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Today would have been your 91st birthday.  I miss you.  I was fortunate to have you all those years but I still miss you.  I miss your simple man and honorable instruction to life's problems.  You would be proud of the fact that we tried to take care of all these kids with your compassion.   It was your character to just love them and ignore all of their noise and drama but it has been an effort for us.

Daddy, I am glad you are not worrying anymore about money and bills and stuff.   You haven't worried in a long time since that alzheimers got to you but somewhere I know you thought about who was needing.  That was always a concern for you.   You always were giving to others and I can still see you with your shiny pants or old worn shirt.  I would buy you clothes but you loved those old brown shoes and yellow shirt and brown pants.   I can still see you making do.   Daddy, did you know that you had so many people attend your funeral, that it took three rooms to hold all the people?  Did you know people sent sympathies from all over the world?   There is this great community called The Daily Kos and they all sent condolences.   There were people in the music business that your cousin Harold knew that send cards and flowers.

Daddy, did you know even thought I failed at making the VA restart you medical pension, I made sure you had a full military funeral?  Daddy, you made the front page of the local paper when you died.   I bet you did not know that people loved you all over town because before the Nursing home , you were left pretty much to the mercy of the world except for we three girls and our kids who did our best for you.  The Tigers Den , the drive in restuarant that you and Mama owned shaped lives for kids returning from Vietnam where ya'll fed them free.   No one ever went hungry if they stopped by the Den period though.  I got this letter from the high school alumni?  Here it is Daddy.

Amanda,
 Please accept my sincerest condolences on the passing of your father. I know how hard it is, but you were very lucky to have him as long as you did. He is now in heaven and will be watching over you and your family. Take care of yourself.

Your father did a great thing for the teenagers of Douglas County by giving us a place where we could hang out without getting into trouble. I spent may great evenings at the Tiger's Den with my friends. I found you dad's picture in the 1940 year book as a freshman so for the home page and his In Memory page I put him in the class of 1943. I'm sure there are many people who will be there to pay their respects. I'm in Cincinnati or I would be there, too.

That was very honorable of him to do that. I'm sure those Vietnam vets remember that as well. They received so little recognition for the hardships they endured during that war. I'm glad there was such a good turnout for his funeral. That is really the only way we can judge what kind of life they led. Obviously your father led a good life and was loved by many. I'm so glad people loved him enough to want ot pay their respects. You should be very proud.

Love Brenda
DCHS Yearbook Alumni Staff

Daddy, I heard your voice Sunday as I woke up and Jack had your old sermons playing from the 80's at WDGL.   I remember you had a big listening audience.   You never judged just preached love, so I didn't go to a building Sunday for church, I just sat down and listened to your instructions of teachings again.  It did me a world of good.   I
remember you paid for some of those spots yourself and the TV repair shop was a sponsor most the time.  No one sent you  money like those televangelists who you did not approve of.   You just spoke like the old timey preacher man you were.

I hope I told you enough how much you molded me.  I hope I told you how much I appreciated you never raising your voice or your hand to me and my sisters.  I hope I told you how much I appreciated you sitting and talking to us better than the character played on Father Knows Best and how you instilled value to God, community and country in all of us.  I know you would like the new Pope even though you were not Catholic, but just a man of Faith.
I loved the way you loved all people, and how I never heard you say a curse word but came close when you heard George W Bush was put  over the White house.   I loved everything about you Daddy.   I loved Mama, but you know, you were my favorite.    Mama  stood up and spoke out and you were a teacher of everything good in my value compass.  Daddy, when one puts those two traits together, it is a powerful stand.  You know that though, because I have seen you tell preachers or so called people of faith who preached money and letting folks fall by the wayside, they weren't preachers.   I was proud of you when you stood up to hypocrisy.

  I was proud of you everyday.  Mama was always standing up and speaking out to anyone but you were still my favorite.     Speaking up, standing up for truth and justice is a very powerful tool.  You did not know the meaning of quit and no matter how hard things got for you, you kept on keeping on.  You always thought of everyone else first.  I think you waited on my sister to leave from her visit even, when you asked for a cup of coffee from  the attendant after sis  left , and you took a sip and went to sleep to never awake in this world again.  You probably knew if you held out till she left, she wouldn't see you take your last breath and she would get more upset.
You never had any money and you were such a hard worker but people then like now considered success by the money one made and saved. I got your blanket and hat and I gave your suit clothes to the Okicap, which you would have wanted me to do.  Everything you owned would fit in a small box but you possessed more than mere material things.  

  Daddy..you were not poor.  You were the richest man in town.  I am 63 but I am still Daddy's little girl.

I can't say Happy Birthday.  I can still say, I love you Daddy.  I miss you.

From years ago.. I will play this video I made for all Alzheimers patients and dedicated to you.  I am glad your mind came together the day before you died when you called to tell me you loved me.

 

y

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (22+ / 0-)

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 09:21:24 AM PST

  •  This is beautiful! And yes, you were so lucky to (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, dannyboy1, jennyp, AJayne, Reetz, chimene

    have had this man in your life! You're right. He was rich beyond words!

