I don’t even know where to begin. I guess I will start with being honest. I think about dad now more than when he was here. I feel guilty for not visiting more the last year or two when his health was deteriorating. I felt frustrated that he didn’t take better care of himself. He had the opportunities. I didn’t like seeing him that way knowing he could’ve avoided some of it. I was disappointed for the times him and mom were supposed to come up to visit and something would happen and he wouldn’t come up. That’s visits we will never get back. The times I didn’t go down are times we will never get back. Lessons learned too late. We never know when your time is up, take care of it during the living years so you will have no regrets.
Ok, enough of that. My dad wasn’t perfect but he was what I would call an old school dad. He did what he had to do to provide for his family. He wouldn’t go to the store to get femimine products, which I don’t think is a big deal but.. got to laugh. As I mentioned in the fathers day post he missed alot of us growing up. He was on the road as a truck driver and he played drums on some weekends when he was home. All to provide for his family. To top it all off, he didn’t have to be. He wasn’t our biological dad but he was our real dad. He adopted us when we were little. He didn’t have to be any dad at all but he was a great dad. I have my work ethic from him. Probably have a little of my stubborness from him also. He was always caring and always gave his unconditional support. I always knew I was loved and that he wanted the best for me. I always knew even when I messed up, he was still there- with a belt or with a hug. Either way, I learned. I turned out okay, can’t say the same for my brother. lol. I reckon he is okay too if I have to be honest about it.
Things I learned from my dad: 1) strong work ethic 2) unconditional love 3) unconditional support 4) be honest 5) don’t listen to others about what they think of you because what matters is what you think of yourself- self-confidence and self-esteem (things I have written about) 6) believe in yourself because he believed in me 7) stand up for what you believe in 8) take care of your health and your body, you only have one 9) don’t miss out on something over anger or your pride 10) the choices you make determine the life you live 11) strength- strength to hold on and strength to let go. He had quadruple bypass surgery when I was in college and then with everything else I didn’t think he would last as long as he did but he was one tough guy that I looked up to and admired. I love you dad.
See, I learned good and bad from my dad. We all have good qualities and bad qualities. You can learn from everyone so give everyone a chance. They may be in your life for a minute or a day or a month or a lifetime, but you can learn from them.
Tonight, whatever you drink, raise a toast to my dad. Remember the good and the bad but remember the love most of all. Then raise a toast to other loved ones that have left this world for a better place. Then raise one more toast to the loved ones in your life. Appreciate they are here. Love them every minute because the next toast may be in remembrance.
There are so many songs. I made 3 cd’s to help in the grieving process and I can’t put 60 songs on here. Maybe I will do a 3 part series….
The Living Years by Mike & The Mechanics – Dad picked out his own music for his funeral and I was ok until this one played. I tried to be tough but I couldn’t on this song because I know how true it is.
Drink A Beer by Luke Bryan – I had just got this cd and was listening to it on my way to my hometown for the funeral. First time I had heard it and it hit home at the right time.
Drive Your Truck by Lee Brice –
Best Seat In The House by LoCash Cowboys –
If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away by Justin Moore –
Welcome Home by Michael W. Smith –
Knowing What I Know About Heaven by Guy Penrod –
I Have Just Begun To Live by Blessid Union of Souls –
One More Day by Diamond Rio –
Save A Place For Me by Matthew West –
That Home by The Newsboys –
Clouds by Montgomery Gentry –
Alone In This Bed by Framing Hanley –
It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday by Boyz II Men –
What Is Heaven Like by Robert Rogers – if you want to hear a testimony, listen to his. He was at our church once and brought me to tears. Wow.