Eight years ago today is a day that I will never forget. Let me back up a bit and I'll tell you a little story.
It was Early March 2004. Everything was pretty good in my life. I lived with a family from my church, I had just landed a full time job, and I was one step closer to getting back on my feet. The my sister-in-law called me. It was kind of strange to get a call from my sister-in-law, so I knew something must have been going on.
"Your Dad is in the hospital. He's got cancer."
I made arrangements to delay the starting of my job so I could go down and see him. He looked so frail lying in his hospital bed. My Step-mom was holding up as well as one could while sitting by. They'd been married almost 24 years, almost my entire life! He didn't stay in the hospital for too long while I was down visiting. He was transferred back to their house, and hospice was called. I spent some time with Dad, my brothers and sister, and with my step-mom. I had to return home. It was so hard knowing that I probably would never see my father alive again. He was on so much morphine that he didn't really realize what was going on. Even tho he was so small compared to what he normally looked like, he still had all his strength. He hugged me tight, told me he loved me so much, and told Buggy to be a "good lil fella" for me. He thought Bug was Monkey, not realizing that Monkey was 5 years old by that time, and Bug wasn't quite 1.
Eight years ago today, I got up to get ready for work. It was early. The phone rang. I ran to answer it so it didn't wake anyone up.
"Jacque, Dad passed away. We're driving down today if you want a ride." My brother and sister-in-law were giving me a ride down. I was crying at work, but still tried to do the best job that I could. Once I told them that my dad had passed away, they sent me home. We didn't talk much on the way down. My sister had stayed and was there when he passed away. It was very early in the morning, around 3 or so, and she said that when he passed that he had a smile on his face, and that there was a robin singing outside the window. Now every time I hear a robin, I think of my dad.
We had the funeral at a local funeral home where my dad and his wife lived. I was still sort of in shock. My daddy was gone. I wouldn't ever see him again. I wouldn't ever hear him say "I love you kiddo." I wouldn't ever hear about how we needed to start stock-piling things because the end of the world was coming. I wouldn't ever hear him lecture me about how I needed to get my life right with God. I had gotten my life right with God.
Amazing Grace still brings back memories of his funeral, of my daddy laying in his coffin, of the flowers that he didn't want, of the little tray that we put fishing lures and pictures and letters in. It still brings a tear to my eyes and reminds me of how much I miss him. I know that he is in a much better place, that he's in no pain, and that he is surrounded by angels. I know he's with my Gramma & Grampa. I just hope that when he looks down from Heaven that he is proud of the woman that I have become, that he approves of my husband, and that he is happy with the way that I'm raising my kids and leading our life.
I miss you Daddy. There's not a day that goes by that I don't think of you. <3