This day last year I was painting Cormick's nursery. Our friends were helping me because Greg was in Afghanistan. Right as we were about to pull the tape off and start cleaning up the phone rang. It was my Mom to tell me my Dad had passed away. One of the most exciting days of my life turned out to be the worst. I spend everyday thinking about my Dad and how I want him here to see Cormick grow. I thought I would share the words I wrote for his funeral. It is so hard to whip something profound up in a day or so when you are emotionally wrecked, but these were my thoughts at that time.
I always knew growing up that my dad was something special. I didn’t realize, what a name he had made for himself until I got older and would run into people who would say,” You’re Joe Mills’ daughter!” “Oh I loved Joe or your Dad used to beat me up when we were younger!” My Dad is a part of a lot of people’s memories, but it is my memories with him that I will cherish forever. Of course when I was younger he was on the sidelines at all my soccer and field hockey games, making sure the neighborhood boys didn’t venture upstairs to “no man’s land”, and convincing me that the biggest party school in Virginia was where I needed to get my degree! But it was the times we spent alone with each other that are my greatest memories. Our annual trip to the Christmas tree farm when we would listen to Buddy Holly and sing every word to every song! On Sundays, kicked back in the recliners watching football, checking our fantasy scores while Mom would bring us snacks. Visiting every single model home in the city of Albuquerque in search of his perfect retirement home. We went so many times all the sales people knew us by name! I was with Dad the day he found out Poncho was not a boy! How devastated he was that he continued to be surrounded by girls. I learned through my Dad that the sounds and lights of a slot machine can bring you many hours of fun. I can’t tell you how many hours we sat waiting to win the brand new F-150! We have shared many more special times together and as we say goodbye to my dad today I think of all the things I am going to miss.
I will miss my yearly Roses are Red , Violets are Blue personalized poem in my birthday card. I will miss him daring me $20 to do something stupid. I will miss our daily political talks. I will miss being his personal shopper for Mom’s gifts. I will miss having him on the line while I draft my fantasy team. I will miss him complaining that Greg doesn’t own enough tools. I will miss the excessive use of baby powder. I will miss him spoiling my dogs. I will miss having him to call when I need advice. I am so sad that he won’t be here to hold his grandson in January. But I have no regrets, because I told my Dad every single day that I loved him and that I missed him. I am Daddy’s Little Girl through and through and even though some might say we needed to cut the umbilical cord ..… he was my best friend and partner in crime and I can’t imagine life without him.