I could tell you how He once talked a climbing rose bush into blooming, by threatening to rip it out.. or how He let two little girls give him a "Spa Day" right down to the bright red lipstick, or the time He, a bit too eagerly, asked if He really could get in the bounce house with them. Or how He found pennies and other change often while walking through parking lots, and now we find them too and we know he is with us.
I can share that at His funeral, a neighbor brought a tomato plant instead of traditional flowers, as they competed each year to have the "First tomato".
I can tell you how my oldest brother felt compelled to apologize that his CPR was not enough, although He never acknowledged that Dad was already gone. I will never forget that humble voice saying, "I thumped his chest as hard as I could"
I can tell you how driving to meet my hubby and kids after a day of literal hell with the worse possible client on the planet I was thrilled to answer my cell phone because it was my younger brother.. and then felt his pain as he was the one that had to call me and say they were transporting Daddy to the hospital but He was already gone.
I can tell you the sound and wretched smell of the Arbys parking lot that I pulled into and the hard asphalt and sidewalk that I landed on as i fell to the ground in search of a steady place. I doubt that I will ever eat at at Arbys again.
and I can tell you the friends and family and softball people and church family that helped fill that hole. I can tell you about Jerry caring for my beloved bird dogs. and meals and filling in for that horrid photo shoot that still had days to go.. and a photographer that I still have not met that came and finished the job. People came from everywhere to help us make that journey back home to see Daddy one less time.
But I tell you all of that, to share our last phone conversation, the day before he dies..He always said, :Do the girl's have a game tonight?" and I would say yes... and He always said.." tell them to walk to the plate with confidence, and relax"... But on 13th He said..."Just like in life, tell them to walk to the plate with confidence and relax!" He changed the statement that day! And i gave it thought and dismissed it..I did plan to ask him about it.. but later and now never
We take his Navy ring to every ball game. That older one reaches through the fence to touch it as she walks to bat.. She has his words written on her bat, and looks at them as she steps in the batters box...and she relaxes.
We stood on this mountain yesterday and that Red Head sang amazing Grace for POP POP, just like she did at his funeral. She sang clear and sweet and hauting, and without tears. And we realized that our move here was a physical outcry for the mountain that we have traveled this last year without his presence.
You shaped who I am. And I pass that to them. I Love you Daddy!