My daddy would have been 65 years old today. Finally to the age to "retire" like he so very much deserved.
He was the rock of our family. He was a happy, amazingly intelligent, handsome, funny, witty, story-telling man who lived every day for his family.
I will never forget the day that forever changed our lives: March 26, 2009. After the doctor came in and told us the news, I have never felt so scared and helpless in my life. I cried for what seemed like forever and then they came to tell us that dad was awake from his procedure. I pulled together all the courage I could muster, wiped the tears from my eyes and put on the bravest face I could so he wouldn't see how scared I was. After a few minutes, he started talking about the night that his mom had lost her battle with cancer. He told us that after she died, he didn't know what else to do, so he went to work. I now realize that he was trying to tell us that it was ok to be sad, but you have to keep going. My dad gave me so many gifts in life, starting with marrying my wonderful mother. But I think the greatest gift he ever gave me was just to live, and to let me watch him do it. And in the end, he also showed me what it truly means to face all of lifes challenges, including death, with dignity and courage.
At one point during his remarkably brave and courageous battle, I asked him if he was scared. His reply was simple. He said, "No, honey. I'm not scared. I'm just so grateful for you, your mom and your brother." So today, that is what I am going to try my best to remember. He may not have had anywhere near as many birthdays as I wish he had, but while he was here, he really lived and he loved his life and all those who were in it.
I love you and miss you so much daddy and today I'll miss seeing how excited you always were to see your coconut birthday cake.