It’s so hard to believe you are gone. There are all these things running through my head that I want to tell you, that I want to make sure you know. I know I told you I loved you every day. I know that I hugged you tight just last week. But I wonder did you know that I thought you were the greatest man? Did you know that my life was touched by you every day? Did you know that a world without you would feel like too much to bear?
You were the best man. So kind and gentle yet your presence alone commanded respect. All I had to do was hear the disappointment in your voice and I wanted to make sure that I never let you down again. I don’t think you ever raised your voice to me. I remember as a little girl falling asleep in church. And when we got home you explained why it was wrong and gave me a hug. And then you paddled your own hand twice so that mom wouldn’t think you were not teaching me a lesson. That was what was so special about you though. You did need to yell and punish to teach lessons. Your example was more than enough.
I sit here and try to come to grips with why you are gone too soon. Jackson told his grandmama that it was because God needed a general for his army of angels. I think that gives me a little peace – thinking of you like that. But what really sustains me is the faith that you instilled in me. The way that you walked unwaveringly through life as a man of faith. I can remember coming to you so many times in tears and not knowing where to turn. And you would simply say “OK little doll, let’s pray.” I would give anything to pray with you now daddy.
I know you touched lives. I know you changed mine. And I’m not quite sure how the world is still turning today without you. You loved us all so much daddy and without you here, it’s kinda hard to feel like we can go on. But I know we have to go on for you. I know you would be so mad if you thought I was giving my family less than 100 percent. Because you raised us never to give any less than our best. And you never gave any less than your best to us.
I stood up at your celebration service and told everyone what they already knew – that you were irreplaceable. I only fell apart once – I stayed strong because I knew that is what you would have wanted. I wanted all your friends and family to see that there is a piece of you left in me. I won’t let that piece be lost through this daddy. I’ll make sure that you live on – in my heart, in the boy’s hearts.
I miss you so much. Everyone says it will get better each day but that is hard to imagine. Because right now it seems like the only thing that could make it better would be to hear your voice, to feel your bear hug, to see you with my babies in your arms. I’m so heartbroken that little Miller will not know you. That he will not be changed by your wisdom. But we will make sure that he knows how much you loved him. And we will make sure that Jackson never forgets that he had the best Papa in the world. I will pass on the lessons you taught me and help them grow to be men who would make you proud. Men of substance. Men of faith. Men who know how to love fiercely and correct gently.
I’ll see you in heaven daddy. We’ll dance again on the golden streets. We’ll hold hands and celebrate. But until then, I’ll carry on the legacy you left here on earth. Because that is what you would want. I’ll share your kindness. Your generosity. You sweet spirit. Your encouragement. Your willingness to find the best in everyone. Your love. Because I know as long as I do those thing you’ll still be here with me.
I love you daddy. Oh, how I love you. And oh, how I miss you. This is not goodbye though. I’ll never say goodbye. Instead I’ll say I’ll see you later. Because I know I will. But until then, my heart will hurt everyday.