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Daddy, You Are Missed

Thirty years ago today, you passed away. I was 7 years old and was still lying in bed with my aunt that morning, when your nieces burst into the room crying and screaming, "He's gone! He's dead!" Not the ideal way for a little kid to find out that her father had just died.

You had been doing better. So much better that we kids were finally going to be allowed to come for a visit. I was so excited! But before I could even get dressed to leave that day, you were gone. I will never forget that day. It never fades in my mind, not even a little. I remember the coldness of the room where I had slept. I was wearing my Shawn Cassidy T-shirt and and my Spencer's panties with little pink roses on them. When I crawled from the back of the bed and stepped down, my foot landed atop a Yosemite Sam drinking glass that someone had left in the floor. Even though it broke into a million pieces, I didn't get cut. My sister and I just stared at each other with tears in ours eyes. We did not speak. Neither your sister, nor any of her adult children, made one move to comfort us. I still don't understand this.

Your viewing at the funeral home was completely packed with friends and loved ones. I remember how overpowering the smell of so many roses was. I stood at your coffin for the longest time, hoping, praying, to see you breathe or bat an eye. It didn't happen. I didn't cry.

Your funeral was on a cold, wet, day. Partly snowing and partly raining. Mama had bought me a frilly, purple, dress for the occasion. Why she dressed me in Easter clothes for your burial is a mystery to me. They sang your favorite song, Just a Closer Walk with Thee. I still can't sing or hear that song without crying. At the graveside, I sat in the row nearest your coffin, in a metal folding chair. Suddenly, it hit me, my daddy is going in that hole and I will never, ever, see him again and there was nothing I could do to stop it from happening. No more stories, no more songs,nobody to tell me how pretty I was, or how much he loved me. I started to cry like I had never cried before in my short life. Then, maybe for show because others were watching, everyone tried to comfort me and take me to sit with them. I wouldn't go. If I moved,if I looked away, you would be gone. Of course, they buried you anyway, but I didn't budge until they did. I had to be certain that you weren't going to wake up and come home with me.

After that, life was Hell. Thank you for being such a great Daddy and doing all the things for us that our mama should have been doing. I know you held on as long as you did, just hoping to survive and protect us from her. I love you, Daddy. I hate you, Cancer.


  1. You obviously had a wonderful dad that you lost too soon. My very belated condolences to you.

    I haven't seen or heard that phrase "a kiss and a peck (and a hug around the neck)" in so long, and it really brought back memories of my Grandma.

  2. Thanks so much, Joy. I appreciate that.

  3. It is a very beautiful, sentimental post. How sad that you had to loose your father so soon.


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