Over the course of nine years I haven’t found an explanation for my attitude, behavior, mannerisms, etc. I’ve seen myself becoming more and more like Daddy every day. How do you explain this? On what would have been Daddy’s 69th birthday, I am going to attempt to answer it the best I can.
I suppose the best answer for this is Daddy left a piece of himself in me when he went on his next journey. (I’m sitting here at my desk trying to desperately type this without crying, but I doubt it will happen.) When I first started getting close to Daddy I was fighting with some emotional turmoil and that was when part of him became a part of me.
I was only 14 years old (almost 15) when Grandpa George passed on to his next journey. Daddy lingered behind and took care of Steven and me as Mom went with my uncle and aunt to take care of whatever it is they do in nursing homes when relatives pass on. Daddy and I had our first serious talk. We talked about grandpas, life, and death. He held me in his arms and I felt so safe, but tears kept forming. Fast forward a few years, about eight to be exact.
Daddy was fighting his first round of cancer at this time. I remember sitting with him in his hospital room, waiting for him to wake up from surgery. Someone (I can’t remember who now) told me that he had “a very brave young lady waiting for him to wake up to.” At the time I didn’t fully understand it; how was I brave? Why wouldn’t a daughter wait for her daddy to wake up from surgery? I suppose now I know that a lot of daughters don’t have a wonderful relationship with their daddy; I know I sure didn’t have an awesome one in the beginning either. I always thought of Daddy as being strict and calloused. It wasn’t until I saw how vulnerable he was. Cancer fighting took a lot out of him this first time and he fought bravely and unwaveringly. While waiting for him to wake up I noticed he was just like everyone else, but he was definitely my superman. 🙂 Fast forward 3 years.
Daddy had held me in his arms at KCI Airport for the longest time…(oh dear here come the tears)…he told me he wanted me to be strong for both of us. I told him I was scared and didn’t know what to do. He reminded me, God would help us out; just stay strong and we’ll make it through this. Then we can have fun again! (Oh dear, God, I’m tearing up so bad I don’t know if I can finish this entry; I’m going to try though.) When at last we let go, I reminded him that I loved him and he ruffled my hair a bit and said he knew we’d be alright.
A few months after that, Daddy came home from cancer treatments and I thought we had it beat! Sadly, the treatments had left him unable to remember the basics like my job and how to dress. It became clearer to me that I was now in charge and had to help the best I could. Before long Daddy ended up in hospice and I was left to fend for the family and myself. One of the last messages he told me was that I was his and the world’s sunshine; I was to never quit smiling. (I’ve tried, but believe me there are days I just want to hit someone or yell at someone; there are days I just want to cry and throw in the towel.)
Today was hard; I worked for 8.5 hours and carried a song in my heart all shift. I kept singing or humming Amazing Grace — Daddy’s favorite song! I stayed strong; I kept a smile on my face. It’s been a rough day, but you know what? I made it; I am even trying right now to cheer up Steven from a horrible losing streak on a video game. I would just as soon lose my rank to let him restore a backup copy of that game, so he can be at a higher rank again. If that doesn’t speak volumes about unconditional love, I don’t know what does; that is just another example of how I’ve become like Daddy! 🙂
Love and prayers, as always! ❤ (I made it albeit in tears, though!) ❤