Oh geez. I write the title “Daddy” and I immediately get a lump in my throat and moisture in my eyes…
My daddy is my hero. By societies standards he’s your average, middle-class, middle-aged, mildly disabled man, but he is so much more than that to me. My daddy has been a constant example of what a good husband and a good father are, and by being such I was able to see the desirable and undesirable qualities in the men I dated. He has never shown me anything but unconditional love in my 24 years of life. He has been everything I needed whenever I needed anything. What I mean by that is he took on many roles in my life, he was a provider, friend, disciplinarian, comedian and sarcasm buddy, cheerleader (nice legs daddio), and it all wrapped up into 1 awesome package of Daddy!
I’m struggling to express my gratitude because there are no words in the English language that can encompass all that I wish to convey. I’ll do what I can with the words I know.
Thank you Daddy for being my everything. Thank you for bringing me into this world. Thank you for providing the best life you could give me. Thank you for loving me unconditionally. Thank you for lending me your strength when I was fresh out. Thank you for passing down your odd sense of humor. Thank you for all the hugs and kisses. Thank you for your wisdom. Thank you for holding my hand for every IV I ever had to have as a child (momma just couldn’t cut it when it came to that stuff). Thank you for all your prayers. Thank you for being an ever-present card player in my game. Thank you for always being the Daddy I needed and continue to need, and will always need. Even when you are gone from this world you’ll still be everything to me, just as much as you are now.
I’d like to share a letter with you that my daddy sent me while I was at MDA Camp. I really needed this letter when it came. My pain was reaching the level of intolerable and my anger towards God was on the rise…
July 12th, 2002 (I was 15)
I hope this week is a great time. I am sure it will be. I also know that it will be a time cause you great though. Believe me I understand what you are dealing with. I have struggled with the same emotions as you are struggling with now. Disabilities are not fun, they take away a lot.
I used to run like the wind. I was fast – I could run 10-20 miles on any given day. I was one of the best High School Baseball players in the country. But all that was taken away from me. A serious knee and back injury took it all away. What was normal to me, was no more. I remember wanting to play softball for our church team. I played but the pain would last several days. I would get depressed, I’m surprised your mother stuck with me. But in fact, it was your mother who kept me going. Years of pain haunted me, surgeries, therapy, none have helped to this day. Pain is a part of my life. I have a choice. I can let it ruin my life, or I can find perspective.
There was a man in the bible named Elisha. One of God’s greatest prophets, yet he suffered from an ailment that would take his life. Yet Elisha never looked at his suffering as a burden. It was his load to carry and he carried it as unto the Lord.
I think that story saved me, and put my life in perspective. I can’t change what has happened to me but I can change my outlook on it.
I would not have met your mother, I wouldn’t have 3 of the greatest kids. Baby I wouldn’t have you, and you bring me such joy.
I pray that what you suffer from never become a burden, but realize you are among great people who through their pain have done great things.
I love you Squirt.
I’ve been so lucky in my life to be surrounded by players like my daddy. If the saying is true that the people in your life are a direct reflection of youself… Well I guess I am quite amazing and good looking =)
I love you daddy and you’ll always have a teammate in me.