriotism, family, integrity, honesty, loyalty, laughter, love and faith. We will never forget all you taught us, we will take care of Mom and Sheba, and we look forward to seeing you again, in heaven.