Snapshots by Gloria Freeland - Nov. 21, 2002

Daddy, I'll miss you

Dad died Monday. I'm grieving, but there is comfort in knowing that he died in his sleep in his own home with Mom nearby.

We've all been preparing ourselves for this for months, but it is still a shock.

Several times over the last few months, I've tried to write a poem to express my feelings. I wrote several stanzas, but then couldn't bear to finish.

His memory is fading,
And his eyes are growing dim,
But that's not the way
That I'll remember him.

I rode upon his shoulders,
When I was just a girl,
And giggled with delight,
When round and round we'd twirl.

He led me to the first grade,
With his hand engulfing mine,
And he said, "My little girl,
I'm sure you'll do just fine."

He taught me to speak gently,
To friend and foe alike.
He kept me from falling
As I learned to ride a bike.

He watched me leave for college
With his ever-soft "Goodbye."
I turned around and thought
There was a tear in his eye.

When school days were over,
I traveled far from home.
I lived in a foreign land,
But my heart remained at home.

His letters said he missed me,
But he knew more than I.
He knew that my adventure
Was something I must try.

I met a man I loved.
We married on the farm.
Dad walked me down the aisle,
My hand resting on his arm.

In the stanzas which were to follow, I planned to describe how Dad grieved with me when my first husband died, rejoiced when his grandchildren were born, celebrated his 56-year marriage to Mom, loved his farm - the one his grandparents and parents had lived on, accepted a new husband in my life, held my hand when I was so ill I couldn't move, and loved his dogs and most recently, Oreo his cat.

Oreo was curled up on the bed with Dad when he died. He'll miss his master very much.

We'll all miss Dad - more than words can say.

Snuggling with Daddy

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