Sunday, June 20, 2010

Daddy Was a Hell of a Man

What is it about little girls and their daddy? We wrap them around our finger, then they take over our heart. My daddy married my mom when she was 16; he was 21 getting ready to leave for WWII. What a way to start off your marriage and your adult life. He came back two years later, a man in every sense. I was born 10 months after his return.

My daddy died in 1987 at the age of 64, young in today's standards, and young even then. I have missed him everyday for 23 years. I think of daddy everyday. He was a self-taught man, as he left school in the 5th grade to help his family. He was a hard worker and a soft spoken man with lots of wisdom. I wish I was half the person he was.

This is daddy in the first house my mama and daddy built in Clarksdale, Mississippi. He was so proud of having his own home and mama kept it squeaky clean. I never realized how young he looked and was. Why is it when we are children, we think of our parents as old? They are still young with dreams of the future.

It's hard for me to write about my daddy; I don't know why. I love him so, and wish I had one more day just to be with him. He would always hug me and tell me he loved me everytime I saw him. And we were very close. He had his problems, mostly brought on by the war, I think. But he overcame them at the age of 47 and joined AA. He used to tell me, "I thank God everyday that I am an alcoholic. I would not be the man I am. God knew what he was doing."

Every year my daddy made an inventory of his life for the past  year, the good and the bad. Then he would go visit his pastor and go over his inventory, make amends for any bad he had done, any person he had hurt. How many people do you know that does that? He was a very spiritual man, and his belief in God ran deep. He knew he had a purpose on this earth and when that purpose was fulfilled he would be ready to go home. He definitely fulfilled his purpose on this earth.

Daddy grew the most gorgeous roses and planted vegetables every year in his backyard. I think he felt closer to God outside in the garden. In fact, his favorite song was "I Come to the Garden Alone". I love that song and everytime I hear it I think of my daddy. I wish my grandchildren could have known him. I just think he was a beautiful man and human being. He was tough on us growing up, but I understand it now. He wanted us so much to have more than he had, to go further in life than he did. How strange, he went so far in life, I could never equal his impact on mankind.
So, today on Father's Day, I wish you, my daddy, happy father's day, and know that I have missed you so much. I can still smell you and here your voice. I can hardly talk about you without crying. I want to thank you for giving me so much, for being there when I needed someone to talk to, for being firm with me when I needed to learn my lessons in life, but most of all for being my daddy, for being one hell of a man.


alicia said...

Very touching tribute.

Lynnie said...

Thank you Alicia. My daddy was a very special man.