Fifteen days ago my dad unexpectedly passed from a heart attack shy of his 57th wedding anniversary.
Daddy always left love notes to my mom of various accounts around the house. He would tear off pieces of a paper bag, toliet paper, envelopes…..he would just use any paper source he found to write his letters of unconditional love for his wife, my mother.
As a child I loved discovering his love notes for mama. Not only did he write loving beautiful words, he drew pictures tieing in stories with his words of Love! The words created visions of poetic stories straight from the heart. My love of writing came from my dad’s beautiful love letters.
Another way my dad expressed his love to mom was through cabinetry as he personally handmade for my mom her hearts desire of handcrafted wood items like an end table, kitchen shelf, locked curio cabinet, planters, outdoor benches, bird houses, hope chests and a garden hot house, he lovingly built them all. I love all old furniture made with good wood as you can always restore it with some elbow work. My daddy taught me if you try and fail, you are a success, that perseverance pays off . Never give up.
On the weekends my daddy liked to cook breakfast or in the afternoon cook on the grill. As a child I loved hot dogs and one day he said I think it’s time you had a Yankee hotdog. I watched him poke holes all over the hot dog with a fork and shake worchishire sauce all over them. He put them in he refrigerator overnight We grilled the Worchishire hot dogs the next day. My dad chopped onions added mustard and mayo and stirred into the chopped onions then slabbed onion mixture onto the hot dog adding Texas Pete chili. Best hot dog I ever ate.
I remember him teaching me to ride my bike , it was midnight blue, with a white basket, with handlebar streamers. This bike was special. My dad took this old ratty messed up bike and he worked on it many nights and re-purposed it, giving it to me on my 6th birthday. Dad’s love of repurposing old items to new, is a gift passed to me from my dad.
Dad cabinet shop was off limits due to tools, yet dad let me sit in there and watch him build beautiful cabinets, furniture and benches. I started visioning Barbie furniture made out of the scrap wood. I started picking out pieces of wood laying on the floor nailing them together creating my own design of Barbie furniture. I designed couches, chairs, beds , appliances, out of scrap wood. This was the beginning of my love for interior design.
I will never forget walking into the hospital room, seeing my daddy , as he lay there appearing to be asleep shortly after he died.
Daddy I always thought you were the best! Oh how I dreamed, of growing up , getting married and experiencing that unconditional love you always gave mama. I recorded many memories that are in my mind.
How your face relaxed when mom smiled at you, and your eyes twinkled in delight, of the loving open show of affection, hugs and kisses, and how she made you feel like a king every night at dinner. She always served you first.
I remember when you came home from the war, you were different, I am so sorry for the unspoken pain you never talked about ever. Yet how proudly you flew the American Flag year round. I’m very proud of my Sargent Dad, you are a humble unspo- ken hero in my book. I have sat in your office since you left us, gazing at all your trophies, certifications, awards for your excellence on the gun range. This part of you was kept hidden, you were very private. I respect that.
I saw your last love letter, it was addressed to all and simply said “I love you all!!”
Daddy we loved you, too!!💖💋