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”