Sunday, December 14, 2008

Dear Daddy

Dear Daddy,
Even though I think of you each and every day, this past weekend the memory of you was especially heavy on my heart. I couldn't help but replay in my mind the events of those days 7 years ago - when you went home. Still to this day I remember every detail, from the phone call from Sherrie telling me that contact had been lost with your plane, to my middle of the night ride home to Jacksonville to await any news, to that endless day at the airport waiting... and waiting... and waiting, to the dreaded news that you had died when your plane went down, to the beautiful sunset as I left the airport to go home to a home that was now seemingly empty... I don't think I will ever forget a single moment.
But even though the events surrounding your death are forever burned in my memory, your life is even more so. I will never forget your love of family.
We never doubted for a second that we were your first priority! (Second only to Jesus.)
You loved to go camping,
and really to travel just about anywhere.
I miss how you loved any sport, from bowling (the thought of how serious you were about it, down to your special ball, shoes, glasses, and gloves, still makes me laugh)
to football - rain or shine - especially the Jaguars and Seminoles.
The thought of how your dream to be a U.S. Senator never came true still saddens me - you would have been perfect for the job!
Your work was so important to you as well, and you were so good at what you did.

I definitely think of you the most at this time of year, not only because of the anniversary but even more so because of your love of the holidays. I can only hope that I can one day make Christmas as special and exciting for my family as you did! And it wasn't just because of the gifts. You were just so excited about what the holiday meant, and that excitement was contagious. I can still hear you talking about the "good news of Jesus"!

And, of course, there was your love of flying. I love this picture of the plane that eventually took you home to Jesus, because of who is in it: those were families that you volunteered your time and your plane to take to a hospital for some necessary treatments.
I wish so much that you were here! I know you would love Chris and Mark and the new baby as much as I do - I wish with all of my heart that you had been able to meet them!! I wish that I could call you up to talk about what is going on in our lives, or to ask your advice, or to plan our next visit. I wish I could come home and get a bear hug. I wish I could hear you call me "sweetie doodle" again. I wish I could be around for a family meal. I wish I could hear you singing LOUDLY in church on Sunday. I wish I could hear one of your corny jokes... and one of your prayers.
But, all of that wishing is only selfish. Because I know that if given the choice, you would not come back - you are standing face to face with your first love, Jesus Christ! How amazing that must be! And, because of what you taught me, even though my heart aches because I am separated from you, I have the confidence of knowing that separation is only temporary. One day I WILL get to see you again! I WILL get to fill you in on all of the details of my life. I WILL get to feel one of your hugs again. I can't wait for that day!
Daddy, I miss you so much - more every day. Thank you for everything. I love you, Daddy. Oh, how I love you!


Kristin said...

No words ..... just ((((((Hugs))))))

Shalane said...

I wish I had the same confidence that my dad was in Heaven with yours! I just hope that what knowledge he did have was true enough to be saving faith. I don't know if he came to know God but I know that he wanted to desperately and was trying to find him and make some sense of the Bible. Of course this made me cry because I wish for the same selfish things, especially hearing my dad's laugh or jokes. And just to see my mom taken care of, to have him meet Nate. MAn, I wish he was here to some day be a grandpa cause he would have been amazing (I know yours would have too). Thank you for writing this just so I don't forget to take a moment and remember my dad too. Love ya Caroline!

errol said...

Hey Caroline, this has to be one of the most heartfelt entries in any one of the many blogs that I have ever visited. When Sam & I first met you I had told her that there was something different about you. Not just the fact that you chose to have dinner with us and not be just another "groupie" in the crowd that basically wouldn't socialize with anyone unless you weren't part of their circle of friends. You chose to be you, and take a different route, such as they way you have inspired me with this very touching entry... thanks for being such a great person and professional, I see that I have come across someone that I have been blessed to meet in this journey we call