How apt it is that this 2.5 year mark falls two days after Veteran’s Day. There was not a day in your life when you weren’t serving someone besides yourself. It started in the US Navy, when you answered your nation’s call to serve and began a nine year career as an F-14 Radar Intelligence Officer. You put your life on the line every day for people you did not know, and people you would never know. Yet, you did it without hesitation. After your family was born, you ended that service and took on a new type of service – one that allowed you to become our greatest hero.
You served your family in more ways than I could ever explain. It wasn’t just the phones you passed up so that we could have the “latest and the greatest” nor was it the countless hours you spent supporting us at whatever event we had that day. It was in the selfless way you put us above yourself; in the way you loved us without expecting anything in return; it was in the way you helped us think through life and the problems we encountered; it was in the silent protective presence you emitted. It was in your honesty and loyalty to your family; in the way you stood by your word; and in the heart you maintained pure as gold. You never asked for praise, you never wanted the glory that came with your accomplishments. You worked hard and kept your head and heart humble. You may not be the most famous hero, but you’re my greatest hero.
I didn’t ever get the chance to tell you that when you walked the same planet as me, so hopefully you can read this from wherever you are. You took my hand when I was little and helped showed me the way. You stood by my side and watched as I grew into the woman your love and care helped mold me to be. You watched me make mistakes, helped pick me up off the ground and pushed me to try again. No matter what I did, no matter how stupid the mistake was, you were there, ready with a band-aid and unwavering support. I’ll always treasure the memories I share with you, and I will always wish that you are here for the ones to come, but for now I’ll strive to model my life after my greatest hero. I may not always understand why you were taken from us so early, and with so much life to live, but if your life is any indication of why God wanted you in Heaven, at least I can say that I agree with his decision.
There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t miss you with my whole heart.
There’s not a day where I don’t sit and wonder what it would be like to have one more final conversation with you.
There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t wish that I would have had the power to heal you.
I won’t immortalize you in the stars, because stars fade away.
Instead, I’ll safeguard you within my heart and carry you with me every day.
I know you are in the birds I see and the air I breathe.
I just hope they gave you wings as fast as your old ones, daddy.
I’ll look for you in the sky.
XO – Forever your little girl