“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.” – Jim Valvano
I am not sure when I graduated from calling you “Daddy,” but I assume sometime in grade school. It’s kind of funny, but ever since you were in ICU last summer, I went back to calling you Daddy. I’m not sure why, but I feel closer to you when I call you Daddy. Of course, I don’t say it aloud. It is my special name for you.
Anyhow, this is our year of firsts, and we visit yet another observance without you – Father’s Day. Instead of getting you Lotto tickets, I ordered altar flowers in your memory for church. I still can’t get over the strange feeling I get when I say “in memory of” instead of “in honor of.” Seriously, those words seemed a bit interchangeable to me until last summer.
A lot has changed in a year. Somethings I am really glad you don’t have to witness. Other things, I wish I could see your reaction. I know you are next to me, but I can’t see your face – though I imagine that you have the huge grin going on! I can picture you doing “the nod” or rolling your eyes. Oh, how I miss that! And your laugh!
All of us think of you all the time. And we talk about you all the time. I used one of your favorite expletives while driving and then I laughed so hard I almost had to pull over. I wasn’t sure if it was me or you that let out, “C’mon, ***hole!”
We “look for the Larry” in all situations. And like pastor said at your funeral, “there is always a story to tell.” We’ve laughed and cried over the stories. When I’m not sure what to do, I think, “What would Dad do.” And as a child of yours, I may choose to do the opposite 🙂
We all feel robbed of getting to spend quality time with you. The Alzheimer’s stole moments and it was horrible to see you slowly slip away. But what I find amazing is when I dream about you, I see you healthy, whole and happy. It is like having a visit with you, and it just confirms over and over the hope of the Resurrection.
Dad, I thank you so much for all you did for me. I told you, and I do believe you heard all of us whisper to you in your final hours.
But just in case you didn’t hear, I wrote you this letter. I know you’ll hear me, because you dwell in my heart, and that is where these words come from. Thank you for life, for loving us, for your witness of faith, for all your good and for all your faults. Because you weren’t perfect, you showed us that sinners become saints. Because of your love as a father, you gave us a glimpse of the love of our heavenly Father.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you. And Happy Father’s Day.
I love you, Daddy.
© 2012 – Lynne Cobb
(ps – These are photos of some of the cards I made my dad…)