5 months ago I had just returned from Haiti and I received a phone call that I knew was coming, but that no daughter (or wife or parent or sibling, or ANYONE) ever wants to receive: come home, it's time.
Papi, you were only on this earth for 57 years and yet, we were so blessed to have you for so long. As your youngest I only got you for 27 of those, but you filled them with so much love and care that I don't ever feel as though I was cheated.
Sure, I'm sad you won't be there to walk me down the aisle when my time comes and Lord willing, you won't have the chance to hold and play with and pray for my little children, your grandchildren.
I could dwell on what I won't have, but as a tribute I think it's far more fitting to be grateful for those things that you have given me.
- love that "can't go higher, can't go lower, can't go the same!"
- a reminder that my work is the Lord's work
- tickles - even if at times I couldn't breathe and you were to oblivious to notice
- those special father-daughter moments when you would brush my hair 100 times before bed
- my spelling and knowledge of (some) useless trivia, thanks to our weeknight tradition of watching Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy (but only if I behaved well enough)
- discipline, I'll never forget slamming that door 100 times
- fishing trips (no talking!)
- fighting for the oppressed
- believing in justice
- servant attitude: "Mr. Bennett, how would you like your coffee?"
- respect for my elders: "you can call me Bob"..."oh no she can't! She will call you Mr!"
- a love for God's word
- a talent for ironing hankerchiefs
- a love for all things Apple
- learning that it's okay to be silent (it might even be a good idea!)
- road trips: "and awaaaaaayyyyyy we goooooooo!"
- walking legs "nope, I'm not driving you, you can walk if you want to go" :P
- sneaking the sour cream and onion chips that you hid under your bed after you fell asleep!
- the (NOT AT ALL) delightful memory of the crawlspace and finding out years later it was because you landed in a decomposed cat (EWWW)...one favour I never repeated!
- learning to drive...at 4 years old and never again
- shoulder rides and piggy-back rides
- our trip to Switzerland
- a few cherished heart to hearts
- some hilarious photos and even better stories (oh how I miss your story-telling!)