Saturday, June 20, 2009

Father's Day


I don't even stop and look at the Father's Day cards at Walmart anymore. When Don was alive I would take my time reading several before making up my mind. Most of the time they were humorous cards, but once in a while I'd pick out a heartfelt card. If I had the chance here's the letter I would write to him on Father's Day.

Dear Sweetheart,

Happy Father's Day! I don't know if I ever told you what a terrific Dad you were. I didn't tell you enough what it meant to have a husband who not only loved me, but loved his kids unconditionally. No wonder they went to you first about everything! Remember that tatoo that Carrie got and didn't want me to know about it? I found out after the fact, when you already knew. Remember how you and Shannon would talk college football for hours and how you always called her on the phone after Auburn played? That's something she won't forget. Nor will she forget the time you and Jeff drove to Auburn late at night to pick her up because her grandmother was in the hospital and we didn't expect her to make it through the night. You didn't want her to drive home alone during such an emotional time.

And Carrie won't forget the times you took off from work to be a chaperone on a boring band trip to Birmingham or that time you checked her out of school to watch your beloved Kentucky Wildcats play basketball at Tuscaloosa. Or going to Nashville to see the Tennessee Titans play. You knew that I was not a big sports fan, but your daughters never let you down.

And neither one of them will forget the countless Friday nights you took off from work so you could attend the football games and watch them play in the marching band. As a father, you were definitely hands-on and always put your family first.

I remember when we lived in Germany, right after Shannon was born. We lived in a one-bedroom basement apartment in Nierstein, that little German village within walking distance of the Rhine River. With only one car, it meant I spent long days home alone with a newborn baby while you went to work. I was anxious for you to come home because I was nervous about being a new Mom. We had no washer or dryer. During the week I would wash diapers in the bathtub, but on the weekends you took the dirty laundry to the laundromat on post and brought the clean clothes home, all neatly folded.

While growing up the girls always knew they could come to you. I guess I was the disciplinarian and you were the laid-back parent. I don't recall you ever spanking the kids.

I know that you would be proud of the girls now. I know you loved your son-in-law. Your youngest daughter married a good man. I know that your heart would break for Shannon, for what she's been through the past year, but you would stand there and protect her every step of the way. And you would just fall in love with your grandchildren. "Teka" was just learning how to crawl when you left us and you wouldn't believe that she is going on five and starting Kindergarten! She is the spitting image of her mother. You would just love "little Allie" and get such a kick out of her. She has one unique personality and has practically potty-trained herself. Talk about a strong will! And then there's Lucas, your grandson. He is so easy-going and what gorgeous eyes and a beautiful smile he has. I could see you now on the living room floor playing with all of them, just like the girls used to climb all over you when they were little.

Don, it hasn't been easy on the girls since you've gone, but God's comfort and peace have helped. Thoughts of you are always on their minds and in their hearts. They miss you so!

With Love,
Anita

1 comment:

Cornelia said...

Don crosses my mind so often, Anita. This really touched my heart. I'm sure he has been watching the girls and his grandchildren with joy in his heart. Time and space mean nothing from Don's place in heaven.

Pictures

Growing up in my era we didn't take a lot of pictures. Of course, there were the school pictures, which I dreaded, and Mom rarely bought...