Friday, October 9, 2009
For my Daddy
Today is an especially sad day for me. Today marks the 1 year anniversary of my dad's death. He died of a heart attack. It was very sudden, he was 52 years old. He had just celebrated his 52nd birthday on October 1st. It was on that Thursday night, October 9, 2008 that I was woken up by my uncles (twins, in the black and white photo with my dad in the center) with the devastating news.
My dad lived in Toney, Alabama. It is a pretty small town just north of Huntsville. It is rural and pretty. He had lived there for at least the last 17 years, though it may have been longer. Heworked for the City of Hunstville. He was a crew chief. Before that he had been a paramedic in Chicago.
My dad was one of the kindest people I knew. He would give you the last $20 in his wallet if you needed it. Even if he had a bill to pay with that $20. He loved everyone, and he treated everyone the same. Like they were family.
My dad lived with his mom until she died in 1999. Then he lived alone. He worked, and went to church. And he LOVED his black Ford Mustang. He wiped that thing down every single time he drove it. That car shined like a star. You could probably shave in the reflection because it was so clean. That was his 2nd child. I was the lucky first.
My dad had just been to Maryland to visit us about a month before he died. My youngest was only 6 months old. I am thankful everyday that I got to see him so close to the end. I am always so sad that I didn't know. That I didn't say more. That I didn't tell him that he was such an inspiration to me. He was my hero. He loved me so much, did he know that I loved him just as much? He loved me unconditionally, and that is such a wonderful feeling. To know that no matter what, someone out there thinks the world of you. Even if you goof up. I miss him very much.
I know my dad was an extraordinary nice guy, but I did not know truly how many friends he had until he died. All of the men he worked with, people from church, people from all over came to the wake to pay their respects. I was overwhelmed with the love they all had for my dad. I wonder if he knew he had touched so many lives. There were many stories of my dad being there to lend a helping hand, lend an ear, or lend a dollar. He was just that kind of guy.
I think of my dad every single day, and I imagine I will for the rest of my life. Because of him I try everyday to be a better person. Even though he is gone, he is still with me and I still want to make him proud. I always think to myself, "what would my dad say about this?" Before I do anything. I want to be the kind of person he was. I want to be kind, loving, giving, understanding, selfless. I want to honor him, and so today I am remembering him, and celebrating his life.
I love you daddy, and I miss you so much.