It’s another first.
I wasn’t expecting this day to burn as bad as it does.
I don’t know how to help you through days like this when you’ll be the girl without a dad because I’ve always had my dad. You remember him, that crazy papaw who taught you to yell, “Yippee-yi-oh-ki-yay”. You see that’s my daddy and he’s always been around. We’re blessed to have him.
I can’t imagine the pain you’ll feel as you grow older and draw pictures of your family with crayons. I wonder if you’ll draw your daddy in the clouds or simply forget his face. It’s okay whatever you choose to do and I’ll always be the stick figure holding your hand.
But your dad did know this pain, you see he lost his dad too. I watched as your dad’s eyes turned black with grief and I know it was a heartache he never wanted for you. He didn’t want to leave you when you were old enough to remember him. This has to be terribly hard for you to understand but it truly was out of the most unconditional love, he could never hurt you.
Your daddy only got to know you for the first 11 months of your life. I have pictures and videos to show you. You’ll see the love shining through his eyes. He was awe struck, calling all of his friends to brag about how you were a baby genius already sucking your thumb.
At the time I thought he was an over boastful dad but now that I know you better, I think he was right.
Your memory will only be filled with the stories I tell you. In your eyes, your daddy will be nothing short of a superhero. I wonder if that will make it harder. You’ll never have a fight with your dad or get in trouble, get your phone taken away or be embarrassed of one of his jokes in front of your friends.
But he also isn’t here to teach you to dance in the kitchen or talk to you about sports. I’m just not always good at the daddy things and I’m so sorry to tell you I can never fully fill his spot, though I’ll try.
He was the kind of daddy who took the time to hook up your purple talking dog at the computer and set up the custom words especially for you. I can promise you, I’m not any good at that stuff and without him it would have stayed on the generic settings forever.
I laugh every time you squeeze that dog’s hand and it says it wants a pink hippopotamus who eats mangos. That was your daddy.
He didn’t get very long to be a dad so some of the memories may not matter to you when you’re older but I can promise you with everything that I know, he wanted nothing more than to be with you. He wanted to show you how special you are.
Someday when you’re older I’ll give you the ring he bought you. Just weeks before he left this Earth he sat up in his hospital bed and got on the phone with our jeweler. The same lady who helped him buy mommy’s wedding ring.
He picked out a beautiful gold ring with tiny leaves and touches of diamonds. It looks like a crown a greek goddess would wear. He picked it out because it looked like the crown you wore as a baby.
Your daddy took seriously the most important job any dad can do and that’s loving your mommy. When you were still in my belly he came home with an overpriced chicken towel from some high-end baby boutique. He looked slightly pale, terrified of what he must have seen in that store that day. He laid the little towel across my belly and we talked about who you’d be.
My skin, his hair, my nose, his artistic ability, my love for music and we fought over who had the best eyes to pass on, but he won.
You look just like him and I see him in the silly expressions you don’t even know you are making.
I’m so sorry Mira. I’m so sorry he isn’t here. You deserved him.
If ever there’s a time you feel mad at the world because you don’t have a dad, I want you to know that you do. Your daddy was so, so special that he gets to be with Jesus everyday.
What a lucky daddy huh?
And we are lucky girls to have him keeping us safe.