To the best dad in the world: I love you and miss you every day of my life! Even though you've been gone for 24 years, you--along with mom--made the biggest impact of anyone on my life!
I can still hear you sing those country western songs you loved so much. Whenever I hear one of your favorites, I can just picture you strumming your guitar and singing along!
I remember, too, how much we liked to talk about what we were reading. Mom taught me to love to read, but you reinforced that love with your own. We didn't read the same things, but that never stopped us from talking to each other about what we read.
In my mind, I see you dressed two ways--in a well-fitting suit, or in your jeans and cowboy hat. Each were just as much "you" as the other. You fit into both worlds so effortlessly, but I think you were always a country boy at heart.
I'm glad that you were able to enjoy the good life that your profession afforded you, especially considering how difficult your early years were. You worked extremely hard for everything that you had--and you were so generous in sharing what you had with those you met. I still have the afghan that was crocheted as a thank you from an older lady whose surgery you did for free because she needed it and couldn't afford to pay. I remember that it was always displayed proudly on the back of your office chair. Now it is also proudly displayed in my living room.
One of the best things you ever told me? "If that's the worst that ever happens to you, you're doing pretty good." I think of that a lot--and it helps keep things in perspective, although it was more comforting when you were here to say it to me!
Daddy, you were, and are, an inspiration to me and to others that were fortunate enough to cross your path. You came from very little, but made yourself great. Not because of your job, or the money you made, but because of how you lived and how you treated others. You didn't go to church on a regular basis, but you lived as the Bible taught us to, without being "religious." You were generous, loving, and kind--oh, you had your faults too, but I don't remember those, not like I remember your good qualities.
I hope that you and mom are having a ball up in heaven--strumming your guitar and singing those songs you loved. No angel could sing a song any sweeter!