Archive

Archive for June, 2009

Remembering Dad

I wrote this a few years ago as a tribute for my father. I thought it appropriate to throw it up here considering this special day. Hope you enjoy it.

Remembering Dad

Dear Dad,

You left us twelve years ago today. It some ways it seems like yesterday. I remember standing around your hospital bed at the last moment of your life. I remember Laura telling you it was okay for you to stop fighting and to “go be with Papa”. That does seem like yesterday – so vivid in my mind. I remember asking God to give me peace and strength for my mom and sister. He did. And He eventually healed my hurting heart. Now, even though I still miss you, I have wonderful memories that help fill the void that was left when you were taken away.

One of the most vivid memories I have of you occurred when I was just a young child. I couldn’t have been more than three or four years old. You had just learned of your mother’s death. I remember you just wailing in grief. I had never seen you cry like that-before or after. I guess I was too young to really understand. I don’t remember feeling grief. Just alarm. What a tender heart you had. People might not have realized it from just looking at you that you were a very sentimental, dare I say, mushy person. You got teary-eyed from commercials and when talking about your country or your kids. Although you never served over-seas you were a patriot of the first order. You taught me to respect the flag and the brave people who serve in the armed forces, sacrificing their lives for this great country and the freedoms that we often take for granted.

You took care of your family the best way you knew how. You were determined to teach your kids to not make the mistakes that you made. You always wanted a better life for us than you had. You taught me much. Because of you, I know how to love my children. You modeled what unconditional love looks like. And you told me you loved me. All the time! Only later did I realize that many kids do not hear that from their fathers. I have continued that legacy. If my boys know nothing else, they know that Dad loves them. I will continue to verbally shower them with love for as long as I am breathing.

So many memories come to mind. I miss the Sunday afternoon phone calls that we had. Our mutual love for football always gave us a topic for discussion on game day. I know you enjoyed those moments. I recall your “Southern Living” perfectly-balanced Thanksgiving dinner plates. We would be half finished with our meal before you even started eating – meticulously plating your food in a manner that would make any southern chef or food editor proud. Then you would complain that we all were eating too fast. It makes me chuckle to think about it. I remember how you loved to cook and how the way you made it was the “right way”. You put the same kind love and devotion into your food that you did with your kids. And your culinary philosophy? “Anything is better with a Jalapeno in it”.

You did so many things right. But some of the greatest things I learned, I picked up from your mistakes. You lived life on your terms. You were a fun loving guy who always knew how to let loose and enjoy himself. And some of my strongest convictions stemmed from your greatest weaknesses. Because of you, Dad, I don’t drink or gamble. And while I am not necessarily glad I learned life lessons in that way, I am grateful that I could learn from watching the effects of life choices that you made. I do not sit in judgement. These were hard lessons to learn (sometimes for both of us) and I am grateful, as I am sure that you are, that I did not have to learn them directly. I thank you for that.

You demonstrated to me that love of and for my family is the most important thing. I remember bringing Rhonda home on our first trip to Sweetwater. It was at Homecoming that year. Before the game, you took a picture of her. You kept that picture with your stuff in your small filing cabinet, always close. Several years later, you wore a tux at our wedding, at her request, even though that was not your way. You really took her into your heart and loved her like your own. You were so proud when Trey was born. I kept my childhood promise – to name him after you, the father that I adored. We were both relieved that the Dorsey name would carry on. You would be so proud of the man that he is becoming. And Noah is following in his footsteps. I hope I can be to them what you were to me. My helper. My friend. My confidant. My compass. My advisor. My dad.

Love you always,

Donny

October 8, 2006

Donny, 41

Advertisements
Categories: Family