Growing up we were always asked to pick a hero and my response was always the same – my daddy. Little did I know then that in my teenage years my daddy would show me how much of a hero he truly was.

At the age where I was supposed to be rebellious and test my parents, I instead was in hospitals watching the strongest man I know battle the strongest disease I knew. When he could have just given up, he fought with everything he had. He lived with the mentality of “this disease is strong, but I’m stronger.” THAT  is the most important thing he showed me.

When daddy’s year and a half long battle with cancer came to an end I thought there was no way in the world I’d ever be able to function the same. How do you live when the man who was supposed to be forever one of your constants is taken away from you?

For years I lived with hatred. The sight of a daddy/daughter duo or hearing my friends discuss anything they did with their fathers shattered my heart. I felt like the world around me was moving, but I was still sitting there frozen waiting on my daddy to burst through the door.

You don’t really ever “move on” like so many people say you will or should, but instead you make adjustments. Instead of setting four places at the table you just set three. When asked about your parents you don’t know what to say so you ramble on about your mom to avoid the heartache that comes with talking about your dad. You learn to speak in the past tense instead of the present…. Adjustments that never get easier to do.

8.5 years ago I thought that when daddy died I had lost his guidance. I was so, so wrong. Having my extra special guardian angel watching over me has provided me with this indescribable sense of comfort and calmness.

I’m not angry anymore. I understand life a little more now and although I wish for all this to just be a nightmare I’m thankful for the lessons I have learned.

I’ve learned to love with all I have because love is forever and it’s what everyone remembers you for.

I’ve learned to forgive because life with bad vibes is no way to live and life’s too short to be angry.

I’ve learned to take chances because life is not going to stop or slow down and wait for you. If you want something you go for it – regardless of what people say.

I’ve learned to appreciate everything because I know what it feels like to lose everything.

Most importantly though I’ve learned to never give up because life should never get to win so easily. NEVER STOP FIGHTING! Whether it’s fighting a disease or fighting for something you love – never give up and always chase your dreams

daddy

Daddy,

I love you. I miss you. I want nothing more than to just give you one more hug and to tell you I love you and hear you say “love you too Nae-Nae.” I know though that I can’t be selfish. For some unknown to me reason God needed you with Him to do some amazing work in Heaven.

I hope as you look down you see something in me that makes you proud. I also hope you can see the love you showed me being used to love everyone around me. If there’s one thing I’ve learned since you’ve passed it’s that you touched so many people’s lives. I hope you know all the amazing things people remember you by. You were so special to so many!

I want to thank you for you everything. Thank you for helping me see the best path to take in life. I can always tell when you are putting in extra work for me and I’m just so thankful for that. Thank you for teaching me how to be strong even when that’s the last thing I think I can be. Thank you for providing me with a wonderful childhood filled with so many fun memories. Most importantly, thank you for being my hero!

No matter how old I get I will always be your little girl! Happy Father’s Day Daddy!

Love always, Nae-Nae ❤

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