It’s been three years. I know that he is in Paradise. I know that he no longer has pain, or his sugar going too low, and no more worries about his heart. I know he gets to listen to and join in the praises to Jesus every day. But I still miss him.
The man I called “Dad” was not related to me by blood. He married my mom when I was 18. I had very firm ideas of what should and shouldn’t be, and I made it very difficult at times for him, I know. But that didn’t change his love towards me, or his acceptance of me as his daughter. Our relationship grew very close over the years. At times, we were angry with each other, and at times, we were so in sync with each other’s thoughts that we knew exactly what the other would say. He taught me, just like a father should. I learned how to check my oil and transmission fluid from him. I learned a lot about salesmanship from him. I learned a whole lot more than that, too. He was a wonderful husband to my mom – she loved him so very much, and still does. I know that he loved her, too. I think that was one of the things I loved and appreciated about him most – how he loved my mom.
I didn’t know him growing up; I was graduated from high school and going to college when I met him. But, he helped me to grow up. Like most teenagers, I thought I knew it all, and didn’t hesitate to share my opinions. He wasn’t perfect – I know he had little patience with my strongly-held and stubborn opinions, but he tried his best and did what he could to help me understand. He helped shape who I am today.
I still remember the shock of finding out that he was gone. The sorrow of knowing he was no longer able to share time with us here on earth. But then I think about the fact that he got to see Jesus face to face before I did. He doesn’t have to watch the things going on in this world, because he’s already in Heaven. He already graduated to real life, and we’re all still here, plugging along, learning how to live before we get to Opening Night.
I will never forget you, Dad. I love you, and I miss you. I’m so grateful for the time I got to spend with you. I am so very thankful that you accepted me into your family. I am, and will always be, proud to call myself your daughter, and glad that I get to call you, “Dad.”