Where do I even begin daddy?! If someone would have told me a month ago that I’d be writing this to you today, on your 62nd birthday, I never in a million years would have believed it. 😢Why daddy?! Maybe if you could just help us to understand why you had to leave us, we could accept this loss for what it is and try to heal from it. It has been an entire month since you left here. I can’t begin to tell you where the heck this month went because it was a total blur, but all I know is that you’re gone dad. And you’re never coming back to me. For the life of me, I can’t seem to wrap my head around the idea of that. The old adage “here one day and gone the next” has never rang more true. But I hate that this is now my truth. Our truth. This was so unexpected. So sudden. We were not ready for this at all. I feel like I’ve been kicked in the chest and I can’t catch my breath daddy. How do I keep breathing when the one that gave me life has unexpectedly just stopped?! As I stood there at your hospital door, every breath I took, every movement I made, I silently prayed that it would somehow transfer to you and you’d mimic it and that it would bring you back to us. Needless to say, it didn’t work.
“My first pea in the dish”… That’s what you so proudly called me for as long as I can remember… Before a month ago, I was proud to be that too. But let me tell you how being your first pea in the dish has SUCKED MAJOR BALLS this last month daddy… Being the “oldest” has taken on a new meaning and responsibilities that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Having to go to the hospital that day and see you laying there, and I wasn’t allowed to go in the room to be with you. I couldn’t touch you. I couldn’t hold your hand. I couldn’t cover up your feet for you. I couldn’t hug you or kiss you goodbye. I swallowed the lumps in my throat and fought back the tears as the doctor explained everything and told me that there was nothing more that could be done. That this was it… When less that 24 hours prior, you were sitting at the kitchen table as I left out for work. I had to muster up the courage to call my sweet mom, your wife of 33 years and give her “the talk”. I had to tell her that this was it dad. I had to tell her that you weren’t coming back home to us. I had to ask for her permission to make you a DNR. I had to get her permission to take you off the ventilator. All while swallowing those lumps in my throat and fighting those tears because I didn’t want to upset her while she had to make the most unimaginable decision of her life. 😢 Even though I knew what the doctors were saying was truth, it still didn’t help me feeling that I was telling her to let you go. She didn’t deserve to lose you this way. I held my baby brother, as he visited you for what would be our last time seeing you alive. Feeling the weight of his body shaking in my arms is a feeling that I won’t soon forget. My heart broke into a million pieces for him dad. I never wanted to let him go. He didn’t deserve to lose you this way. Signing those papers seemed so surreal. Like an out of body experience. I felt like I was giving up on you daddy. I felt like I let you go. Receiving that call that you’d passed and the hours after that of watching everyone mourn the severity of your unexpected death is forever etched in my mind. It was an immense heaviness like I could feel everybody else’s pain all at once. Losing you has rocked me to my for, but more than anything, I’m hurting for everybody else. All I could do was hug them all and console them as best I could. I felt powerless that it’s all I could do. I couldn’t stop the pain that they were feeling. But I swallowed those lumps in my throat, and I fought back the tears. I slept on the couch downstairs the whole first week. I didn’t want to leave my mom alone. If I’m being honest, I was afraid to let her out of my sight. I didn’t want her to feel alone with you not being here. I can never replace you, but still, I wanted her to know that someone was there. But my mom is so strong dad. If I never knew before, I definitely see now why you fell in love with her. I pray that I mature to be 1/2 the woman that she is. I couldn’t imagine living through this pain. I’m broken and you were my father, but you were her husband, best friend, confidant, life partner and so much more for over 33 years. I’ve been “strong” for the last month. Nobody told me that I had to be and I’m sure no one expects me to be, but I feel it is what’s needed of me being your “first pea in the dish”. I need to be the strong one. But being the strong one hurts daddy. Being the oldest SUCKS! This hurts so much. I’ve never imagined losing you this young. I thought we had so much more life to live. Together. This doesn’t even feel right. It’s been a month now and I still haven’t been able to say out loud, “my dad died”. It just feels like the moment I do, the reality of it all will come crashing down like a ton of bricks. I haven’t mourned you leaving me yet. Subconsciously, I know I haven’t. It’s been a month of swallowing the lumps and fighting back the burning in my eyes. I haven’t even been on social media much, because what is there to say? I wasn’t ready for a RIP post. I’m still not. How are you supposed to “be strong” when all you want to do is lose it?! To lay out in the floor and scream and cry and pout about how unfair this all is?!
