My father, John, was a gentle man, a kind man, a loving man. He was very quiet. He loved me, and when I was small he would come into my room on four legs and pretend to scare me. He would wrestle me on the floor, carry me on his back, take me on an annual squirrel hunting trip to Arkansas. We shared much, silently. He didn't show his love in words, but in deeds, who he was was love in itself. He didn't need to tell me.
And oh, how I failed him so many times by looking for the wrong!
My prayer is that he saw that I loved and cherished him dearly, that my life will never be the same without him.
I look at my dear mother. She's all I have left, she and my sister. They are precious to me, and I will strive to uphold the sacredness of life, to honor and love them and to avoid any unkind word.
The thing that struck me most with dad is that you can't get them back. It was my first close death, and it dawned so harshly, "You can't get them back." This lesson teaches me to treasure everyone more, because none of us knows who will be gone tomorrow. Then it will be too late to love them.
Dad gave his life for his family, literally. He didn't have to strive so hard at work for us, but he did, and he gave us the finest. Of everything. We never wanted, had much more than what we needed, and too, too often wanted more.
I will struggle to pay back my father's love and good deeds. Somehow I'll find a way, perhaps in leading a life or achieving things he'd be proud of, yet success from here on will be a melancholy thing because he's not here to share it with.
I'll never stop missing him.