Saturday, June 19, 2010

My Daddy

My Daddy died today, sometime after midnight on Saturday, June 19th.
I remember walking to church together on Sunday mornings in Alexandria, VA. Church was just down the road; it was a good day if I could make it there without falling and getting holes in my tights.
I remember Daddy warning us to be careful becuase they had just put pesticide in the air ducts/vents and had the vents removed. I forgot and stepped into one, cutting my legs. I remember being so scared, afraid I was going to die from poison. I remember Daddy rushing me to the shower and holding me as he rinsed me off, comforting me, so distressed that I was hurting. He was so distressed when anything caused us pain.
I remember how he would call us "sports fans".
I remember how we would cover up in the snuggleupagus Saturday mornings with Daddy and all us girls, pretending we were a monster crawling down the hall, surprising Mom in the kitchen.
I remember Daddy always had a special chair, in every house we lived in. It was Daddy's chair. He came in the room and we knew to vacate it. Sometimes, he would say, "Do you mind if I have my chair?" if we were in it. It wasn't a snotty question. He just said it in a sweet way.
I remember Daddy holding me up to the window at the nursery when Meg was born, telling me which baby was my sister, and I remember being so frustrated because I didn't see what he was talking about.
I remember Daddy so handsome in his uniform. It was a special treat to eat lunch with him at work. I remember we couldn't walk back to his office with him so we would go as far as security and then watch him the rest of the way.
Oh, please Lord, never let me forget his laugh. Please let there be a tape of it somewhere.
Oh, please Lord, please don't let me forget him.
I remember trips in the car, us closing our eyes while he flipped the car upside down. I remember him stocking the car with barf bags for me from all his plane trips and asking for some warning if I thought I was going to throw-up. (To say I had a problem with motion sickness would be an understatement.)
I remember Dad jumping at every sound in the car-- us lowering a window, opening a "hidey hole", Dad would jump and snap, "What was that?!" We got to where we would give plenty of warning before doing anything. "Daddy, I'm going to put down the window, okay?"
Oh, Lord, please help me. This is going to be so rough. Please help me get through the coming weeks as the mourning and grief drag out. How am I going to get through it? I am afraid it will hurt so much.
I'll never have another Daddy hug again. He would sit in his chair and I would lean over, kneeling, and it was just the best, most secure embrace. He would just hold me. If I needed to cry, he would let me. He was the perfect Daddy for girls because he was never afraid of us expressing emotion. He was an emotional man. My last great Daddy hug was the day I moved back in a few weeks ago. I was so tired, so scared, so not knowing where I was heading with my life. He just held me.
I remember walking around Radnor Lake with my dad.
I remember the way Dad would breath through his front teeth when he was upset.
I remember being at the ball game when Dad broke his back, I remember watching him lie there on the ground, wondering why he was just lying there.
I remember lying next to Dad on his hospital bed at home with him making me read a book with him. They were Mandie books-- he would read two pages, I would read one.
I remember he called me his heart, his Annie heart.
I'll never hear his voice again.
Please Lord, let me hear his voice again in heaven.
I'm so afraid if I don't write down everything right now that I remember that I will forget it.
Please, Lord, don't let me forget.
My Dad died.
My Dad died.
He died. He's dead.
Oh, it hurts.
I remember moving to Arkansas, and Dad hurting his back in Tennessee while he was finishing his contract and getting business wrapped up. When I heard the news, I thought, “No big deal. He’ll walk again. He always does.” He never walked again without the aid of forearm crutches. Our friends in Arkansas have never seen him amble about, unaided. He was such an avid outdoorsman, so very active. Hiking, canoeing, skiing, rapelling-- he did it all and loved it.
I remember how hard he worked to help people at Pea Ridge Schools with their computers. He found a niche. He could always find a niche, a place where he could do the most good for the most people.
Please, Lord, help me to remember even more over the coming days.