To give your daughter away in marriage when she is sixteen years old must be a hard experience. That day is still bright in my mind. I will forever remember his love. With his voice cracking, I recall the love and concern in his eyes. Though it was difficult, he was my supporter. And he always had broad shoulders of protection. He was always my watchful guardian. I believe he still is.
Even many years later when I let my nursing license expire due to my inability to work because of my mental illness, he hired me as a receptionist, accounts receivable clerk, and human resources assistant in a mill where he was a manager. He was able to teach me all that I needed to know, plus much more. Our bond increased considerably during this time. During those four years he was able to watch my emotional stability and how I was managing each day. Yes daily was different with the challenges of my Bipolar. His concern and ability to support and keep me grounded during that time was admirable.
When he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, he remained optimistic. I knew that stage four cancer was ultimately going to take his life, and with the medical background I had, I felt trapped in my own dismay. I could not acknowledge my fears to him. This made for a lonely, stressful period. But that day that I felt I was able to tell him how worried I was, I sobbed on his shoulder for the dad that I so loved. I couldn’t imagine losing him. He knew that I was scared for him and he comforted me, though I’m sure his own concern for himself was in the forefront. I recall my tears leaving mascara all over his shirt, and the two of us being able to chuckle about it. This memory will always be ingrained in my mind.
I am grateful and forever thankful for the Dad that I was blessed to have. I couldn’t have asked for better. I will always be full of love and gratitude for all that he provided. Truly, my hero.