They say that “time heals all wounds”, but I can’t imagine that to be true. How can it be when the thought of time continuing to move forward and the reality of you not being here with us hurts more than the present? You won’t have the joy of walking either of your girls down the isle whenever “the one” finally comes along. You won’t get the chance to fall in love with your grandbabies and see your legacy live on through us. You won’t get to spoil them rotten and then call us to come and get them once they all get on your last nerve. You won’t have the pleasure of forcing them to stay in the house all summer long until they’ve learned their time tables like you did to us! 😩😂🤣 As much as they annoyed the hell out of me then, I miss your early morning text messages sending me to the darn grocery store after I get off work in the morning. 🙄😒 Daddy, if making a million pointless grocery store runs to buy a bunch of unnecessary stuff that we really didn’t need to buy in bulk would bring you back to us, I’d do it in a heartbeat and with a smile. And you know how much I hate the grocery store! Who’s going to interrogate and antagonize these men that try to claim to love us?! Who’s going to give them a hard time when they come to ask for our hands in marriage? Who’s going to befriend and keep in contact with all the men we leave and want to forget about?! LOL. We never took those family photos you always mentioned. 😔 We never made it on our family trip to New Orleans that you wanted to take. Your wife misses you, your kids miss you, hell the dogs are still mourning and missing you, your best friends miss you. You leaving has rocked all of our worlds.
Daddy, I love you soooo much. I realize now that it’s too late, that I didn’t tell you that enough while you were still here. I didn’t let you know just how much I appreciated you for everything you’ve ever done for me. So thank you Daddy. Thank you for being the best man that you could have ever been for me. Thank you for being the first man to love me and show me how it feels to be loved and cared for. I promise not to settle for anything less than from any other man. Thank you for always supporting me and my dreams. Thank you for putting me through 4.5 years of college, out of your own pocket with no grants or student loan debts to repay. I promise I never wasted a dime of your money, including the money you paid for my meal plans although I never went to the cafeteria past my freshman year. I guess I can tell you now that I always got that that money back in a refund check and lived off of it for an entire semester, straight ballin! 😏😉😂LOL. Thank you for always letting me know that you loved me and were proud of me. Thank you for being an example of when a husband truly loves and takes care of his wife and children. Thank you for working so hard for all of those years for us. Thank you for all of the laughs, all of the stories, all of the memories, that one day it will be a joy to relive, but today hurts like hell to think about. I love you Daddy and I promise that everything I do in life will be to make you proud. I still don’t know what possessed you to get your first cell phone after 60, but I promise that I’ll forever keep all of your text messages, even the ones I never responded to. Today I am not ok and tomorrow I won’t be either, but one day I will be. I still promise to continue to lead by example in love and strength. I still promise to always be sure that the love of your life, my mom is good!
🎉🎉🎉HAPPY 62nd BIRTHDAY DADDY-O!!! 🎉🎉🎉
I love you so much daddy and I know that you’re enjoying your day with my granny, so hug her tight & kiss her big for me please! 🤗😘🥰 Y’all continue watching over us all down here!
See You Around the Bend Daddy,
Your “First Pea in the Dish”
My dear sister Fred, I know your pain oh to well. I to am the first born child who lost Dad at an early age. I was 25 when my biological dad left me and my brothers. I to know what’s it’s like to bear the responsibility of stepping up to the plate to finish the job my dad had of being the head of the house. I wasn’t prepared for any of this. But being the oldest son of five young men, I had no choice. My dad has been gone since ’97 and I still feel the pain as if it happened today. Big Ced took me under his wing to guide me and teach me the things my dad couldn’t since his early departure. Ced taught me leadership, unconditional love when it comes to family. He taught me by showing by example how to be the head of the family. Sure my dad taught me things but his journey or mission was cut short and Big Ced picked up where he left off and for that I will forever be grateful. But just for a second please excuse me for being a little selfish. By that I mean I was blessed to have a bonus dad in Big Ced and to have him taken away from me brought back ask the pain I felt when my Dad left me. I had to endure the hurt and pain all over again. But the most pain came from seeing mom hurt that unimaginable pain of loosing her husband of 33 years. To see my siblings hurt and unbearable pain is something the oldest don’t want but have to see. I feel your pain baby sister. I’m forever here for you anytime and any place. I’ll try my best to be a better big brother than I have to you guys. My heart hurts for the entire family. No-one expected to loose such a giant piece of our puzzle. A void that will forever be felt. I actually have a tattoo on my should that states “Love heals all pain” but the pain will always be there. I’m sorry for going on and on but I wanted to let you know that I understand and I’m here for you. Love you eternally…..
