There’s no other daddy like mine. He was the best daddy I could have ever had.
My earliest memory is with my dad. I was 3 1/2. My dad had taken me to see Cinderella. Mom was home with my baby sister. It was Christmas time and I remember looking at the colorful lights through the frosty windows as we drove down the street. I remember him opening the door for his “little lady”, the way I felt safe. And proud. I was daddy’s date. I was dressed up and had on my black shiny dress shoes and my mom had done my hair in pretty pigtails…including ribbons that matched my dress. I was a very loved child. I remember the screen, the movie, the songs, I was entranced. And I was with the most important man in my life.
He was my hero and larger than life. He was taken from us too quickly.
My dad taught me respect, for myself, for others He taught me how to love, unconditionally and with all of me. He taught me to live with no regret. To learn lessons from my mistakes. To not have any expectations of others, to accept people for who they are and that the people who seem the most damaged are the ones who need my friendship the most. To never judge a person based on others perceptions, make up my own mind.
He gave me strength.
He taught me that I need to dig in, give 100% of myself, so if I walk away from a person or situation, I can do so, knowing I could do nothing more than I did. That I never left with questions unanswered.
Well, I have one unanswered question…
Dad, why did you leave?
I ask this question when I get scared, when I get sad…and I realize that it is the most selfish question I can ever ask. And I feel horrible and petty and small.
Then I have to work my way around it, in my way, to make it work in my head. Dad had to go because he was needed somewhere else. God had other plans for him. It has to be enough. And remarkably, it is.
Every day, I miss him. Every year, it’s just as hard.
As much as I miss him, I don’t like to think about today. And I can remember, in minute detail, every moment of that day. I can remember what I was wearing, what the weather was like, how the sirens sounded…all of it. clearly. damn.it.
I don’t want to think about him, it reminds me of how much I miss him, how big the hole in my heart is. How I am no longer Daddy’s Girl or his “little lady,” that there are no more frosty Christmases with him…that I can’t hold his hand or feel his hug.
And yet, I never want to forget it.
Yes, it’s been 16 years today that you left us.
Dad, you are still part of my life, everyday.
I’ll see you again.
Bye for now.