My father died in late June. He had been ill for quite some time. Still, it was a jolt like I have never felt before. As the days since his passing have melted into weeks, and now a few months, I have had numerous chances to reflect upon his impact upon my life. I know there’s a book in there somewhere. Whether I’ll ever get to write it is questionable. My father supported my desire to be Indie and to be successful at home as a wife, mom and business owner. He was one of my biggest cheerleaders and he spent a considerable amount of his life ensuring that I had every opportunity to make something out of mine.
The day after he passed, I wrote a poem to honor him. I did not write it because there were things unsaid between us. There were not, and I took advantage of every opportunity to tell him of how much I loved him during the last months of his life. I wrote the poem to serve as a reminder of my responsibility to extend his legacy into the next generation. My dear friend read it at the funeral, and now, I’m ready to share it with you. I hope you like it. (So you are not baffled by the first paragraph, know that my parents adopted me out of an orphanage when I was 2 years old.)
A Father’s Choices
You chose to love me as a babe,
Plucked me up from uncertainty and shame.
Cradled me in your arms at night,
And shared with me your name.
You chose to love me as a child,
With sugar, spice and pink bows.
Lifted me to sit atop your shoulders,
Safe from all harm down below.
You chose to love me as a hardheaded teen,
Whom you rarely let out of your sight.
You protected me from dangers I never knew.
I thought nothing you did was right.
You chose to love me as a college co-ed,
Dropped me off at a school far away.
Gave me freedom to find who I was in this world,
Encouraged me to do my best every day.
You chose to love me as an optimistic entrepreneur,
Seeking something new and exciting to do.
And today, when I’m spinning too many plates in the air,
I think, “Hey, I’ve become something like you!”
You chose to love me as a new bride
Looking for my own “happily ever after.”
And when I learned that life isn’t always fun,
You said, “You must make your own laughter.”
You chose to love me as a young mother,
You were so pleased to see your legacy expand.
What fun you had lifting my babies on your knee!
Yes, as a daddy, you really were quite grand.
It’s a miracle that you chose to love me,
And my stumbling words could never express
The gratitude I feel for your life today.
You were and always will be – the best.
You chose to share knowledge so freely with me.
For your wisdom, there is nothing I’d trade.
And today, my life is full of wonder and gladness
Because of the choices you made.
You chose to rejoice every day of your life,
Even when it was not at its best.
And now God in His infinite wisdom and grace
Has left you no choice but to rest.
And though I can no longer hear your voice
And your broad shoulders and sweet smile are gone.
I can only hope that I make you proud my dear daddy,
And that through my choices, your life will go on.
I love you, Daddy.