Each Sunday, I am going to write about someone or something from my past for which I am thankful. Hence the name Sentimental Sundays...
This person has had such an amazing influence on my life in more ways than he will ever know. Each day I am reminded by something I say or do just how much a part of me he is and always will be.
Day after day, hour after hour, minute after minute, I see myself more and more like him.
When I am strong in the face of crisis. When I am able to make the whole room laugh even though inside I am crying. When I carry the weight of supporting my family on my shoulders. When I am successful according to others, but can't see anything I have done right. When I am easily hurt, but rarely show it. When I can't sleep. When I am totally and completely stubborn. When I eat too much. When I make a joke that could be considered by some "inappropriate". When I look in the mirror and see that I should be standing straighter, not slouching. When I lose my temper. When I hold my children and hope they feel safe in my arms. When I stay up late at night worrying about things I can't really control.
I thank God for sparing him and giving him another chance to live when I was only 5 years old in 1981. And again in 1992. As hard as it has been to live without him for the last five years, I can't even imagine everything I would have missed if he hadn't survived the first or second bypass surgery.
My kindergarten graduation. My elementary school graduation. My junior high band competitions. My basketball and softball games. My induction into Honor Society. My senior year ring ceremony. My high school and college graduations. My wedding day. The birth of Bigg H. He would have missed it all. WOW.
So many times, I think back about him and the words I hear over and over are from Reba McEntire's song "The Greatest Man I Never Knew":
"Everything he gave to us took all he had."
I realize that this person gave me (and others) so much of himself, there wasn't anything left for him.
In an instant, on the night on May 14, 2003, alone in an exam room of his office, he was gone.
This world was too much for him.
He is happy now. He isn't in pain. He isn't worried or stressed. He isn't sad.
So, thanks for everything Dad. I love you and miss you more than you will ever know.