In Memory of my Daddi
On the 6th of March my dear Daddi went to be with Jesus. I spoke at his funeral and wanted to share it on here what I shared then. I love you Daddi forever.
I am the youngest of Dad's 5 children. For months I have been thinking of what I had learned from Dad and was wondering why people wait to share what they learned from someone once the person died. Now my Dad is no longer here and I wasn't fast enough to send him this letter.
For months I have been thinking about what I want to tell you. I want you to know that I think of you daily and how much I love you. I wanted you to know that I am who I am because of the influence that you had in my life. I wanted you to know that you and Mom molded me into me. I have ten points that I want you to know of how you impacted my life:
1) You love me very much you won. I remember since a wee-little girl how that was a staple at our house. I now practice it with Daniel and with our nieces and nephews. I love very much is close to my tongue and the word "Hate" is hardly ever heard coming out of my lips. I will always remember calling you and hearing the "I love you very much I win" come out of you.
2) Watch out for the underdog. While going to PCS you would walk me to school whenever you were allowed. I never understood why you and mom would walk me even though it was only 1 block away. I now realize it was our special time together. When I was little we would skip. Every single day that was our thing to do. As I got older so did you and then one day the skipping stopped. Then my hand went into the cranny of your elbow and we walked like that talking or not saying a word. Every day you would tell me, "Look out for the underdog". Daddi, that has made such an impact on me. I didn't experience bullying (thanks to Thelma) and I never was a bullyier due to what you taught me.
3) Keep your chin up. You taught me to be proud of who I am. You taught me that even when trials come to stand strong, be planted stay firm and kind. Keep my chin up even when my emotions want to get the best of me. This I am still learning how to do :).
4) You taught me how to drive. Ohhh how I can't wait to share this with my kids one day. How you would let us sit on your lap since we were little. You would fall asleep at the wheel while pushing the gas. I always wondered if you truly did fall asleep but to this day I was certain you did. I was so scared of bridges and of taking a corner so I would desperately cry out to you to help me. You never not even once didn't help me on those turns.
5) You let us be adventurous. Who in their right mind would let their two teenage daughters ride on top of the truck cabin laying down on their backs? You trusted us that we would not be foolish and jump off or hurt ourselves. Thank you. When Thelma and I took your yellow truck and raced drive through the mud puddles you quietly mentioned it to us. We knew better to do that again.
6) You taught me how to tell stories. Well, almost, every night when we were little you would tuck us in bed. First Ruth, then JD and then Thelma and I :). Oh so happy you would scratch our backs, then pinch them then in a sweeping motion wipe what you had previously done… which meant one thing… You had to scratch our backs again seeing that you had erased your work. You would do it again and tell a story usually about a mouse.
7) You taught me to love nature. You would take us out to the fields and let us ride in the back of the truck, find a good spot to get fresh carrots and potatoes, rub them on our jeans and take a bite. You got mad and Thelma and I for getting "worms" for our fishing trip with forks… You told us, "worms are the friendliest animals ever" as you popped one into your mouth. Thelma and I were so grossed out but started grabbing them with our fingers.
8) You were kind to my friends. I feel that every weekend one or two or three of my friends was over. You always made them feel welcome, always were genuinely concerned with them and their families. You always were willing to bring hay and animals in to our school functions and would always allow us to take our friends out to the farm. How I remember the time you were teaching my classmates how to milk a cow. My friend Amy was too too grossed out to milk a cow… so your response - aim it at her and douse her with fresh milk. Oh I will never forget that!
9) You encouraged my imagination. When we were little and I mean little you would let us help you get into your Santa costume. Cotton beard, pillow belly, and presents in your bag. Then we would run into our bedroom and wait for Santa to come in… Oh my goodness we were so excited to see Santa.
10) You taught me that you really can give a puppy away. Again with Amy she had just lost her dog. I told you her story and asked you if we could bring one of our puppies for her. You said of course. So when we came back from the farm we loaded him in. I didn't realize that I should have checked with her parents first so when her mom said no. I was so scared to tell you. I cried and you kindly asked me what was wrong. I told you that Amy couldn't keep the puppy and felt that you would be mad. You hugged me, said we would just take him back and that it was ok.
Daddi, you taught me to respect others. To say yes sir and yes mam. You would snuggle me when I was scared even as an adult. I loved how you loved my husband so much. I loved it how one of the last times we rode in the car together you buckled your seat belt into the drivers side. Daniel slid in looked at you and said, "I love you John." You just smiled big and laughed. Daniel reached over and buckled his seatbelt in yours.
I was always your baby. From now on I will write these letters of things you taught me or stories I remember, like bird hunting with my ten cats running behind us. Showing Thelma how to aim, telling me to stand behind you and having the bb ricochet off the beam and hit me on the head…. I have my memories and the part of me that is you to pass on to my kids. Even if there isn't a how to Daddi Liza book I think you did a pretty darn good job at it. I love you. Daddi now and forever thank you God for the Dad you gave me.
Missing you here.