Big Brother Derick
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Man brother, you may have explained that feeling better than I did because that’s exactly how I feel seeing everybody hurting and there’s nothing I can do about it. I love you Big Brother!😘
Awe Fred I’m in tears. Usually I feel pretty proud of my self because I have a way with words that lifts the weight off of people’s shoulders and helps them to know everything will be alright. In this situation I feel that I am failing you because I don’t have the words to do that and I’m sorry. Please know that my heart and my prayers make up for anything I can’t help you with. I have watched God work wonders in the lives of friends and family that suffered loss so I know he will step in and do the same for you and your family. I am so proud of you for being so open and so transparent and admitting you are not ok. You my friend have taken your strength to a new level in my eyes and I’m absolutely amazed! I love you, I admire you and most importantly I pray for you always! Love you best friend 😘!
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Best Frannnn!!! You already know what it is. Tragedy has a way of exposing those that are truly there for you and love you in your worst moments. I thank you for being as consistent and supportive as you’ve always been. Don’t dare feel that you’re failing me with your words, because where your words fall short, YOUR PRESENCE makes up for it TEN FOLD!!! I love you for life sister! Thank you for loving me and loving us!🤗😘
Such a beautiful heart-felt tribute to your dad. May the Lord give you comfort and sweet memories.
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Thank you so much!😊
Bittersweet to see you write again sister however, I am glad to see that you were able to express yourself through writing. I am sure it this wasn’t easy. God bless your and your family.
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Thanks Triplet! I love you😘
This was my second time reading your letter to daddy sis. The first time I honestly didn’t have the words to say because I felt typing a response made it for real for real. Getting that call from Jas and hear her crying hysterically was not what I was expecting. My heart was pounding uncontrollably as I tried calming her down so she can tell me what was wrong. To hear those words “Daddy not Responding” took me a minute to register what she was telling me. I’m like what do you mean not responding. Then after getting off the phone with her and then calls started coming in from everywhere I knew it wasn’t a dream that it was real. Almost immediately I started hating myself for being so far away. I couldn’t get to y’all right away. In that moment I couldn’t be close or couldn’t get there fast enough to be there for my momma and my siblings. Then when I got the final call I remember my legs getting weak and I fell to the floor praying God please don’t let this be true. I still would not accepted that news. It was definitely one of the worst days of my life. Until this day it still doesn’t feel real. Even coming back to visit for Christmas and when I first walked in the door I still expected to see him. Then I get to the dining room and see his Urn for the first time and then is when it really hit me that daddy is really gone.
He was the very best bonus dad anybody could have asked for. He was the perfect example of what a man/father should be. I was so Thankful for the relationship we had. I thank him for always loving me as his own. For loving, caring and accepting of Ayionna and Marquell as his grandkids. I am so overly grateful he got the chance to meet Legacee Grace or Legacee Marie as you call her 😂😂. I know he loved her dearly and I know he is watching over her and his spirit is around her. I know Legacee loved her paw paw because when she looks at his picture she smiles really big.
But I miss him a lot. I miss the Good morning Daughter text and is sharing an encouraging work or song or Bible scripture (It helped get my day started), I miss him calling and messing with me, I miss him asking me Credit questions 😂, I just miss him but one thing I do know he’s Ok.
Sis I know what you have experienced was not easy. I am so proud of you for stepping up and being everything momma, Jas and Lil Ced need you to be even now. I want you to know that it’s ok not to be strong. It’s ok not to be ok. And when you have your days where you don’t feel strong and things not ok, I am here for you Always. I love each of you so much.
Thank you for sharing Daddy with me. I am forever grateful.
We Love you Daddy. You maybe gone but will never ever be forgotten. ❤️🙏🏽