    "The world is made for those who aren't cursed with self-awareness." -- Annie Savoy, Bull Durham

    by tn mountain girl on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 09:32:15 AM PST

  •  Yes I was blessed... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jennyp, Reetz, chimene

    I have been to many funerals but I really wished Daddy had seen how much he was loved.   I never ever saw a funeral like that !!!   Traffic was stopped for miles ..I remember so little but one would have thought a huge celebrity had died..  He died last April. In my opinion.. one did.

    He reminded me of this song as well as this incident actually happened in 64.  A man walked into the church and spit in his face.  See My daddy was not predjudice or a bigot.  My mother wanted to fight...Daddy handled it.  His way.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 09:48:50 AM PST

    •  What I meant...Mama wanted to hit (0+ / 0-)

      the man who spit and took a swing at Daddy while he
      was in the stand.   it was during a conference under Roberts Rule of Order and Daddy had called the man out of order and deacons split on a decision ( kinda like Washington) Majority of business ruled and Daddy presided over the conference and one extreme person who wanted to override the majority got upset.Walked right up and spit on him and took a swing.  Daddy stood strong and told him he would have to answer to a higher power than him and he wouldn't budge from his position and the man was escorted out of church.  Nowdays Daddy could have been shot.  As crazy as some wingers are.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 05:04:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bawling, absolutely cannot stop the tears. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, jennyp, AJayne, Reetz

    Vetwife, you write beautifully of your love and admiration for such a wonderful role model that you were so blessed to come from.
    Thank you for this lovely diary tribute to a very special man.
    Peace and Blessings!

    For those abused, war torn and blood-soaked regions of the world: due to our apathy, our need for cheap shit, and our wars on terror and drugs, we apologize for the inconvenience.

    by Penny GC on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 10:01:09 AM PST

    •  Thank you dear PennyGC (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jennyp, Reetz, chimene

      Lots of hurt today.. Miss him sooooooo much.  having him all those years was not enough... I guess I am selfish.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 10:07:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not selfish, just a loving daughter who misses (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vetwife, Reetz

        her Daddy!
        Do something relaxing and special for yourself today.
        Play with puppes or kitties, take a long soak in a hot tub.
        Something nice for you.
        Peace and Blessings!

        For those abused, war torn and blood-soaked regions of the world: due to our apathy, our need for cheap shit, and our wars on terror and drugs, we apologize for the inconvenience.

        by Penny GC on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 10:49:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Beautiful tribute. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, Reetz

    I am crying.

    I am sorry for your loss.

    •  Some people actually do not (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Reetz, chimene

      inderstand the grief after such a long life but I wonder sometimes which is harder... Losing one after short or very long periods of time because you are sooooo used to them being there.   Thanks  for your comment !

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 02:41:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yesterday was my Dad's 93rd Birthday (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, chimene

    Your beautiful tribute brings tears to my eyes.  I am lucky, Dad is in relatively good health and has all his mental faculties including a wicked sense of humor.

    I know the time is coming where he will be in my memory only.  I try to shower him with love and respect  while he is living but our busy daily lives get in the way.

    You have my gratitude and thanks for such a lovely tribute.

    My Brothers Keeper

    by Reetz on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 03:15:18 PM PST

  •  Thank you Reetz... (0+ / 0-)

    I thought I was prepared.
    I thought the age would make it easier.
    I thought I would handle it better.
    I thought as my better sense said, " you have had him longer than most" would make it easier".

    I was wrong.

    Thanks for the kind words and hug your Daddy tight.  I did but I still miss his hug and smile.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 04:56:28 PM PST

  •  Lost my dad nearly 10 years ago (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife

    I didn't really know him.  Not like I should have.  I'm not the son I should have been to him.  Some of that's my fault, some of that might be his - but the older I get, the more I feel like it was on me.

    I'm glad you got to know your dad, and I hope my own kids decide to take that journey some day before I'm gone.

    Peace to you, Amanda.

    It will not get easier before it gets harder. But the harder it gets, the easier it will be.

    by Richard Cranium on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 09:55:25 PM PST

  •  nice (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife

    The Seminole Democrat
    Confronting the criminally insane who rule our state; as well as the apathy of the vast majority who let them.

    by SemDem on Sat Jan 11, 2014 at 07:20:42 PM PST

  •  Oh Amanda, this one brought tears to my eyes. I (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife

    was lucky I found it on someone else's recommended list. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about your daddy.

    •  Thank you darling... I was a hurtin (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lorikeet

      all last week and missing him so.   Thank you dear.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 08:36:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Warm hugs. It's never easy, loosing someone (0+ / 0-)

        you loved so much, someone who shaped your life so deeply.  It's a deep, deep sorrow, but the love is worth the price.  You were blessed to have such a father, and to love him and tell him so.

        The loss does in fact get easier over time, but still...

        Sending you blessings.

        --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

        by Fiona West on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 10:40:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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