Missing my Daddy

by Hollie Doering
(Olive Branch MS)

I lost my Dad on 8-22-2011. I was his firstborn daughter and always very close to my dad. He was an exceptional role model. He was minister of music, deacon, Sunday School teacher, and the custodian of our church. A wonderful example of a Christian man. He always knew exactly the perfect thing to say in any situation and had such a soft tone and voice. He never yelled or got angry and always pointed out the good in any situation. When growing up I was my Daddy's little shadow. Every where he went I wanted to go too. When I grew up and got married, I moved away and had kids. But I still called everyday to talk to my Daddy, just to say hi and see how he was doing. He started getting sick a few years ago with debiltating headaches and pain in his abdomen. Of course, he went to the doctor but they found nothing. Time went on and his pain began to get worse. The headaches were making him sick to his stomach. He coudln't handle noises much above a whisper. The pain in his abdomen worsened as well. His stomach starting poking out. Pain meds were having a hard time keeping the pain in check. The dr ran dozens of tests and never found causes for the pain and what was happening. He eventually got let go from his job. Sadly, he had no health insurance, no savings, no nothing. He had worked for this company (not the church) 25 years for very little pay and had nothing. Hospital bills were starting to pile up. Mom only had a 5th grade education. So she had a couple of house cleaning jobs but that was about it. When daddy was released from his job Mom had to quit hers to stay home with him because he kept progressingly getting worse. So me, my brother, and my sister split up our parents household bills as they had no income and no savings. It was tough supporting 2 households, but my dad had sacrificed so much in his life for us that I had no problems doing this for him. A few more months went by and we kept watching going further downhill. No explanation from the dr's as to what was happening. It was so frustrating seeing my dad whither away and feeling so helpless. I wanted my Daddy to be the way he was when I was younger, able to go outside with my brother and I and play ball and go for walks, but instead he could barely get out of bed. He slipped away from us early on Monday morning August 22. Its been very hard on me, my brother, my sister, and our children. Doesn't seem to have phased my mom much. Her and Daddy were married for 35 years and 6 months after his death, she has remarried. Until last night I had only had one dream about Daddy since he passed. But the dream I had last night has really shaken me to my core. I don't know how to make sense of it. I dreamed that my brother, sister and I were sitting on the couch in the house we grew up in. Daddy comes walking through the front door. Of course we are amazed to see that he is alive and there. He hugs us and tells us how much he has missed us. Then he continues to tell us that when he "died" he wasn't really dead. That some of his medications had interacted with each other and made him very weak and everyone just mistook him for being dead. Then he asked where Mom was. We explained to him that she had gotten remarried and moved out. It broke my heart as he put his face in his hands and began to cry. At that point my alarm clock woke me. I was shaking and crying like I had never done before when I woke up. I've tried to find peace with Daddy's death knowing he is in heaven, but somehow I just cannot come to terms with it.

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