I'm not sure where to begin with the story of my dad. I struggle with this because I was never aware of his addiction until about six months before his death. My family wanted to protect me and they knew he was afraid I wouldn't love him if I had known. The truth is, learning of his addiction made me want to love him more because I knew he needed it. When I found out, I ordered him a pocket angel that says "always with you" for him to carry around to remind him I would never stop loving him or caring about him. He had that angel in his pocket the day he died, and now I carry it with me each and every day.
My father was an incredible person and I learned so much from him. I only wish he wasn't taken from me when I was at the young age of 24. The heartache I face when I realize he will never know my children is just unbearable. I think this is a testament to how amazing he was. He taught me to love with all of my heart. He taught me to care for everyone you meet and see the good in others. He taught me that life is good and that you should take time to notice "the small things." He taught me that you'll never regret a phone call to a loved one, even if it's just a short 5 minute call to say hello and I am thinking of you. I miss those phone calls with my dad. I could honestly hear him light up just by his voice because he was genuinely so happy to talk to me, even if I was on my way to work and didn't have a long time to talk.
I have so many favorite memories, but my favorite would have to be this one:
Sophomore year of college I surprised my dad by coming home for a visit. I was about 10 minutes away from his house when I called him and asked him what he was doing. I knew he was having a rough day and he sounded kind of sad, so it made me happy that I had decided to come home to surprise him. When he told me he was just hanging around the house, I told him he should go to the front door and look outside. He sounded confused but when he opened the door I was standing there waiting for him! His face completely lit up and he started to tear up, giving me the biggest bear hug. For everyone who didn't know my dad, he was the world's best hugger. Just knowing I made his hard day a little easier gives me peace at moments like this when I'm missing him.
I'm thankful for the 24 years I got to have my dad in my life and I know he's watching over us all now, finally at peace and no longer struggling with addiction.
Thank you to Shatterproof for allowing me to write a testimonial and share a little bit of my dad's life with everyone here.
Dad, you're always in my heart. There isn't an hour of any day that goes by that I'm not thinking of you and wishing you were here.