Dear Dad


I miss you. We all miss you. It feels like yesterday you left us, but it's been 4 years. The pain has lessened, and sometimes I feel guilty because of that. Obviously you wouldn't want us to be in daily agony, but I feel guilt I'm moving through life without you. You were supposed to be a part of it. You left us too soon.

I miss you the most on special occasions like birthdays, holidays, anniversaries or when the kids have a big milestone. I know you would be so proud. Proud of Wes, Nacona and myself and especially proud of Mom for staying strong. Proud of mom for making very hard decisions, and leaving the place you both called home for 34 years in hopes of a new stage of life. You would be proud of your grandchildren. They bring so much joy, laughter and....frustration to our lives. We continue to talk about you with the kids, and anytime they see anything that has to do with a cowboy they shout "PAWPAW!" Anytime Whitney is very tired and acting fussy she will start crying and say, "I miss Pawpaw." They often talk about death and heaven, and it always brings me to tears but I hold on to my faith that I will get to see you again in heaven.  At Thanksgiving we sat in Nacona's music room, which is filled with your spirit and Emalee played the guitar. The girls might not know it, but it brings me so much joy to hear them sing and play. It's like a piece of you right there. I wish you could be around to teach my little ones how to play.  

Many times when I'm in a frustrating situation at work I think about what you would say to me if I called you. You always gave me the best pep talks. I still have your phone number and photo on my favorites list on my phone, because I can't stomach deleting it. We may have had our arguments, because we're both stubborn people but you and mom's lessons have taught me so much about life and I'm forever grateful. Your cowboy way of life and work ethic drives me, and your deep empathy for others still impacts me today. 

I don't like to think about the day you passed or the moment I last saw you, but I hold on to it because it's the last mental picture I have of you. I have deep sorrow when I think about Nacona and Mom being with you in the hospital, and that I wasn't there. I feel deep guilt they have to hold on to those horrific memories and I was spared because I was at work. The last time I spoke to you I walked in to the hospital Sunday afternoon and the nurses were taking you back for a stress test. You were of course making them laugh, and they had the biggest smiles on their faces. You made anyone you met feel welcome and you could talk their ear off in a good way. We chatted about work, kids, my car accident and how you weren't a fan of the hospital food. We didn't talk very long before you encouraged me to get back home since I had to drive to Austin and the weather was getting bad. I watched as you poured multiple bags of sugar in to your tea, and I gave you a big hug and said love you and see you soon. 

I know you want us to experience the full joy of life, and we are doing our best. I pray for peace and comfort for mom, and that she finds joy in Georgetown. God is with her, and you are always in our hearts. Our immense grief shows us how much you meant to us. Thank you for your love and strength you've instilled in our family. Until we see each other again. 

Love, Your Daughter

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