I’m not the only Daddy’s Girl in my family. I have two sisters. And a brother. But, I will always “feel” like I’m Daddy’s Girl.
My parents did a wonderful thing for all of us as we were growing up. They never played favorites. They worked very hard at loving all of us in equal amounts, never showing favoritism. We all grew up secure in our parents love for us and for each other. And when we were very young and teasingly, as children do, asked them “who’s your favorite?”, they always replied “all of you are!” To say we had a great childhood is an understatement.
As a true renaissance man of his generation, my father was multi-talented. As a child, his house was full of music and he played the piano, saxophone and clarinet. In fact, he played in a band to help put himself through college. With a degree in Architecture, he joined the Air Force and became a pilot of C-130 aircraft. After retiring at 43, he went back to college and got a Master’s in Fine Art. When creating art wasn’t enough, he built an airplane from scratch, which took him 7 years.
He was a brilliant artist, a craftsman of fine furniture and remodeled houses, a great pilot who knew when to quit, a fabulous cook and an amazing father. He inspired us, he challenged us, he supported us and, of course, he loved us.
The pictures above and below were taken by Tiffany on December 23rd, at our family’s gathering for our Christmas celebration this past year. I was reading “Perspective: December 8, 1941″ to my father. I posted this story, written by my father and his mother, on our blog on December 8, 2012. He’d never seen our blog before, so I showed it to him and read him the story. But, I couldn’t get through reading the story without crying and when I started to cry, he took my hand. I will never forget that moment or the feelings from that moment. I was his little girl and he was trying to comfort me.
Unfortunately, my father passed away on January 19, 2013 so the above picture is the last one I have of him and me together. He had just had facial surgery a week before to remove a cancerous tumor on his cheek. He did not die of cancer; he died of congestive heart failure. He knew he would die of congestive heart failure – he’d been told often by multiple doctors. I’m sure he was hoping it would not be this soon. This post and our earlier posts (High Flight, Dance Me to the End of Love, Remembering Grandpa, The Family Man) are dedicated to my father – a wonderful father of several “Daddy’s Girls.” Dad, all of your girls miss you so much!
Here are pictures of my father’s other “Daddy’s Girls” – my sisters…
In the photo above, you can barely see my youngest sister, Dawn. She’s a newborn, born just 5 days after my father’s 29th birthday.